Hailing from Los Angeles the death metal trio, Abysmal Dawn, has been assaulting our ears with their hard driving metal since 2004. They released their third full length CD in 2011, and to compliment this and their current tour the band and Relapse Records have decided to reissue their out of print title, “From Ashes.” I stumbled on these lads from So-Cal at a show, and was immediately struck with their brutality and straight forward metal. Giving a dynamic live show, I was thrilled when “From Ashes” was slated for re-issue. Re-issue may have negative connotations to some but personally this is a great time for me to find out what I missed.
I missed plenty on their debut release. By the time I caught up with them this release was in their review mirror. Thanks to the modern miracle of re-issue I get to step back in time and see where it all came from.
At first glance “From Ashes” possess the brutality and technicality if their latest work, “Leveling the Plane of Existence.” They have stayed very true to form in their style, although their latest effort has them achieving a more mature approach to their work. This freshman release is no slouch by any means, musicianship and keen attention to detail were present even in the early days for Abysmal Dawn. The level of this first outing was so high it is nice to see a band continue to grow and mature in spite of such a power release so early in their career. Also included are three demo tracks circa 2004 and even these demo possess a steely work ethic which is no surprised given the quality of their discography.
‘In the Hand of Death,’ ‘Blacken the Sky,’ and ‘Solitude’s Demise’ are some great illustrative tracks that capture their style wonderfully. All three tracks possess some great technical skills of all members, pounding riffs and equally responding beats of bass and drums with Elliott’s growls complimenting each other. These boys from California have captured the essence of death metal from the beginning.
‘Solitude’s Demise’ captures a nice balance of riffs and solo notes on the guitar. There is a real balance riffs, rapid fire beats, and guitar solos so no one instrument is center stage but rather they build a metal cooperative that conveys a song rather than some beats supporting a shred master flaming solo. It’s this presentation of the technical blend as a wall of sound rather than bits and pieces that really gives Abysmal Dawn a style to call their own.
“From Ashes” reminds us of the early days of Abysmal Dawn and just what they had to contribute from the first bar. One criticism of death metal I hear is that it all sounds the same, or there is nothing special there is the same old thing, I would argue that in the simplicity there is technicality and just because a band has brutal riffs and growls in no way means they aren’t worth the listen. These guys are worth a listen, they have remained truly metal from the first to most recent track, always giving 100% to their listeners and striving to deliver power and emotion with each note.
If you have never listened to Abysmal Dawn, go listen now and “From Ashes” is a great place to start. This is technical death metal at its finest, they deliver it loud and driving as metal is intended.