(Unique Leader Records, 2016)
#FOR FANS OF: Death Metal, Suffocation
With Death you had a band able to create an album that brought you through a series of emotions and tied it all together with a singular thesis. Death was a band that was brilliant at naming and fleshing out a theme that could be found in each song while making each song stand alone as a facet of the overarching ambition into which the album coalesced. Death and Schuldnier's unforgettable music laid the groundwork for a sub-genre of most extreme music and saw death metal as more than just a moniker, but a style that could only progress. Unfortunately, you'll never see that in this Dawn of Demise album, instead you'll see tepid tempos and vitriolic variations with emasculated exploration both in the instruments and the vocals.
While this band isn't as genre-defining as Immolation or well-known as Deeds of Flesh, Dawn of Demise's noticeably formulaic style is adept at delivering the sort of sedation that many bands can mistake for brutality. Immolation can make their music sound like a gearbox moving backwards through intricate breakdown sound intermixed with insane swinging riffs and precise indulgences in blast beats. Deeds of Flesh is a steady hammering on the senses meditating in technique where premeditated delivery results in an aggressive pummeling. Dawn of Demise can get quite rhythmic in its form of death metal but the brutality is only in the guitars and doesn't have the kind of response in the drum section that could really lay down a serious ferocity or bring a kind of technicality that would keep a listener from tuning out their guitar-led sound after a minute or so into each song. The only standout parts on this album are in the solo sections. “Sadistic Gratification” is a demonstration of how not to use your money track. It's a strong start with a good groove at the end that is thrown away far too early despite the lacking lead up. This track is then followed by such overproduced banality through too many tepid tracks to really realize any antagonizing form. Dawn of Demise had a good run at the end of “Deride the Wretch” but cut it off too quickly. This band seems to favor breaking down through nearly the entire song with very little to keep things going, turning the death metal style on its head, and making it less encouraging than the standard model. There are some standout moments through this threadbare album of diet Suffocation emulation including the groove in “The Process of Killing” which combines with a great solo creating a fantastic few seconds of brutality. However, you have to wait through minutes of buildup for something that you would miss if you blinked while the band showers you with a cumbersome attempt to capitalize on Skinless' chug and give Suffocation's distant solo sound to it. This band has the uncanny ability to grab you out of the blue, make themselves heard, and then force you to lose interest in their cry for attention in the space of twenty seconds. Another example is the nice soling in “Those Who Deserve My Wrath” after an endless series of uninteresting riffs and breakdowns that blend together so effortlessly and enchant so little that the listener tunes the album out, forgetting he was listening to music, until this solo. Awakening from the slumber of a thousand chugs, this solo gets you back listening long enough to hear a somewhat satisfying blast beaten run in the oh so uniquely titled “As the World Dies”. I'm sure that song title took hours of agonizing creativity to concoct. Whatever Dawn of Demise has in the beginning of each song is lost far too early to overly abundant structuring, a glaring lack of creativity, and too little variation. This is a straightforward style without the understanding that they could expand on what they do well instead of beating around the bush when bands like Morbid Angel twenty before this band were doing more in one song than this band does in a full album. How am I supposed to believe that this is today's style of 'brutal' and 'heavy' music, let alone death metal? The only suffering happening on this album is that of the fan's because shelling out any money for an album so bland and one-dimensional is supporting the stereotype of death metal rather than the method and artistry of the style.
Denmark's Dawn of Demise could do well when opening for Skinless or Severe Torture who would later open for Dying Fetus or Suffocation. Yet on its own Dawn of Demise doesn't have too much going for them. The gutturals are what's to be expected, the breakdown beats are far too simple. Primal is a good way to go but it has to keep the listener wanting more if it's going to last in one's mind. This is far too average and the simplicity is utterly unoriginal, the band is trying to pave its own way across paths that have been so trodden into mud that it makes Six Feet Under sound good. Boring breakdowns, milquetoast metal, and tedious treads into threadbare grooves are what this humdrum death metal AC/DC does without the personality to make an impression.