I first got into ABYSMAL DAWN last spring after seeing their drummer Scott Fuller destroy onstage with MONTE PITTMAN down here in Dallas. After meeting the guys the first thing MONTE says to me is, “Scott is in this killer death metal band! Check them out…” and the rest is history. So I was pretty stoked to find out at that point that they not only had a back catalog to pick up, they also had a new album in the works, and that album will finally smack the world in the mouth on October 28 in the form of Obsolescence (Relapse Records). I have to say, this is one of those bands that impressed the shit out of me 30 seconds into my first song, and the same held true as soon as I pressed PLAY on this new release.
I am loath to say anything like, “The standard technical death metal elements are all there” because I just think a statement like that is fucking ridiculous. There are many things that our favorite death metal bands have in common and THAT is why we love them all. Plus, there is nothing “standard” about ABYSMAL DAWN and that’s the double truth, Ruth. The musicianship is on another planet, especially Fuller’s drumming and the bass of Eliseo Garcia. Guitarist/vocalist Charles Elliott and fellow guitarist Andy Nelson seem to split the heavens with their pickaxe riffing and monstrous solos. Elliott in particular goes apeshit on opener “Human Obsolescence”, putting on a clinic for How to Start a Record Right! The acrobatics of “Perfecting Slavery” pretty much defy explanation as well. And we’re only on track TWO? Gods help us…
Pure thrash gold is mined for “Inanimate”, easily one of the album’s best cuts that eerily reminded me of “The Party” from WARRIOR SOUL in its execution. And once again the fucking solos rip your skin off and eat it…while you watch. The biggest hit for me though, was “Devouring the Essence of God” a song that has security at my day gig scratching their heads every morning as I roll in blaring the shit out of it before work. This tune is akin to an Alien Chestburster ripping through you and I love every minute of it! “One Percent Incomplete” has an evil grind to it but also brings with it the sledgehammer force we’ve come to expect from this band. One thing about Fuller man, he doesn’t overplay his blast beats to the point you’re ready to scream and turn shit off like some bands do. He knows just how much to do, and when.
The steady build-up of “Loathed In Life/ Praised in Death” makes this another song worthy of repeat spins; it’s dark as hell, with a fantastic arrangement. And the intro on “By My Demons” should have you re-evaluating your surroundings with a quickness before realizing it is they who should be worried about you, and not the other way ‘round. Another slow-cooker shows up in “Laborem Morte Liberat Te” which gives way to yet another fiery guitar solo. For “The Inevitable Return to Darkness” the band clearly employed the “Let’s break everything and everyone in a ten-mile radius!!” approach, which is fine because it makes for a terrific listen. Closing things is a cover of DISSECTION’S “Night’s Blood” injecting a shit-ton of Black Metal into the mix while doing the original justice and then some.
Everything about this record and this group is top-notch. If you want to hear some next-level shit from one of the best bands in technical death metal right now then I highly recommend Obsolescence. ABYSMAL DAWN have written like their lives depended on it, and the results are outstanding. The tour hits Dallas in three days and I cannot fucking wait!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Inanimate”, “Devouring the Essence of God”, “The Inevitable Return to Darkness”, “Human Obsolescence”, “Loathed in Life/ Praised in Death”