Abysmal Dawn is a Los Angeles based death metal band that formed in 2003. The band's only original member guitarist/vocalist Charles Elliot has also played part in the live line-up of one of my favorite MySpace finds from back in the day Dreaming Dead.
I quickly fell into the more melodic corners of death metal so Abysmal Dawn has existed in my peripheral vision for most of their existence. When I was asked to pen this review I went into this with middling expectations. All too often I'm pointed in the direction of a death metal release and I'm left disappointed even by classic records.
For example no matter how much I enjoy Entombed's 'Left Hand Path' if I hadn't discovered it as soon as I did there's no fucking way it would have lived up to the hype around it especially the last few years. Similarly these things happen to me with black metal as I'll readily admit I bounced off Immortal's catalogue for years. One last example being Deicide, who has yet released an album I'd recommend to anyone new to death metal.
So keeping moderate expectations on this new Abysmal Dawn song having never sat down with this band's music; what do I think of "Hedonistic"
For a band I'm pegging as original flavor death metal I have to applaud the catchy opening guitar riff. It's repeated several times before a variation of it is introduced in the verse. Before the verse though the drums do the most in building the momentum rather than jumping the shark and going directly into the blast beat in that first verse.
That momentum continues to build partway into the chorus before pulling back some before picking up into an entirely new verse riff that sets the tone for much of what's left of the track. Like putting the pedal to the floor then letting the steep hill keep up the acceleration even as you let up on the gas.
As you get farther down the road you begin slowing down if your no longer giving the engine any of that sweet fuel and a fairly tame but not at all breakdown occurs before we revisit the opening riff and are introduced to the solo.
When I was a teenager sweep picking was the be all end all as far as us kiddies were concerned. As it is today this is a fitting and more than competent death metal guitar solo.
As for the vocals - and I do so hate that I so often have had to defend extreme metal vocals. I've almost stopped entirely these days. If I hear complaints of how you can't understand the words then you aren't ready, you aren't as open minded as you think you are, and I'm done with this conversation. Good day! I SAID GOOD DAY!
Now on the actual subject of the vocals; I've heard less variation from albums or bands I personally love so I'll leave the performance aspect alone. As for the lyrics they're not at all NSFW. I wouldn't be all that worried about introducing death metal to someone with this song. The lyrics are certainly dark in that they seem to discuss either an outsider looking in on some religious folks with some seriously unhealthy beliefs; or the subject of the piece is struggling with their own beliefs.
Listen to "Hedonistic" below!
I'll say that I liked this song and it's made a good first impression on me. Now here's some bad news - Season of Mist is releasing the full album 'Phylogenesis' April 17th, 2020. I can only hope that like Final Fantasy VII Remake I'm not left disappointed after the wait.
PRE ORDER THE ALBUM HERE!
1. Mundane Existence
2. The Path of The Totalitarian
4. A Speck in The Fabric of Eternity
5. Coerced Evolution
6. True to The Blind
7. Soul-Sick Nation
8. The Lament Configuration
9. Flattening of Emotions (DEATH cover)
Abysmal Dawn is currently on tour with VADER, and HIDEOUS DIVINITY! No Vegas date this round, but check them out if they're hitting your city!
Photos: Press kit photos taken by Rodrigo Fredes; album artwork by