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Programmed to consume
Compulsory Resurrection
Twilight’s Fallen
Grotesque modern Art
A Remission of Life
The Descent
Aeon Aomegas
Cease to comprehend
Walk the Path of Fire





Charles Elliott - vocals, guitars 

Jamie Boulanger - guitars 

Terry Barajas - drums 

Mike Cosio - bass guitar 


ABYSMAL DAWN: "Programmed to consumeabysmal dawn        

distributed in Switzerland by


review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo ___            


The meaning of modern death metal?


In their label's debut album "Programmed to consume", Abysmal Dawn show how much commanding they are. Thanks to their very advanced technique, these Los Angeles-based musicians  can subdue much of the extreme repertoire, although always very bound to Death Metal. They dynamically explore convergences with blackened death, thrash,  old-school, bulldozing assaults and brutality. Anyway this band, formed by Charles Elliott (guitars/vocals), Jamie Boulanger (guitars), and Terry Barajas (drums) is not a monster of hybridization (fortunately!), on the contrary they bet on a different kind of  polymorphism, and precisely on variations of tempo-changes, on variations of propulsion, on variations of musical phrases and elasticity in guitar technique, where we can taste a wide menu starting from intense rhythmic and solos in typical American mood, reaching then even the acoustic instrumental realm as in the track Aeon Aomegas. We could say that Abysmal Dawn is a technical band, but they mask well this characteristic making a music that offers that impact and that violent force able to transform  every pit in a mosh inferno. This is surely a great trademark.  All tracks are strong, violent and vivid, precise, led by great almost inhuman deep growls (shrieks complement the growls often). In each song (the short  Aeon Aomegas apart) there are attractive interesting passages, but the perfect logic sequence of a superior composition and structure can be heard and admired in  Compulsory Resurrection.  Anyway songs as the opener Programmed to consume, Grotesque Modern Art, The Descent and Walk the Path of Fire are the tracks that, after Compulsory Resurrection, show the signs of a good music-writing. 


Abysmal DawnLet's spend a couple of words again about Compulsory Resurrection, because this song is brilliant: here Abysmal Dawn mix all  blueprints with a memorable touch of melody that doesn't restrain the virulent aggressiveness neither the brutal flagellation unleashed by the drums. Compulsory Resurrection is indeed that "explosive new force in American death metal" so much acclaimed for this group, and it is the track where blackened melodic death metal , brutal death, technical death magnificently  intercourse.  


Blackened death is present also in Twilight's Fallen , a very ambitious track that ranges from midtempo to fast thunders enriched by a typical crazy-blade lead solo, but  that doesn't impact so well as Grotesque Modern Art does with its fast impelling propulsion and uptempo/midtempo counterbalance that intensify the anger and underlines the loop of the short refrain, while drums rocket the composition till the stratosphere. A Remission of Life should exploit the same patterns but, on the contrary, sounds confused and redundant. particular affinities with BM are definitely shown by The Descent that combines dark evilness , fast  tremolos and bone-crushing raids.


Expand -your -mind Aeon Aomegas  is a short instrumental acoustic intermezzo, played with great ability before the slaughtering and visionary Cease to comprehend , a song that offers even  some spherical black feeling. Finally the good structured  and mighty Walk the Path of Fire closes a CD that, in the footsteps of Morbid Angel and Decapitated,  doesn't make prisoners and that delivers a rejuvenated wide Death  one could call generally Modern Death Metal (interesting is that kind of  futuristic Black Sun Eclipse (?) portrait  in the artwork).  I wouldn't say that "Programmed to Consume" is  very original. Well, modern could be the use of old-school solos together with a darker rhythmic or uptodated lyrics and a wall of untiring drums and an advanced guitar technique... Is it this, or Modern Death metal doesn't exist as specific genre? Did Death play in 1991 a modern death metal? Is technical death modern tout court?

However, a very positive characteristic of the album is that it never result nervous, even in the faster and more brutal moments. Me, i cannot stand very nervous, hyperactive, neurotic  things any more...things identified as modern as well...


So, all in all  we have a quite good career here, for a band that released their first three song demo "just" in October 2004. Minus point is that some listeners (in particular those who don't constantly listen to extreme metal) could  need a second or even a  third or fourth listening before they appreciate properly  the structure of the songs (after all, we are what we consume ;)  ).  And more important, i think, a variation also in the timbre and color of the sound, and not only in the patterns, should also be applied, but this should be some business of the production too....

The guys of Abysmal Dawn, currently still on the 2008 Relapse Contamination tour  with Origin and Misery Index,   have the requisites to overrun and to terrorize the stage (that they have already shared with Exodus, 3 Inches of Blood, Krisiun, Incantation, Hate Eternal, Into Eternity, Exhumed, Aborted, Disgorge, Impaled a. o.) and to become a leading band, if they will be inspired more by their heart instead than by their (technical) mind. 


Rating: 8,6/10



dalia di giacomo         07.08.2008
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