Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence (2014) – California’s Abysmal Dawn are back with their fourth release, which seems lyrically to be centered on social commentary as opposed to some of their other lyrics which apparently have focused on sci-fi and the occult, even though there are still some sci-fi leanings here and there. These guys look like they hit the gym quite often and constantly consume large amounts of protein in addition to bro-ing it up on Call Of Duty, but the music here is still amazingly fucking potent. So regardless of the fact that these four gentlemen could bench press me well above their heads, (and I work in the stock room where heavy lifting is a major part of what we do) the thickly-layered sound contained on Obsolescence seems like it’s coming from musicians who are truly skilled and know what the fuck they’re doing. Many of the tracks here contain the same atmosphere, but they don’t feel like retreads as Charles Elliot (Bereft) and Andy Nelson (Isolation In Infamy) manage to mix chunky riffs along with technicality, groove and even some black metal influence. It’s this mixture that makes Charles’ vocals really come off with a vengeance, which makes the whole experience worthwhile as a whole. It’s still laced with a heaping helping of nails and wood dust, seeming like a meal for a real man. In all honesty, Obsolescence sounds like real man’s metal and if the sweat on your brow doesn’t cumulate enough to fill buckets, then you probably won’t understand it. The album’s intricate solo efforts manage to pepper the meaty hunk (served with a flagon of ale) just well enough that it brings out even more of the flavor which already full of plenty of heavily calculated herbs and spices. But now I’m comparing the album to steak, which is oddly enough is a rather strong comparison. I really don’t feel that any fans of death metal will have a problem with this steak, but I’m quite aware that some people like theirs to be raw, medium and well-done. In that respect, I would certainly consider this metallic monolith to be that of medium-rare, which offers just enough blood and meat to satisfy nearly half of the demonic death metal hordes. Yet with all this being said, the most interesting thing that I found about this album was its bonus closer, a cover of Dissection’s “Night’s Blood 7:22” of which we ALL should be familiar with. As Dissection really pushed the boundaries between black metal and death metal, it’s awesome to hear the song revitalized in such a fashion that not only celebrates the legacy of Jon Nodtveidt, but also shows off the full range of talent that Abysmal Dawn possess. It won’t be everyone’s bag, but it definitely shocked me in a very compelling fashion. Without question, this is the best song on the album. I like to think of it as the frosted dessert that you get if you still have enough room left over after consuming your Abysmal Dawn Obsteaklescence at the death metal steakhouse… which makes me wonder if there is one. Well, if there is, then I feel a dish should be served in honor of this titanic piece of meaty of metal. Definitely get your hands on this one and leave the fork and knife on the table. You have to really bite into this one!
(10 Tracks, 43:00)