Abysmal Dawn : Leveling The Plane Of Existence

They Say :- ABYSMAL DAWN deliver their finest hour in the form of the monolithic new album ‘Leveling the Plane of Existence’. A tour-de-force of modern death metal mastery, ‘Leveling…’ is a crushing, front-to-back display of brutality, speed, and virtuosity. Massive, memorable riffs, impossibly deep vocal bellows, and relentless percusssion collides on tracks such as the epic “In Service of Time”, “Rapture Renowned”, “My Own Saviour”, and “Perpetual Dormancy”. ‘Leveling…’ proves beyond a doubt that ABYSMAL DAWN is one of the best new American metal bands

We Say :- When CB recently got access to the Relapse records promotional release list I had no idea of the auditory delights that awaited me within, one of the most eagerly anticipated of which was Leveling The Plane Of Existence, the latest album from Los Angeles 3-piece Abysmal Dawn.

The album opens with that most unexpected of death metal tricks, a nice quiet piano passage. I mean why ? Does anyone ever listen to those intros, think ahh this is very pleasant and then get taken by surprise by the impending onslaught ?

No, me neither. Get on with it.

And get on with it they do

By the time you are 12 seconds into Pixilated Ignorance and Charles Elliot lets out his first roar it’s obvious that this is something a bit special. The vocals are incredibly deep, but never resort to being “just noise”, the drumming is mental and the whole balance of the sound is nigh-on perfect. If you want an introduction to “extreme metal” this is a good place to start…

In Service Of Time exhibits a slower more doom inspired sound where, once again, the vocal delivery lifts things far above the norm. But it’s more than just the vocals that make this release a bit special, the tracks are almost, dare I say it, understated. There is a conspicuous lack of any buggering about or showing off, no stopping the song to throw in a key change or guitar solo for these guys.

After easing up a little the insane drumming and riffing machine is back in full flow for Rapture Renowned, we’re now 4 tracks in and there’s hardly been time to draw breath.

Obviously the band feel the same way, so there is an intermission from the brutality with the tribal drum rhythms that make up Our Primitive Nature. This respite is temporary though and Perpetual Dormancy smacks you in the face as it takes things to new heights with an awesome, slower, simple riff and an almost brooding quality before Leveling The Plane Of Existence winds things back up to full ferocious velocity and sweeps the listener along in a way that most bands would kill for.

This really is an incredible album, awesome stuff.

Manufactured Humanity and My Own Savior are more of the same. I.E. tight, technical and fucking heavy before we arrive abruptly at the album finale…..

The album closes with something of a surprise, but it’s a good surprise. After the half hour of technical brutality that has preceded it, The Sleeper Awakens signs the album off on a much quieter, more atmospheric note with a real rumbling doom feel to it and a simply stunning guitar solo which fits the track just perfectly.

Although Abysmal Dawn are not breaking any spectacular new musical ground this is undeniably a near-perfect example of the genre. The production is crystal clear without being overdone and and it has songwriting, arrangement and an overall feeling of, I dunno, quality that is way ahead of many of the bands peers.

Album of the year so far, well it’s certainly up there.