Season Of Mist
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Mundane Existence
02. The Path of the Totalitarian
03. Hedonistic
04. A Speck in the Fabric of Eternity
05. Coerced Evolution
06. True to the Blind
07. Soul-Sick Nation
08. The Lament Configuration
09. Flattening of Emotions

It's unfortunate but standard for most extreme metal bands to dole out their best offerings over the course of their first three, or so, releases. The inspiration to be the hardest band on the block and the creativity required for continuing to write fresh and exciting material simply leads to a brick wall relatively quickly for the vast majority of these artists. ABYSMAL DAWN has already proven itself an exception to this norm, quite possibly because the band has always seemingly focused upon good songwriting above all else rather than attempting to be the most brutal and/or technical band. With that said, they've never been slouches in either of those departments, and with "Phylogenesis", their first album since 2014's "Obsolescence", and the California death metal band's fifth full-length album overall, ABYSMAL DAWN has taken a significant leap forward on all fronts.

The five-plus years since their last recording wasn't spent idly by any means. The Los Angeles-based act was hitting the road hard all across the globe, continuing to sharpen their tools of the trade along the way. ABYSMAL DAWN hasn't made any left turns. They've stayed the course and made marked improvement with the passage of time, documented by the snapshots that are each of their albums.

"Phylogenesis" represents everything that ABYSMAL DAWN is all about. They just do it so much better nowadays. "Phylogenesis" is an amplification and purification of the band's sharp musicianship and keen songwriting focused upon explosive tech death and hard-handed death metal fury and brutality. They are as quick as lightning on tracks like "A Speck in the Fabric of Eternity" and the absolutely belligerent and pummeling "The Path of the Totalitarian". The band knows how to make the most of a good hook on a song like "Soul-Sick Nation", which locks into a slow-paced groove whilst utilizing quick picking and rapid-fire double kick work simultaneously. Simply put, the nine songs on "Phylogenesis" are fit for fans of modern brutality in the vein of DYING FETUS and timeless dark death metal along the lines of MORBID ANGEL.

ABYSMAL DAWN's profile is rising because of the band's enduring hard work and resilience over the years. None of it would mean a thing if they were champions of something mediocre or simply just passable. They have a distinct character and identity within the death metal library, and their tools of the trade are being wielded with increasing precision and power. Charles Elliott and company demand our attention, and they're here to stay.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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