ABYSMAL DAWN – Programmed to Consume

Back on the scene following their departure from the always suspicious Crash Music, ABYSMAL DAWN brings their own brand of melodic death metal to new heights with their formidable new album, Programmed to Consume. Consistent roadwork has paid off for the L.A. crew as the band steps it up considerably on the new album both in the performance and delivery department. Starting with the opening track all the way until closing skullcrusher “Walk the Path of Fire,” the band waste no time bringing the onslaught, attacking the songs with a greater sense of urgency then on their debut, From Ashes. Individual improvements and highlights can be found throughout the album. For example, drummer Terry Barajas delivering blast-beat ridden fury and intricate drum patterns on “Grotesque Modern Art,” “A Remission of Life,” “Cease to Comprehend” as well as most of the album. He showcases more complex performances than his work on the band’s debut. Frontman Charles Elliot also delivers more forceful, powerful vocals, growling in a lower register through most of the songs, but also unleashing a cryptic black metal rasp on the ominous “The Descent.” Meanwhile his guitar work is nicely complimented by, the now-departed, Jaimie Boulanger and the guitar tandem effectively trade off leads at will throughout the nine track audio journey. But while the band brings the shred in spades, fortunately they never get too far into SPIRAL ARCHITECT territory so as not to alienate the listener. One of ABYSMAL DAWN‘s biggest strengths has always been their ability to balance technical shreddery with memorable hooks and passages and the band continue on this successful path on Programmed to Consume. As many bands suffer from the dreaded “sophomore slump,” ABYSMAL DAWN‘s abilities and strengths continue to grow, and one can only continue to expect great things from this band. (Relapse Records)

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