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Abysmal Dawn: Programmed to Consume

Programmed to Consume is the Relapse Records debut for Los Angeles based band Abysmal Dawn, a four-piece that combines old-school styled death metal growls with cutting edge technical song arrangements. Fronted by guitarist Charles Elliott, who conjures up images of Mikael Akerfeldt, Glenn Benton, Dan Swano, and Mr. Corpsegrinder himself with his deep growls, also forms a powerful guitar team with fellow gun-slinger Jamie Boulanger, delivering plenty of massive riffs and shredding solos to tunes like "Compulsory Resurrection", the manic "Grotesque Modern Art" (gotta love that title!), and the churning title track. Plenty of blast beats courtesy of Terry Barajas abound on Programmed to Consume, and the technical bass work is performed by the skilled Mike Cosio. One of the real highlights here is the slower, more textured cut "The Descent", a grinding piece with crushing riffs, complex drum work, and Elliott's tortured growls, not to mention some blazing guitar fills. The band shows their gentle side on the haunting instrumental "Aeon Aomegas", featuring Boulanger's deft acoustic guitar work and some creepy keyboards from Elliott, and the band moves into almost black metal territory on the relentless barnburner "Walk the Path of Fire", a raging number that combines every extreme metal trick in the book and works on all levels.

Abysmal Dawn are certainly a band with a very bright future ahead of them, and it would be great to see them and labelmates Origin get the attention they deserve after releasing two killer releases here in 2008. Technical death metal fans take note, Programmed to Consume is the real deal-check it out!

Track Listing
1. Programmed to Consume 4:21
2. Compulsory Resurrection 4:10
3. Twilight's Fallen 5:29
4. Grotesque Modern Art 3:10
5. A Remission of Life 3:46
6. The Descent 4:17
7. Aeon Aomegas 1:42
8. Cease to Comprehend 4:48
9. Walk the Path of Fire 5:41

Added: August 19th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's My Space Page
Hits: 3781
Language: english

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Abysmal Dawn: Programmed to Consume
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-08-19 14:42:01
My Score:

Abysmal Dawn is part of the next generation of Technical Death Metal and with their Relapse Records debut "Programmed To Consume" clearly demonstrates that they mean business. The album starts off the assault with the title track and from the very onset we find that the brutality and technical display is top notch. The band blisters through the riffs that are carefully layered over some inhuman blast beat drumming but it's not just a Thrash Fest as we find on tracks like "Twilight's Fallen" where they introduce a slowly trudging riff over the solid double kick. The band is led by Charles Elliot who handles the growling, guitar and even a little keyboard and he does well on all ends. Jamie Boulanger also plays guitar and given it is not specified if only one of the axe wielders does the leads I will just assume that he does as well. Terry Barajas is on the drums and probably one of the more proficient players I had heard in a few months given the amount of Metal I am absorbing. His level of play shows that he is a talented and creative technician on the kit for he not only has the ability to throttle the listener but to also impress those who are seeking deeper levels of percussion during the songs. At times I felt he was dueling with Elliott's guitar riffing and that impression made the Abysmal Dawn material a little more profound. There were little tastes of Behemoth going on with this one as well as some Decapitated and when a band calls to mind two of the greatest of the Death Metal scene you know you are onto something special. Another fantastic track is "The Descent" because Elliott changes his voice around a bit and that was one of the things I liked most about him. It makes the material a lot more unique when the singer is trying and succeeding at different vocal techniques. The listener will find he can go from a screaming snarl, to a guttural growl or even a sadistic whisper. The album lists as nine tracks but in reality "Aeon Aomergas" is but a short acoustic guitar and keyboard interlude that leads you into the mosh pit worthy "Cease To Comprehend". The effort closes with "Walk The Path Of Fire" which had some truly killer moments for a closer and leaves you wanting just a little bit more from them. Of course with this being the albums finale you realize that this is just not meant to be.

This is a great release for any fan of Death Metal that brings to the table just a little bit more than you have expected and should you like any of the referenced bands above then it can't hurt to add this one to your purchase pile. The guys include lyrics in the twelve page booklet enclosed and there is also some foreboding artwork and one ominous band photo to enjoy as well. I am sure that we shall see and hear big things from Abysmal Dawn in the near future.

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