Abysmal Dawn - Phylogenesis review




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Reviewer:
6.0

49 users:
7.73
Band: Abysmal Dawn
Album: Phylogenesis
Release date: April 2020


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


With such a vast array of death metal music to digest, ever expanding into uncharted territories supported by newfound influences and sources of inspiration, sometimes what you need is a simple hefty dose of straightforward brutality to absorb.

Cue Abysmal Dawn.

Evidently far from interested in offering groundbreaking never-before-heard auditory experimentation, this American quartet, spearheaded by the only remaining member, Charles Elliott (vocals, guitars) aim only to deliver that archetypal modern death metal that leaves you feeling either disconnected or amazed. Not overly technical, yet continuously striving to inject more interesting licks and playful melodies into their sound, there's still a noticeable issue with what's on display that reaches back through the band's discography all the way to their 2006 debut, From Ashes: it's a mechanical collection of forced riffs overlaying triggered drums. Moments of fun manage to trickle through and even entice a mild head nod or two throughout, but the manufactured for mass consumption production quality seriously negates any bite in the delivery. It's a counter-intuitive juxtaposition that permeates the current death metal scene, with increasingly prim and polished radio friendly vibes diminishing the grit and gruel needed for this style of music to work.

Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, the most prominent attribute of Phylogenesis is that it doesn't feel burdensome or excessive. Its efficiency makes up for most of its detractors, skillfully navigating through its few ideas without beating any dead horses, and the musicianship is standard value in relation to the band's peers. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough elements that stand out and demand the listener's attention, beyond a few solos, chugs, and breakdowns. It's bland and somewhat empty, with its aggression tempered and neutered behind a wall of sheen.

Abysmal Dawn can't be faulted entirely for this kind of album, mind you. It takes record labels and production staff and sales reports to churn out this type of material: safe, tested, established, and agreeable to the masses. Not every outfit has to push the envelope in order to be critically acclaimed, but staying true to the origins of a genre also means not abandoning the core principles that made it worth re-creating or paying homage to in the first place. Phylogenesis is merely another run-of-the-mill box checker release, and that pattern is now so ingrained into Abysmal Dawn that it would be completely unexpected for them to break that mold with any future material. A steady diet of early Obituary and Cryptopsy might help steer them back towards more viable concepts they appear to be trying to execute, but that would interrupt this snowball careening down the assembly line mountain.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 4
Production: 5


 



Written on 29.07.2020 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 83 users
29.07.2020 - 03:41
MetalDoomMaster
Completely agree with this review, and I would go even further to add that none of the songs on this album contain any of the consistent headbangability of the two albums that came before this. Even the riffs seem watered down and lack any brutality or memorability.
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29.07.2020 - 06:59
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by MetalDoomMaster on 29.07.2020 at 03:41

Completely agree with this review, and I would go even further to add that none of the songs on this album contain any of the consistent headbangability of the two albums that came before this. Even the riffs seem watered down and lack any brutality or memorability.

You're absolutely right. I felt bad about panning this considering their previous material at least had enjoyable aspects and moments of legitimacy and authenticity but the more I tried with this, the more it made me realize it's fodder seemingly for the sake of it.

Hopefully they regroup and come back stronger and more focused next time.
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I have no memory of this place.
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29.07.2020 - 12:10
Nejde
I kinda like Soul-Sick Nation but I guess that's because they've implemented a riff from Pantera's 5 Minutes Alone. A little surprised that wasn't mentioned in the review. Other than that quite a generic and unmemorable album.
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"When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid." - Ricky Gervais
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29.07.2020 - 16:08
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Nejde on 29.07.2020 at 12:10

I kinda like Soul-Sick Nation but I guess that's because they've implemented a riff from Pantera's 5 Minutes Alone. A little surprised that wasn't mentioned in the review. Other than that quite a generic and unmemorable album.

I haven't listened to Pantera since I was in high school.
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I have no memory of this place.
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29.07.2020 - 16:49
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Wellcome back in writer front, Nice to read your work again, i hope it is not last till snow comes
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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29.07.2020 - 18:21
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Bad English on 29.07.2020 at 16:49

Wellcome back in writer front, Nice to read your work again, i hope it is not last till snow comes

I had to take a couple weeks off to handle some personal matters but I should be able to review on the regular again. Hopefully at least a couple every week.
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I have no memory of this place.
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29.07.2020 - 21:58
Coconut Racecar
This is one of those bands I always feel like I'm forcing myself to like, and I don't know why. I really don't care much for them, yet I get hyped about news from them and sometimes try to listen to them, but never really enjoy myself.

I wouldn't say this was the album to seal the deal of my dislike, but it certainly didn't help. They're just... Bland.
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29.07.2020 - 22:05
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Coconut Racecar on 29.07.2020 at 21:58

This is one of those bands I always feel like I'm forcing myself to like, and I don't know why. I really don't care much for them, yet I get hyped about news from them and sometimes try to listen to them, but never really enjoy myself.

I wouldn't say this was the album to seal the deal of my dislike, but it certainly didn't help. They're just... Bland.

I think this is the kind of band whose first album you hear will be your personal favorite, with the rest being forgotten almost immediately after listening. They have everything on paper to be a more prominent act but they seem content in their flavorless approach.
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I have no memory of this place.
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30.07.2020 - 05:51
OpethFlames
This is the first album I've listened to from Abysmal Dawn and it has got me going and finding their back catalog. Maybe I'm easy to please, but I rather enjoy their sound. They have nice chuggy riffs, with some technicality. I like the vocalist as well. It is a bit straight forward, but if it is done well that is okay in my book.
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02.08.2020 - 18:25
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by OpethFlames on 30.07.2020 at 05:51

This is the first album I've listened to from Abysmal Dawn and it has got me going and finding their back catalog. Maybe I'm easy to please, but I rather enjoy their sound. They have nice chuggy riffs, with some technicality. I like the vocalist as well. It is a bit straight forward, but if it is done well that is okay in my book.

I don't know if easy to please is the most fitting description, because this does have a pretty widespread appeal for death metal, so you aren't alone in liking what you hear. If I turn off the critical part of my brain and just let the music play in the background, it comes across far more enjoyable than when I listen to it intently, for the same reasons you listed. It just doesn't stand up to scrutiny when I dig deeper into what I'm listening to.
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I have no memory of this place.
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