Abysmal Dawn is an American death metal band. Characterized by their heavily Tampa Bay-influenced old-school-meets-new-school sound, the band has slowly but surely worked their way into being a small but growing name in American death metal.
Formed in Los Angeles, California in 2003 by Charles Elliott (guitars, vocals), Jamie Boulanger (guitars), and Terry Barajas (drums), the band started off as a mostly studio-bound project due to their lack of a bassist and quickly released a demo the following year. Surprisingly, the demo proved to be fairly successful, and the band started to land opening gigs with various national acts. Full-length recording began late the following year, and the band drafted their old Inhuman Visions bandmate Mike Bear to play bass on the album, though he chose not to stick around. These sessions resulted in From Ashes
, which dropped in 2006 to positive reviews and led to multiple supporting slots with national acts, and acquiring Carlos Arriola as a full-time bassist certainly helped even more. Arriola did not last long, however, and was later replaced with Mike Cosio in 2007. Work began on a second full-length that same year; shortly after it was completed, the band inked a deal with Relapse Records and released Programmed to Consume
as their major-label debut, leading to even more touring. Boulanger left that same year, however, and was quickly replaced by Ian Jekelis; in addition, Barajas left shortly after and was replaced by Ken Bedene for a short while as a live drummer until they could find a new full-timer, who they eventually found in 2010 in the form of Scott Fuller, which incidentally was the year that Jekelis left to focus on Abigail Williams. Undeterred, the band began work as a three-piece on a new album and eventually released Leveling the Plane of Existence
in 2011. Cosio left shortly after, with Eliseo Garcia taking his place, while Andy Nelson was recruited as their new live guitarist and was eventually inducted as a full-time member. Tours with Origin and Cannibal Corpse followed, though the band settled down in late 2012 to write another full-length. That album, Obsolescence
, will hit in October of 2014.
- Demo 2004
- From Ashes (2006)
- Programmed to Consume (2008)
- Leveling the Plane of Existence (2011)
- Obsolescence (2014)
This band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Apocalypse How: A common lyrical theme, with "The Inevitable Return to Darkness" being one of the more in-depth explorations of the subject.
- Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: A minor case with Scott Fuller, who, in addition to playing in Abysmal Dawn, also plays in Annihilated, Incinerated Divinity, and Monte Pittman's backing band, in addition to being the mainman of Plaguereaper (where he plays all the instruments) and working as a producer and engineer.
- Black Metal: Certainly influenced by it, and elements of it have been popping up since Leveling the Plane of Existence.
- Book Ends: Programmed to Consume opens with a creepy spoken word piece (courtesy of Sacha Dunable from Intronaut) over a noise backdrop that leads into the title track; if you listen to the end of "Walk the Path of Fire" closely, you'll realize that the noise passage that ends the song leads back into the beginning of the album.
- Cover Version: They have covered Dissection's "Night's Blood" on Obsolescence.
- Death Metal: Generally leans towards a Tampa Bay-esque style, but gladly includes elements of other genres as needed.
- Darker and Edgier: Programmed to Consume was heavier and had a more eerie atmosphere than the rather melodic From Ashes.
- Epic Rocking: "The Sleeper Awakens" (6:37), "The Inevitable Return to Darkness" (6:11), and "Night's Blood" (7:04).
- Genre-Busting: A mild case, as they blend death metal with tech death, melodic death, black metal, and thrash in a way that is hardly oblique but also makes further classification very difficult. They're not straight death metal, but what they are is up for debate.
- Genre Roulette: Leveling has:
- Straightforward blasting death (Pixilated Ignorance, Rapture Renowned, the title track)
- Melodic death reminiscent of From Ashes (Perpetual Dormancy, Manufactured Humanity)
- Swampy, mid-paced Morbid Angel worship (In Service of Time, My Own Savior)
- Melodic black metal (The Sleeper Awakens)
- Humans Are Bastards: Their main lyrical theme, albeit in a less overtly misanthropic fashion that focuses more on dehumanization and the general pointlessness of existence.
- I Am the Band: Charles Elliott.
- Melodic Death Metal: From Ashes bordered on this, and they still dabble in it here and there.
- Metal Band Mascot: The black hole that shows up in their album art.
- Metal Scream: Charles occasionally busts out some lengthy shrieks that would make Peter Tagtgren proud.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Hard 9, occasional soft 10 on From Ashes, soft 10 on Programmed, solid 10 on most of Leveling, with a dip into a soft 10/hard 9 on the more melodic tracks and an even further dip into an 8 for "The Sleeper Awakens".
- New Sound Album: Every single album has had a noticeable change in sound, which is apparently what Elliott goes for:
- Programmed was significantly heavier and less melody-driven than From Ashes.
- Leveling was faster and even heavier than Programmed and had a noticeable Morbid Angel influence.
- Obsolescence features noticeably more complex arrangements and has a strong undercurrent of black metal that colors the atmosphere.
- Revolving Door Band: Has a lineup change every year or two.
- Soprano and Gravel: Charles Elliott can go from a low roar to a high blackened rasp.
- Special Guest: Moyses Kolesne (Krisiun) did a guest solo on "Pixilated Ignorance", while Kragen Lum (Heathen, Prototype) delivered solos on "Raptured Renowned" and the title track of Leveling. Obsolescence features guest spots from Christian Muenzner and Bobby Koelble.
- Thrash Metal: Leveling has noticeable thrash elements that can probably be owed to Scott Fuller, who played in various thrash bands before joining Abysmal Dawn.