Review Summary: No one should care
In describing Abysmal Dawn’s new album, Leveling the Plane of Existence
, the band’s Myspace states the following: “A tour-de-force of modern death metal mastery, 'Leveling...' is a crushing, front-to-back display of brutality, speed, and virtuosity. Massive, memorable riffs, impossibly deep vocal bellows, and relentless percussion . . . Abysmal Dawn is one of the best new American metal bands.”
Now, you could read that description and cite the general cliché advertisements, which, to be honest, are used to raise hype for well over fifty percent of modern death metal albums these days, if not more. Or, on the other hand, you could see that declaration with a fresh, naive pair of eyes, untested by the foul depths of hell and death, ears being unaccustomed to the death metal genre as a whole, much less its clean, loud-sounding modern take. Genuinely being taken in when subsequently listening to Leveling the Plane of Existence
, you’d hear every bit of that Myspace statement to be true. It’s probable that you could be either kind of reader, your enjoyment of Abysmal Dawn’s music depending, almost solely, on whether you’ve heard music like this and/or read the aforementioned tripe somewhere else before, correct?
But you’re probably the prior, though, getting down to it. The problem with the latter group is that it represents a miniscule number of listeners, to-be-later metalheads, if all goes according to plan. For the majority of us, a thick, overwhelming majority, Abysmal Dawn's Leveling the Plane of Existence
is, very likely, not our very first modern death metal album, and therefore what Abysmal Dawn’s Myspace states is null and void: essentially, it’s bull shi
t. This is because Leveling the Plane of Existence
is neither “crushing”, beyond what is considered average fair, and neither is it a “front-to-back display of brutality, speed, and virtuosity”. Actually, it’s far from that. I repeat: far, far, far
away from that.
The music that Abysmal Dawn bring to the table this year on Leveling the Plane of Existence
lacks the melodic flourishings of their debut, From Ashes
, and finds itself caught between the line of brutal and technical death metal, yet never belonging to either side. Well played? Definitely. Is vocalist Charles Elliott still an admirable, if unexceptional snarler and growler? Once again, he is. But what else can Leveling the Plane of Existence
offer you that better bands like Krisiun
, Decrepit Birth
, or Hour of Penance
could not? Not much. In fact, Abysmal Dawn can’t really offer you anything at all that those other, and better, bands haven't already.
And therein lies Leveling the Plane of Existence
main vice and weakness – its ambiguous modern death metal nature. More or less having an identity, yet not having an identity of its own, you see. You might call to your fellow metalhead on Last Fm, or heaven forbid you know another cave dweller like yourself in real life: “Say, man, you listen to that one band, Abysmal Dawn, and their new album, Leveling the plane of Existence
?” Most likely his answer would be a punctual, definite “No, I haven’t. Who cares about that band anyway?” Or he might misunderstand you and confuse this American death metal band with a bigger, better, and more quality band instead. Either way, his response represents how mediocre and unworthy of your time Leveling the Plane of Existence
is, though. No one cares
, in translation, and if they do they are simply mistaken. The album is merely mid-paced brutal-tech-esque modern death metal without a face, other than the superficial description. Your best bet is to just leave it be and make sure to direct any genre noobs that come your way away from Abysmal Dawn’s Myspace. It’s all just another generic lie.