Release DetailsLABEL Unmatched Brutality
RELEASED ON 12/1/2004
Dawn of Ash
posted on 1/2005 By:
Featuring members of Disgorge, Brodequin, and the now deceased Cinerary, Liturgy is a formidable addition to Unmatched Brutality's already deceptively strong roster. Playing a brand of chaotic deathgrind laced with pungent wafts of rumbling slam metal, Dawn of Ash is a sinister release which features the apt musicianship of modern American death metal, but doesn't forsake the gritty sensibilities of the genre's forebearers.
Dawn of Ash is a bit of a hard album to tackle as a reviewer as its sound is somewhat lost in between two eras. While not entirely innovative, it's hard to pinpoint many acts playing a similar style, as most of their contemporaries have either moved on or ceased to be. However, to get a basic idea, imagine what a typical Unique Leader act (Disgorge, Decrepit Birth) would sound like if they were stripped of the advantages offered by modern recording technology, and forced to play right off the cuff. For some, this kind of fare may seem like an unnecessary step backwards. However, Liturgy's ability to meet standards of modern technicality, without castrating their sound at the alter of Pro Tools will come as a real treat to those who have grown weary of the somewhat sterile approach of the aforementioned bands.
However, Liturgy's appeal is not limited tonostalgia. Their ability to present their sound in such an unadulterated form is a plus, but their relentless musicianship and varied songwriting are the real backbone of this release. Dawn of Ash is really a soundtrack for the short attention span. Liturgy race through tracks like men possessed. Densely packing their songs with frantic palm muted riff-sets, they shuffle through both varied time signatures and influences that enliven the songs with a sense of vitality and unpredictability. "Scars of the Saints" alternates between lightning-fast, cyclic riffing and a groove-laden chromatic pit-riff reminiscent of a young Cannibal Corpse. "The Bishop's Gathering" concludes with a monstrous break down derived directly from Devourment's play book, and it's executed well enough as to not sound blatantly imitative.
What I hope I've put across in this review is this -- Liturgy are an immensely talented group, who due to a variety of self imposed restrictions have a somewhat narrowed appeal. For many, a release such as Dawn of Ash will result in little more than frustration. However, if you fall into the demographic Liturgy shamelessly caters to, then you will be absolutely thrilled with this album. There's no doubt in my mind that this band has succeeded in appealing to their target audience, whether or not you fall in to that category is up for you to decide.
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