Release DetailsLABEL Pop Faction Records
RELEASED ON 7/24/2005
Manifest Damnation (The Creation Affect)
posted on 6/2005 By:
Hailing from Blacksburg, Virginia, this quintet delivers a solid if hardly groundbreaking melodic death/black/thrash assault, with lots of melodic chops and seething vocals. Arch Enemy and Dark Tranquillity shouldn't be too worried, but like Atlas Dying, as far as the US front in concerned, Accursed Dawn have the potential to come from nowhere and give US melodic death metal some respectability.
With a strange but dramatic WWII meets Lord of the Rings sample to kick things off, “Conquest of a Dying Culture” does the standard album introduction with a high quality and robust pace that gets your attention immediately, but can they keep it up? Somewhat. The six minute “Last Requiem for the Storm” keeps up the pretty high standard including some sweeping solos and an impressive if clichéd acoustic mid section. Instrumental “Euphony of the Night Treader” delivers the stoutest riffage so far, with a far more Gothenburg trot, rather than the urgent, blacker metal based tracks preceding it, but without vocals, for me the track is a little empty. Another six minute track “The Thunder Swarm” is where the album starts to show its flaws and Accursed Dawn’s slight lack of tightness as the track seems like a mish mash of thrash, black and death metal thrown together haphazardly and the general hodge-podge of extremity isn’t delivered particularly convincingly as the drummer Brian Switzer seems to throw in awkward fills here and there that don’t fit the pace of the song. Its solo heavy climax offers some saving grace, but that’s a lot of slightly sloppy music to sit through. Amends is made during the melodically hectic “The Breath that Enkindles Insurrection” and its stirring mid song death metal romp.
The only thing holding some of the album’s better moments back is the rather ineffectual production, that sounds like a regular heavy metal production; it's fine for wailing solos and some of the blast beats on tracks like “Dead of Winter”, “Triumph of a Dying Breed” or the instrumental “Flight From Serpent Wings” as it fits the slightly more primal nature of the music, but the guitars have no girth whatsoever so a rumble laden track like “The Breath that Enkindles Insurrection” loses its power and presence.
Still, the mix of genres on this album offer far more than the black metal storm of Throcult or the dreary harmonies of Enforsaken as it mixes the two with a more convincing European gloss that doesn't seem forced. With a better studio and a little tightening up, Accursed Dawn may be able to break into the higher ranks of US metal populated by the likes of Epoch of Unlight and Forest of Impaled.
Hey, it's not metalcore, right?
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