Leveling the Plane of Existence
posted on 1/2011 By:
Leveling the Plane of Existence is the third album from Los Angeles’ Abysmal Dawn. Abysmal Dawn’s members can definitely play, and the band deals out some punishing death metal, but they fail to cross the threshold into either the technical or brutal realm. Essentially, Abysmal Dawn is a band that plays competent, relatively bullshit-free American death metal. The band works within the traditional confines of the style, but Abysmal Dawn’s sound has the precision and polish that marks it as a 21st-century band.
The first three proper tracks on Leveling the Plane of Existence pass by without making much of an impression. They're all straight forward death metal numbers that are energetic and well performed, but not particularly memorable. Abysmal Dawn branches out on the album’s second half with some slower, heavier material, some more melodic material and some that is a little of both. “Perpetual Dormancy” proceeds at a slow march before taking flight with some lyrical, harmonized melodies, accented with some subtle synth work. “Manufactured Humanity” takes things a little too far in the melodic death direction, but at 2:58 it does not overstay its welcome. The album’s most memorable track is the slow rumbler “My Own Savior” the main riff of which is reminiscent of Gateways to Annihilation-era Morbid Angel. The band takes a bit of a misstep with the closing track, “The Sleeper Awakens.” With “Sleeper” Abysmal Dawn makes an attempt at a moodier, more atmospheric song, but the tracks awkward whispered vocals, lethargic pace and a less-than-compelling set of riffs make what was meant to be grim and menacing in fact long and boring.
While Leveling the Plane of Existence has a few catchy riffs here and there and some very tasteful solos, for the most part, its songs just go in one ear and out the other. I hate to be so dismissive of a work that likely took a lot of time, effort and money to create, but in this age of market saturation, there is no shortage good death metal. Good is just not good enough anymore. As hard as Abysmal Dawn may have worked on Leveling the Plane of Existence, they are going to have to work a little harder if they want to make a lasting mark in the annals of death metal.
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