2017 has been a great year for death metal as we had new releases from some of the best death metal bands – Decapitated, Immolation and Mastodon to name a few. With more albums to come, death metal proves to be dominant throughout 2017. One such anticipated release is Dawn Of Disease’s upcoming sophomore effort Ascension Gate. The album itself flaunts ten tracks with each one of them written within a year. Did they score high on this album?! Well we are about to find that out.
Ascension Gate starts with a melodious intro track, “Passage”. The floor tom fills at the beginning send chills up your spine. The song quickly transits from soft to heavy, when the genuinely well done guitar riff covers the euphonious solo in the background and pulling the plug with typical machine gun-like blast beats.
“Perimortal” is a perfect track to show what the rest of the record is going sound like. Starting with a solo section which quickly gains in speed while intertwined with the frenetic work done by the drummer, by keeping the solo alive without overpowering it with unnecessary blast beat patterns. This solo seems to be eternal as it appears every single time in order to facilitate the transitions. Without being monotonous, Dawn of Disease did use another solo, but it is the intro solo that tends to be more catchy and harmonious. This track is enough to prove that these guys are not new to this game.
Playing it ever since their formation in the year 2003, Dawn of Disease took melodic death metal by storm when they released their debut album in 2004. The story doesn’t end there. After taking a hiatus, the band regrouped in 2009 with co-founder-cum-vocalist Markasz deciding to carry the torch ahead for DoD. Their story reflects their ability to work hard so as to stamp their feet firmly on this ever-growing field of death metal.
Speaking of their exemplary song writing skills, “Beneath the Water” shows the complexity of their music. Instigating the track with a compilation of shredding guitar licks and steadied drumming the song is not at all melodic compared to the preceding tracks. Short blasts to cover up the chaotic shredding in the background, this track is a ticking time bomb. Next up, Title track “Ascension Gate”. Dwelling on their original sound, “Ascension Gate” has both a soft and an angry face. With a super-catchy guitar solo to portray the softness and harsh vocals entangled with thick guitar riffs and brutal double bass drumming at the midway mark to showcase the angriness.
The shred-feast abides as “Akephalos” is relentlessly heavy and tight. With one of the best vocalists in the field, DoD utilise every single ability of Markasz as his vocals seem to be distinctive and subtle. Incidentally, Akephalos is a name given to a headless being according to demonology. Well, this song will surely behead you with its aggressiveness!
With half of the setlist abolished, “Fleshless Journey” is the first stop for the second half of this long awaited melodic expedition. This 6-minute track is a slow poison, starting with a soft intro, the song gains its true face after a harmonic solo. As soon as it ceases DoD unleash hell. “Lucid” is an in-your-face track which has no such foreplays, it comes right to the point. However, at this point one might get tired of the repetitive guitar licks as the fretboard gymnastics seem to sound a bit generic, and the less-complex drumming makes the song hard to digest. DoD did realise this issue as they deliver a solution by incorporating a breakdown-ish guitar riff bewildered with a double bass kick punch to add heaviness.
It hurts to say that we are now left with only one track. “Mundus Inversus” is a nine minute track with more complex layers of guitar samples. With every guitar riff made to sound like a chainsaw which indeed stabs countlessly many times until one becomes an Akephalo! Brutal-heavy-dissonant would be a proper explanation for this track. Yet again DoD portray softness by adding harmonic fretboard licks and deliberate guitar riffage to keep the songs together without exposing the hard-to-achieve transitions.
Dawn of Disease did score high on this album, but for a band like them this is not at all enough to show their ability. As discussed before some of the songs do sound generic and less-complex, when heard more than a single time they might tire you.
However some songs do have complex and rhythmic structures. Based on all of this I can’t say this album is masterpiece, but at the same this album can’t be bordered as trash. For one-time listeners (ie, when the album is played for the first time) it is sounds brilliant but when played repeatedly, it might bore you with some songs like “Akephalos”, “Mundus Inversus” and “Perimortal” being the definite exceptions.
This album might get mixed responses among audience, but I’m going to blast some songs repeatedly till their next album hit the shelves. If you are a melo-death fan then pro-orders are available. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Ascension Gate is out on August 11th through Napalm Records