Concert Review: Abysmal Dawn, Vader, February 18, Velvet Underground


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I first got into death metal way back in my high school days when a good friend turned me onto all of the greats of the genre – stalwarts like Carcass, Entombed, Deicide, etc. So it always does my heart good to see newer bands that are still churning out stuff with a similar old school vibe. Abysmal Dawn is one such band, although The Los Angeles-based death metallers don’t quite qualify as all that new anymore with three albums out over the course of a nearly 20 year career and another on the way soon. They are still a new-ish band to me though and one that can definitely hold their own with O.G.s such as Poland’s Vader, with whom they were sharing the bill on this evening alongside Vitriol and Hideous Divinity.

Abysmal Dawn are currently on tour in advance of their upcoming fifth album (and first in six years) Phylogenesis, coming out April 17th on Season of Mist. Frontman Charles Elliott took a moment to hype up the new album at one point, telling the crowd, “You can pick that shit up in the corner,” before catching himself and adding, “Well, a free sticker at least.”

Their set focused mostly on older material, though they did take some time to preview a couple of tracks off the new album, including lead single “Hedonistic.” Based on those tracks, the upcoming album looks promising, with each song offering up some impressive old school death metal full of blastbeats and impressive riffing. For his part, Elliott also took every opportunity to get the crowd riled up and active throughout their set.

“I want to see you moving out there,” he said, in an effort to get the whole room involved. “I don’t care if you’re in the pit, if you’re on the side … bang your head, shake your ass. Whatever.” I will admit that this comment set my mind off on a couple of different tangents, first wondering if death metal twerking was a thing, and then getting Mystikal’s “Shake Ya Ass” running through my head for a few seconds. Such thoughts, however, were quickly beaten out of my head by the band’s sonic attack.

Up next were Vader, and while Abysmal Dawn’s sound is clearly inspired by old school sounds, Vader are literally old school, having formed back in the ’80s and releasing their first album, The Ultimate Incantation, back in 1992. Much like Abysmal Dawn, the Polish legends are also touring in advance of a yet to be released album, the upcoming Solitude In Madness.

The band ran through a set of songs from throughout their career that might have felt a little too brief for the hardcore fans, though the band did mention that they would return soon once the album is out, with frontman Piotr Wiwczarek adding, “See you soon. See you next time. See you in hell!”

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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