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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: Entombed A.D. - Dead Dawn


Dead Dawn is the second album by 4 ex-members of Entombed, after the unfortunate split that took place in 2013. To provide a little backstory, Entombed, one of Sweden’s death metal pioneers with several landmark albums, such as ‘’Left Hand Path’’, ‘’Clandestine’’ and their first so called death ‘n roll album, ‘’Wolverine Blues’’, had to cease productions under that name due to Alex Hellid leaving the band, forcing the remaining members of the band to add the ‘’A.D’’ to their name to avoid legal consequences. If you are, or have been a fan of the band, you will notice that the difference is not very subtle. Entombed A.D.’s 2014 ‘debut’ called ‘’Back to the Front’’ was not a bad album, it has its up’s and down’s, but it definitely did not reach the level of success that previous albums did. However, this album may hold the potential to restore the band’s name to its former glory, and here’s why:

Since the release of 1993’s ‘’Wolverine Blues’’ the band has been paving the way for a new style that mashes up elements of rock and roll, heavy metal and death metal with the authentic ‘’buzzsaw’’ guitar sounds and roaring death metal vocals combined with a taste for rock and roll riffs and solo’s. Until 2007, when ‘’Serpent Saints’’ was released (the last studio recordings released under the old Entombed), this had been a recurring sound, to the point of simple boredom to some critics, though some songs did hold true to the first two albums as pure death metal tracks. Well, have I got some good news for those who do not favor this sound so much: Entombed A.D. is back to kick some serious ass!

Dead Dawn is a great gamechanger for Entombed A.D. With ‘’Back to the Front’’, the band proved that it could keep the train going with just a single axeman in their line-up. However, it should be noted that ever since they split, their work has been kind of…different. It’s not as raw as it used to, but it sure is powerful. For example, the title track is definitely one of the best. It is very dark, it is very death, but it is also very Entombed. I hits you like a train, the drums are just remorseless with insane fills followed by slower interludes, there’s the guitar and vocal sounds that you are used to with these guys, they cranked up the bass too and best off all…it’s melodic as fuck and the lead guitar work on this album is great! Another track that caught my attention is ‘’As the World Fell’’, which is a great example of the slower jams on this record. I love how they filled the instrumental parts with simple, yet fitting riffs, adding to the doomy feeling this album is doing an awesome job at creating. ‘’Hubris Fall’’ is also one of few slow pace tracks and is quite similar to the previously described song, but again, the band succeeded to make it stand on its own. ‘’Total Death’’ is a track that will show you that the band hasn’t forsaken their death ‘n roll antics, with an amazing death metal adaptation to rock n roll guitar techniques and upbeat tempo. The album’s closer, ‘’Not What it Seems’’ is kind of a mix of everything present in the other songs. It has the unusual piano intro, the melodic parts in the background are essential to the song’s (and album’s) atmosphere, and there is a noticeable change between two entirely different beats.

From what I’ve read, this album seems to be what fans have been asking for since the early years. The death ‘n roll sound seems to have worn off a bit (though I don’t think it’s not nice to listen to. Just listen to the ‘’Inferno’’ album and see why), the record sounds more refined, I no longer feel as if there is a member of the band missing, something I definitely did feel when listening to ‘’Back to the Front’’ and there is a general vibe to this album that connects all the songs and that’s something new. Any fan of early Entombed will at least be able to enjoy this album, it might not be the best release so far, but this one sure as hell has given me new hope! I give this album a solid 7/10!

Written by Nino Milillo

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