By WILL KRISS
Artist: Dawn of Ashes
Dawn of Ashes has been well known in the past for switching genres and styles between albums, originally being an aggrotech-based sound, but slowly evolving into full-blown industrial metal with elements of horror, death metal, and black metal.
The 2010 release of “Genocide Chapters” (Metal Blade Records) saw the band move into an almost exclusively black metal sound, and they toured with Dimmu Borgir and Enslaved to help support it.
In what could very well be their most diverse album to date, the California-based industrial metal outfit has returned with Anathema, their sixth full-length album. This album effectively combines all of these elements into a unique and well-balanced mix. The title track is divided into three parts over the album – “Anathema Part 1 (Scorned Upon),” which opens the album, “Anathema Part 2 (Burned at the Stake)” and “Anathema Part 3 (Primordial Abomination),” which closes the album.
Listening to this is like listening to a horror movie. After the psychotic and distorted introduction, the album moves to the second track, “A Breathing Holocaust.” This song showcases only a taste of what is to come. The black metal-esque screeches of frontman Kristof Bathory are set against distorted drums and soaring chants and keyboards. “I burn right through you, like brimstone, fire,” chants Bathory over the ever-increasing tempo. However, as I said, it is only a taste.
The end of “A Breathing Holocaust” gives only a brief pause before it leads into my personal favorite off this album – “Poisoning the Steps of Babel,” featuring none other than Nero Bellum of Psyclon Nine lending his vocal talents to the song. The atmospheric orchestral instruments and effects are what make this song so amazing; it builds up, but slows into a soft piano interlude, before dropping the listener back into the main chorus with hardly any warning. It is a testament to how well the band has matured their sound.
This album keeps the listeners on their toes by only allowing a minute to slow down. The orchestral elements remind me of bands such as Cradle of Filth, who also use orchestral pieces in their sound.
The rest of the album is a dark, spiraling, evil, and incredible piece of work that absolutely must be heard to be appreciated. Other highlights from this album include the glorification of debauchery from “Blood, Sex, and Black Magic,” as well as the tortured whispers of “Morphine Addiction.”
I highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys horror movies, industrial music or metal music. Halloween is right around the corner, and if you are in need of a soundtrack for your party, look no further than Anathema. This is truly one of the most impressive industrial releases I’ve heard in a long time, and already has earned a spot in my top ten albums of 2013.