Oh sure, everyone point and make fun of the shock rock kiddies. They’re so silly in their funny buckled boots, black lipstick and blood covered faces. Wait… what? It’s probably not smart to mess with someone who considers their band to be “Industrial Metal made for murder”. Now most bands say shit like that but they don’t really fit the bill. Dawn of Ashes however, these guys are serious and it shows in their latest album “Anathema”. Read on to find out if it made me murder.
Horror metal and shock rock is a pretty hard thing to take seriously, in my opinion. It’s far too easy to slide off the rails into being silly/campy or simply just suck. Even the shock rock “gods” of Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie stick to the more campy side of things. Dawn of Ashes does no such thing. I will admit, with “Anathema” I walked in with a clean slate. I was not familiar with Dawn Of Ashes. Reading over their history, they’ve gone through some changes over the years since forming in 2001. Currently Kristof Bathory has taken control with his partner in crime Bahemoth. Kristof has made “Anathema” sort of an amalgamation of their various styles over the years. A combination of “Aggrotech”, Industrial-Metal with dashes of Noise and Black Metal.
“Anathema” is twelve tracks of chugging guitars, pounding drums and gravelly, super creepy vocals that range from ear splitting screech to a deep growl. Combined with the Industrial-metal sound, Dawn of Ashes makes excellent use of sampling and seamlessly mixes in symphonic Noise Metal at times. This style is heavily present on tracks “Poisoning the Steps of Babel” and “Torture Device”. Tracks like “Systematic Guillotine” hook onto you with catchy riffs, pounding beats, and interesting samples. All while Kristof’s vocals are stripping you of your hearing, but in a good way. There are a few tracks that give you some sonic relief, sorta. Three tracks “Anathema Part I, II & III” are short bursts of mostly instrumental industrial mayhem. While the track “Morphine Addiction” strips things down to a simpler form of chugging guitars and pounding drums while Kristof lowers the screechy vocals down to a deep, creepy growl.
So has Dawn of Ashes created “Industrial Metal made for murder”? I would say that is a fair description. Any track on this album would be right at home playing in the background of somebody’s kill room or as part of a slasher movie soundtrack. Did it make me murder? Sorry dear reader, it did not. “Anathema” is a heavy album though. I don’t just mean sonically either. “Anathema” is not an album you’ll spin up at 8am while drinking your morning coffee. It’s an excellent album that takes it’s themes, sounds and music seriously and pulls you into a very dark place. Some of us enjoy it here.
Editors Note: If you enjoy creepy, scary Industrial like Dawn of Ashes, be sure to check out Chrysalide and listen to their album “Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life” as well. They’re like an evil Skinny Puppy.