June 14, 2013 Dawn Of Ashes – Anathema (Album review)
Dawn Of Ashes have gone through many changes since their inception back in 2001. Their debut album Sacred Fever (2005) was harsh EBM/ Aggrotech. The band continued down the same genre path with In the Acts of Violence (2006) and The Crypt Injection (2007). The band made a daring change in their sound in 2010 with Genocide Chapters. Shedding most of their electronic sound and turned themselves into a dark melodic death metal band. For many fans this was drastic change in direction. Going from harsh dance beats to heavy metal guitar riffs and guitar solos causing confusion and dissatisfaction among dedicated fans. The album is actually quiet good though and vastly overlooked. To support the album the band went on tour with Norwegian symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir in hopes of attracting a larger audience. The tour was overall a success and Dawn Of Ashes were on their way as a metal band. In 2013 the new found metal fans were excited for the band’s latest offering in Anathema.
Anathema is a very interesting album from start to finish. It’s clear the band decided to take a step back from the metal side of things and rediscover more of their electronic roots. With that said they have seemed to have found a niche somewhere in between the two. The track “A Breathing Holocaust” is a dark sinister mix of symphonic elements, dark vocals and electronic sounds. “Poisoning the Steps of Babel” is possibly the most disturbing track on the entire album. The track features a guest appearance by vocalist Nero Bellum of Psyclon Nine. Laced with guitars, symphonic elements similar to that of Dimmu Borgir, and heavy on spoke word sampling. The song sounds like it has come from the gallows of hell. “Insidious (Of the Judas Breed)” is more of a heavy darkwave track. With a dance like back beat, harsh vocals, and guitars this song will have you throwing your metal horns in the air and body moving as well. “Ending a Harrowing Wish” is yet another dark eerie track. Kristof Bathory expands his vocal approach more with this track mixing a Marilyn Manson style approach to parts with his signature harsh vocals. “Torture Device (The Final Formula for Torment)” is one of the most dynamic tracks on the album with areas of crunching guitar, electronic, and synthesizers. The song creates a intense evil atmosphere bound to please the darkest of hearts. The track “Scars On Scars” is a slower track complimented by atmospheric keyboards and a guest appearance of Gary Zon of Dismantled.
The band has found a good balance of electronic dance beats, dark metal, and synth rock. The entire album lyrically and musically has the feeling as if you are trapped in horror movie. Upon first listen many older fans may feel more comfortable with this sound opposed to the Genocide Chapters album. Fans reached from the Genocide Chapters album may feel they are being thrown a curve with Anathema. Either way both fan bases should be rather pleased with the direction the band is going. If you are into music with a dark intense atmospheric sound Anathema will quench your blood lust. Cryptic Rock give this album 3.5 stars out of 5.