Dawn of Ashes

Genocide Chapters

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Heavy metal bands have a hard enough time convincing their fans to tag along when they make minute alterations in their musical direction, but Dawn of Ashes face an even steeper uphill battle in this regard, having accepted their melodic black metal calling following a series of industrial music efforts to start off their career. Let's just say it ain't easy transforming a rave into a Halloween party, and despite the abundantly metallic hallmarks pervading the group's third album, Genocide Chapters, you can't exactly blame some folks for not buying into it just yet. Thing is, once you get past Dawn of Ashes' rather calculated, freaky-deaky cartoon-like song titles ("Seething the Flesh in the River of Phlegethon," "Carnal Consummation in the Empty Space," anyone?), there's nothing altogether wrong with their musical efforts to blend in. If anything, it's the fact that they do, for the most part, simply blend in with existing bands of this ilk instead of carving a unique niche that poses a problem. But there's hope for eventual distinction in the lingering industrial-tight percussion driving tracks like (big breath now) "Conjuration of the Maskim's Black Blood" and "London's Anthem for the Pleasure of Mutilation," as well as the complex syncopation achieved betwixt hammering percussion and bruising riffs. Slower, moodier offerings like "Nyarlathotep's Children of the Void" and "Transformation Within Fictional Mutation" find their calling draped in the eerie synthesizer melodies and ghostly backdrops cobwebbed all around them, eventually lulling the listener into a mildly hypnotic state. (See, it grows on you.) And it's precisely this kind of cynicism, ideally followed by patient, unexpected seduction, that Dawn of Ashes should expect from the heavy metal community in general, as they seek to reinvent themselves within these musical parameters.

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