Abysmal Dawn - _Leveling the Plane of Existence_
(Relapse Records, 2011)
by: Aaron McKay (7 out of 10)
This Los Angeles, California based outfit has again resurfaced with their third studio full-length album. This new, still smoldering slab of technical death metal entitled _Leveling the Plane of Existence_ witnesses Abysmal Dawn marching headlong into the vast expanse after the intuitively inspired _From Ashes_. These committed band mates attempt to establish themselves on this effort with a teeth-gnashing, entrepreneurial approach highlighting their particular style of developmental death metal.

A suitable follow-on to _From Ashes_, _Leveling the Plane of Existence_ tracks along the path of distinguished colleagues such as Gorguts, Morbid Angel and Suffocation, but elaborates by meshing an exacting stylistic balance of their own design.

This nearly forty minute effort combines Abysmal Dawn's knack for ferocious intensity as well as instinctively expressive resonance. Founder Charles Elliott (guitars, vocals), Mike Cosio (bass) and Scott Fuller (drums) create a musical environment whereby Abysmal Dawn in this leaner incarnation, with Elliott solely handling all guitar duties, comes across to the listener not as lacking in any sense musically, but rather healthier and more robust in sound and texture.

Seemingly, the tidal wave that _Leveling the Plane of Existence_ creates crests as the album hastens forward. "In Service of Time," track three, followed by "Rapture Renowned," the second instrumental on _LtPoE_, "Our Primitive Nature", rolls directly into "Perpetual Dormancy" has all the experiences of piggybacking a whiskey barrel down Niagara Falls.

At times, purely as an aside, songs like the last track, "The Sleeper Awakens", could be mistaken for a musical portrayal of a Dying Fetus meets Jungle Rot Bronx brawl. In other choice instances, _Leveling the Plane of Existence_ edges forward a touch since _From Ashes_, but appears to never really escape the snare of ostensibly recreating previous releases.

Hope is not lost. The incontrovertible potential exhibited on _Leveling the Plane of Existence_ remains promising. _LtPoE_ is put together well musically. Lyrically, Abysmal Dawn shrugs off any "eviler-than-thou" shtick and actually conveys lucid verse after verse. So, with another release hopefully again mixed and mastered by Erik Rutan, the metal community may potentially have a modern day Carcass on its hands. Abysmal Dawn represents a huge bonus on the upcoming Kataklysm / All Shall Perish tour in 2011.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/AbysmalDawn

(article published 6/2/2011)

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