Published Apr 16, 2020It's been six years since Abysmal Dawn unleashed their last record, Obsolescence, making this gap the longest wait between any two of their albums since their debut in 2006. A consistent sound and stable output have solidified Abysmal Dawn as a respected band in modern death metal, and Phylogenesis doesn't take a single step off the path the group has followed to end up where they are.
The technicality, brutality and skilled craftsmanship fans should expect from this L.A. outfit by now is all there and all intact. Right from the start, Phylogenesis is a breakneck-pace death metal onslaught, rife with hook-laden, crawling guitar leads and chaotically methodical drumming steering the songs into carefully calculated oblivion. At nine tracks, the album is a good length, and adding another song or two would have run the risk of it being overly long.
Production-wise, vocalist and guitarist Charles Elliott has done a fine job handling the mix, finding the appropriate ratio of clarity to aggression. The heaviness of the songs is captured well, with Elliott's immense vocals booming overtop of the belligerent instrumental work.
Any fan of Abysmal Dawn will appreciate Phylogenesis as another clean cut of the band's typical sound. For death metal fans who have yet to discover the group, this album is as good an entry point as any other. It'll fit nicely into the band's catalogue, and at least a couple songs should continue to make their way onto setlists after the album's supporting touring is complete. But fans in search of some kind of new direction for death metal won't find much from the band's rather formulaic approach. Phylogenesis is a decent example of straight-up death metal, but there are thousands more of exactly that out there. (Season of Mist)