Thursday, 7 June 2012

DAWN OF DISEASE - Crypts Of The Unrotten (2012)

01  Descent Into Another World
02  Alone With The Dead
03  Knife Vs Flesh
04  The Unrotten
05  Skinless And Impaled
06  Enter The Gates
07  Calcined Bones
08  Catacombs
09  Final Resurrection
10  Devouring Obscurity
11  But Death Goes On
12  Soulless Shape

The decision of vocalist/co-founder Tomasz Wisniewski to revamp and reform Dawn Of Disease in 2009 after dissolving in 2007 with one CD to its name (2004's 'Through Bloodstained Eyes') has proven to be a wise one. 'Crypts of the Unrotten' (released April 27th, 2012) bruises and batters with Stockholm forcefulness, but does so with a character all its own; all the while keeping you nodding right along with memorable Gothenburg-derived songwriting that stops well short of the slickness that plagued the scene in later years.

The "Crypts Of The Unrotten" concept was based on the eerie Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, which were constructed after the death of Silvestro of Gubbio, a famous 16th century monk. Four long limestone corridors underneath the Capuchin Church hold about 8,000 mummies, lying in repose or hung from hooks by their necks and feet and wearing their best clothes.

Musically, this record isn’t that bad even though it closely adheres to the generic formula of having typical death metal growls being accompanied by heavy, enormous-sounding guitar passages and standard blast beats. All the band's influences seem to shine through on the first half of the record. There were riffs and breakdowns that reminded me very much of Death and Morbid Angel's later works as well as a multitude of classic Swedish death metal acts (Entombed in particular).

Whilst the second half of 'Crypts of the Unrotten' settles into much of the same pattern, it’s remarkable that certain parts keep leaping out at you. When you dissect what’s on offer, you can more or less attribute each and every part to an identifiable influence, and there’s virtually nothing which can be identified as completely original. However, Dawn of Disease establish a niche for themselves here, sitting snugly between the more brutal Swedish death fare of Vomitory and the uplifting yet savage melodic death of Amon Amarth. So, lack of originality notwithstanding, they do a very admirable job of combining the best elements of both approaches and twisting them into penetrating hooks. Stand-outs include; "Alone With The Dead", "Enter The Gates", "Catacombs" and the tempo-shifting triumph that is "But Death Goes On".

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