Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Abysmal Dawn--Leveling the Plane of Existence
I've fallen out of death metal lately. It sucks, because when people ask me what kind of music I'm in to, my first answer is always "crusty death metal." I will usually elaborate, but since nobody ever knows what D-beat or grind are, it's a lot easier to just say "death metal," because that gives them all the information they need to stop talking to me. Does it make me feel so very lonesome when people stop talking to me because of my predilection for music that everybody hates? Shut up. What are you, some kind of psychiatrist? DID MY MOTHER SEND YOU?!?
But the truth is that I'm a guitar nerd, an unapologetic fret watcher, and for years and years death metal was my very favorite thing. As a genre, it has it all; shreddy solos, guttural slamz, double bass, and the ability to repel all but the most damaged women. It's exactly the kind of thing that a Battlestar Galactica nerd would be into, because then women would reject them for their repulsive taste in music rather than their in-depth knowledge of the gravity on different, made-up planets from a television show. And I know that I'd rather have a woman close up shop on me because I'm so unapologetically sweatpants-oriented than because she found my movie-quality Chewbacca mask that I wear when I want to feel powerful.
Because you can't take a picture of me enjoying death metal that's going to humiliate me on Facebook, but you can take a picture of a dude whacking off in a Chewbacca mask that, if we were in high school still, I'd have to change schools and reinvent my image to something cool, like a bully with no personality, or perhaps some kind of mopey goth.
Luckily for me, though, I found a woman who doesn't like the kind of music that I listen to and puts up with it, and I was never caught beating off in my Chewbacca mask, so that leaves me relatively humiliation-free and able to listen to as much shreddy guttural slamming that I can get my hands on. Also luckily for me, the world is not yet bereft of death metal bands who know how to write riffs that will put a tent in those death metal sweatpants you're wearing, and Abysmal Dawn is one of those bands.
Leveling the Plane of Existence is Abysmal Dawn's newest album, and it totally fucking shreds. I'm all about mindless tech death, but I'll tell you something, and don't hesitate to spread it around:
Abysmal Dawn write really good songs.
Unlike most standard tech death bands, Abysmal Dawn take some time to arrange their riffs in a way that doesn't sound like a bunch of willy-nilly guitar gymnastics. No! They instead write songs that are well arranged, with distinguishable parts and dynamics (even if those dynamics just tend to be death metal-style loud/slightly louder dynamics). The songs are explosive, and the vokills are super guttural. I'm always impressed when I see A.D. live, because their singer also plays guitar and he can do vokills and play these insane riffs at the same time. AT THE SAME TIME! It's breathtaking. I mean, listen to the title track or "Pixilated Ignorance." Do you hear that riff going on under the vokills? He's doing that, too! AT THE SAME TIME!
I'd like to write him a poem about how I love his guitar playing, but if there's one thing I've learned, it's that dudes get really creeped out of another dude writes an erotic poem about them, even if it's to celebrate how much I appreciate their guitar playing. What a world!
The one thing that I take umbrage with is the album artwork. Sure, it looks awesome. But, like their 2008 crusher Programmed to Consume, Leveling the Plane of Existence features a prominent black hole. But what is it sucking up? It would seem that all the humans are far enough away that their only concern is that centipede monster that takes up the rest of the frame (though it does appear that perhaps the centipede did away with the humans in the swift and efficient manner of...a centipede, I guess). But why is this kind of artwork never anatomically correct for the monsters that inhabit the ruined universe depicted? It drives me crazy! I don't know much about giant worm monsters, but if they don't asexually reproduce like the common earthworm, that means that there is a hidden world of centipede wangs and snatches artfully concealed.
I call bullshit on that.
Artists, if you want your artwork to be really brutal and horrifying, you need to start giving your towering centipede monsters the giant, menacing cocks that they almost certainly possess. What would be more frightening than looking out onto your city, seeing a huge wormy monster destroying it, and then noticing that it has a dong the size of a school bus? I think we can all agree that seeing the monster's throbbing member would be the worst part of some kind of otherworldly invasion. Here Abysmal Dawn, I drew up a pee-pee that you can just photoshop onto the existing artwork for maximum effect:
And maybe consider adding some other worm monsters or something for the next album artwork. Make it look like they're having fun or firing witty quips about how delicious humans taste back and forth. Examples:
"It's better than eating at Arby's!"
"Just like mama used to make."
"I like humans, but not when they taste like humans. Pass the ranch dressing."
Step it up, Abysmal Dawn.
You should go listen to the album, since it streams for free on their Bandcamp page. It's fucking awesome.