Thrash Hits

January 31st, 2011

Album: Abysmal Dawn – Levelling The Plane Of Existence

Abysmal Dawn
Levelling The Plane Of Existence
Relapse Records
7 February 2011

by Tom Dare

It is perhaps fitting that Abysmal Dawn’s third record should be released so close to the anniversary of that seminal first Possessed album. That the doomsayers that have been claiming death metal was just a walking corpse simply waiting for the final gory takedown are proving to be so spectacularly wrong is entirely down to bands like this releasing records of this quality.

The realms of sonic violence are criss-crossed with well-trodden paths, and present more than a handful of pitfalls for the unwary. Stay too close to the original blueprint, and you can end up sounding tired and dated. Drift too far into the brutal territory and you risk joining the mass of repetitive tedium that end of the spectrum dishes up with worrying frequency. Focusing on the technical aspects can generate some highly impressive but thoroughly sterile music, and heading down the accessibly modern route forged by Behemoth can get you moronic backlash. That Levelling The Plane Of Existence avoids these completely is a colossal achievement- and an exceptionally enjoyable one at that.

Abysmal Dawn build on their own sound, their pure unadulterated evil sure to please anyone whose attitude to death metal is “get the fuck on with it and start bludgeoning”. While this unholy rampage provides a genuinely convincing and bleakly horrible soundtrack to the destruction of the world, they don’t forget that the listener may just want some memorable riffs to listen to. For all the horror oozing out of every orifice, the air guitar potential is surprisingly high, the assortment of recognisable licks and leads sinking their claws in almost immediately and dragging you along on this journey of the putrid.

After the requisite intro, ‘Pixilated Ignorance’ kicks off with grooving barbarity that takes in sinister blackness. ‘In Service Of Time’ chugs and spits menacingly before the evil sheet-metal riffing of ‘Rapture Renowned’ manages to be both scathing and melodic in equal measure, and by the time the oppressive calm that opens magnificent closer ‘The Sleeper Awakens’ rolls around to land its sucker punch, Levelling The Plane Of Existence has firmly cemented itself as one of the early benchmarks for death metal in 2011. Abysmal Dawn have surpassed their own already-lofty standards.

Watch Abysmal Dawn in the recording studio:

This is one of those rare gems of a record that just gets on with it, destroys fucking everything in short order and, the task complete, leaves again without ever overstaying its welcome. The result is a crushing monstrosity of an album that leaves you salivating for more. Levelling The Plane Of Existence is a bold statement of how death metal is done in the modern era, and that there is still at least as much life in the scene now as there has ever been.


Sounds like: Death, Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal
Top tracks: Rapture Renowned, Levelling The Plane Of Existence, The Sleeper Awakens

Abysmal Dawn – Levelling The Plane Of Existence tracklisting:
The Age Of Ruin
Pixilated Existence
In Service Of Time
Rapture Renowned
Our Primitive Nature
Perpetual Dormancy
Levelling The Plane Of Existence
Manufactured Humanity
My Own Savior
The Sleeper Awakens



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