Again, we come upon an important realization: death metal, even when trite, boring, derivative, etc., is still terrific. That’s why death metal has always been my favorite sub-genre of metal. Sure, many bands today are tearing riffs directly from the likes of Incantation, Dismember and Entombed. Sure, that’s maybe not the most inventive thing that you can do. But does everything have to be inventive? Does every band in the genre of metal have to attempt to catapult the genre forward? I would say the answer is no. Plenty of bands should and do spend time merely living out their fantasy of playing in their favorite band by playing in a band that is somewhat similar to their favorite band. And I’m ok with that. Because, at the end of the day, more metal is a good thing that we should embrace.
If we were to place Dawn of Disease somewhere in the aforementioned imitators, they would draw heavily from the Swedish school, particularly Entombed. The album is somewhat of a “Entombed, Entombed, Grave, Bloodbath, At the Gates, At the Gates, Dismember, At the Gates, Entombed, Nihilist” type affair. Yet, for all their riffs and melodies derivative of Swedish death metal, they make a rock-solid album with Worship the Grave.
Tracks like “Outsourcing the Brain” provide galloping riffs, throat-gouging vocals and blistering double bass. Bouncing between rolling double bass and similarly paced blasts, the track hums along with all the face melting analogies and metaphors one would expect. Similarly, “On the Trails of Death” reveals a band adept at writing straightforward, direct compositions. That track is also fast-paced with blast beats laced throughout. The guitars are quickly picked yet melodic, layered and harmonized throughout.
Alternatively, tracks like the more moderately paced “The Saviours Tomb” lean more towards revealing an early At the Gates influence. Opening with guitar squelches in what is an absolute head-thrasher of a riff, the track devolves into the band’s typical more quickly paced assault. As the track seesaws between the more moderately paced riffage and the all out attack, guitar solos bleed through dragging the listener into a forest of layered melody. Similarly, “Prayer for the Dawn” provides the album’s most beautiful and atmospheric moments as the outro features harmonized guitars in a near sing-song ride into the setting sun.
Dawn of Disease are not reinventing the wheel here. They aren’t Nikola Tesla creating alternating current electricity as way to save millions of lives and dollars. They are merely five dudes from Northern Germany living out their youthful fantasy of playing in an early 90s Swedish death metal band. And that’s OK. Even in 2016 there is room in the metal scene for solid-as-a-rock metal to squeeze in there. Pure, unadulterated Swedeath worship with all the bells and whistles attached.