Dawn of Disease // Crypts of the Unrotten
Rating: 2.5/5.0 — Another good example of the Imperius curse-casting album artwork
Label: NoiseArt Records
Websites: dawnofdisease.com | myspace
Release Dates: Out now!
“Yes, master. Your wish is my command,” your brain tells your body, sending a nerve signal to your right hand to reach out for this CD on the rack. Now, Muggles, this is why you got to visit a record shop with a buddy armed with a pail of cold water to wake you up from your stupor! Alternatively, if you’re forever alone, you can wear a straitjacket to the record shop instead. While the album artwork is eye-catching, this fairly new German death metal group doesn’t impress one beyond the fact that they make death metal music that sounds generically pleasing. It’s practically impossible for every band in the world to be pioneering new sub-genres, because such widespread innovation is simply not possible, but even within the confines of an established sub-genre, there are many ways to make it creative and fresh (which Dawn of Disease doesn’t do).
First of all, the band name itself is quite a turnoff. Dawn of Ashes, Before the Dawn, Dawn of Disease… enough with the “dawn” references in extreme metal band names. [You apparently have never looked up the word “black” on metal archives. – AMG] Can people start using “dusk” more often instead? [Bloodstained Dusk? Try this on for size. – AMG] It’s gloomier and fits better with the extreme metal label. Secondly, the lyrical theme for this sophomore full-length is pretty generic while somewhat interesting from an archaeological point of view, because the band stated on Blabbermouth that “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.” Sure, I totally get that such stuff can be fascinating and probably even make for good material for the next installment in Hollywood’s “The Mummy” movie franchise, but let’s just leave it as interesting knowledge shall we? Death metal definitely doesn’t need more (literally) dead subjects. Why can’t death metal bands learn to have more fun and talk about life and how happy it can be instead?
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. This would be attributed to the melody aspect, because Dawn of Disease evidently worship some melodic death metal bands due to most of their songs (such as album-closer “But Death Goes On”) featuring melodic guitar solos that will perk your ears up and make you less regretful about sitting through those generic (I’ve used this word so many times now [Buy a thesaurus, n00b! – AMG]) riffs and vocals previously. Another good example would be the introductory short instrumental “Descent Into The Abyss”, as it is a mellow and melodic song that sets a somber mood for the rest of the album, but it feels quite inapt because I don’t really get what’s so somber about 500-year-old preserved cadavers. Dudes been dead for so long man, and they are strangers too—why so sad? Also of interest is a little Noctem resemblance in penultimate track “Devouring Obscurity”, which features a guitar solo made up of an exotic chromatic motif, briefly bringing to mind the searing heat of the Middle Eastern deserts.
NoiseArt loves to sign generic bands, but their generic bands generally do the generic thing decently enough to keep fans with traditional tastes happy. Dawn of Disease is another such band, and although they are as innovative as the idea of a cotton candy raincoat, they might find some shelf space in the homes of the easily impressed.