There is this thing about reviewing releases by bands who live nearby. You meet the members of the band in the supermarket and at concerts and stuff, and what would a bad review of their latest endeavours mean when you encounter them? A nasty beating over the refrigerated counter? Slashed tires in your driveway?
I’m of course exaggerating, but to be completely honest, I’ve experienced that bands who received less favourable reviews sent me very, very direct feedback in terms of their opinions about my person. I can only guess what would have happened if they hadn’t been from the other side of the world. The town of Silkeborg where I live is one of those places that hardly has a metal scene, and I’m not actually complaining. There is the aspect of giving local bands a bad rap, but there’s actually also the risk of getting accused of favouring certain bands because you meet them from time to time.
I do favour certain bands: I favour bands I respect and whose music I like. Like anyone else in this world does. In the case of the only metal band from Silkeborg that really counts, namely Dawn Of Demise, I can very honestly state that they are amazing.
‘The Suffering’ is the fourth full-length of the old school death metal connoisseurs, fronted by the brothers Scott and Bjørn Jensen, vocalist and bassist/backing vocalist, respectively. Bjørn writes all the lyrics and has done so since the band’s first recordings, by the way. As his older brother Scott once shared with me when I asked him why he didn’t write his own lyrics: “My lyrics would be too gory and not really suitable for Dawn Of Demise.” Fair enough…
Compared to the first three releases, ‘The Suffering’ represents three notable differences. The first being that there isn’t an obvious hit song. There is no Juggernaut (‘A Force Unstoppable’) or He Rises Again (‘Rejoice In Vengeance’) that both provided a quick fix in terms of either immense, slow heaviness or a surprisingly catchy chorus.
This leads into the second difference, which is the fact that this new album, to me at least, seems more multi-facetted and complex, and therefore at first less accessible. It doesn’t give you that quick fix of instant catchiness, but more of a constant hammering on your senses. There is more to take in, and therefore it may take you at least two or three spins before you work your way into the album. That said, Scott sounds no less brutal now, and this music is still heavy as hell.
The third difference is the drumming. Bastian Thusgaard, a mentee of Dirk Verbeuren, has quite simply added another layer to the soundscape of Dawn Of Demise. In my ears, he has enabled the band to make this album the way it is by his ability to fuel the complexity. He can do the groovy stuff, the fast, the slow, what ever, and it works. Watch some of his YouTube videos!
For those of you who are already Dawn Of Demise fans, there will definitely be something you recognise, but also a clear development. For those of you who like e.g. Suffocation and Pyrexia and haven’t been exposed to this particular Danish metal monster, I suggest you get your arse over to Spotify and check them out before you get your pocket money out for the CD.
01. Sadistic Gratification
02. Destined To Suffer
03. The Suffering
04. Deride The Wretch
05. The Process Of Killing
07. Corecion Of The Victim
08. A Malignant Condition
09. Those Who Deserve My Wrath
10. As The World Dies
11. Deify The Outrageous
Playing time: 37 minutes
Release date: 26th of August, 2016
Label: Unique Leader