ABYSMAL DAWN “Nightmare Frontier” EP

By Dr. Abner Mality

First off, the cover to this thing is nightmarishly beautiful...one of the best covers I’ve seen in a long time! As for what’s inside, it’s the first new material from ABYSMAL DAWN in quite a while. These guys have always been a dependable band when it comes to American style death metal and “Nightmare Frontier” is no exception.

The style is aggressive but technical death metal. It’s not so technical that it becomes abstract or a mere exercise in wankery but these cats can play, make no mistake about that. “A Nightmare Slain” proves that right off the bat with an onslaught of tumbling arpeggios and machine gun drums. The riffs are demanding but catchy and the next two tracks “Blacken the Sky” and “Behind Space” follow suit. The lead guitar soloing on the latter is almost in the neoclassical Malmsteen vein.

The EP wraps with “Bewitched” and surprise, surprise, it’s a CANDLEMASS cover and very faithful, right down to the clean, almost Messiah-sounding vocals (with just an occasional growl). This is ABYSMAL DAWN paying homage to one of their favorite bands. “Nightmare Frontier” does pretty much what it set out to do...perform as a teaser for the upcoming ABYSMAL full length, which I will be looking forward to.