Friday, October 3, 2014

Just Before Dawn "The Aftermath" Reviewed

Sweden's version of Bolt Thrower are back for another round of death metal savagery. This time with their second full-length album, called The Aftermath.  Not much has changed in the JBD camp, main man Anders Biazzi is still Platoon leader aka songwriter, guitar player and bass player. With vocals being handled by an tank load (boat load, but in a more metal way) people. This concept of using a different vocalist is really cool since you get a bit of a different taste for every song. The only difference is the addition of drummer Brynjar Helgetun. What we get is mid paced catchy death metal. Nothing overtly technical or spaced out. Just solid death metal that does exactly what it is supposed to do. Super heavy and head banger friendly.

So far JBD is following the Bolt Thrower way of doing things, keeping it simple and if it isn't broke, don't fix it. The music continues in the same vein as their previous album Precis innan gryningen. And since this is such a solid album why should I complain about that? And especially since Bolt Thrower seems to be dead set on not releasing a new album.  So I open my arms whole heartedly to this release. Of course there is nothing really new here and you have probably heard this before if you like this sort of music.  But in my mind good songwriting comes before technicality and innovation. And when the song writing is as solid as on this one I can only gobble it up and ask for seconds.

The second band that springs to mind while listening to The Aftermath is Amon Amarth. I guess this is not such a strange thing since that Mr Biazzi played in Amon Amarth many years ago. I am guessing that he shaped their sound in their early years since many melodies sound very familiar. And the same use of harmony sounds is found here as well.  Maybe I am bold to state this, but I think JBD is a way superior band than the before mentioned band. I know that this might get a few fan boys knickers in a twist, but instead of going nuts in comment sections. Do yourself the favor of checking out Just before the dawn and The Aftermath. You might just get a new favorite band.

The sound of this album is just top notch, I really like the mix. Every instrument is clearly audible, but the emphases is on the vocals and the guitars. Which is very good since the riffs and the vocals are the most interesting thing on this album. I am not saying that the drums a poorly played or anything. But they are not exactly doing anything super interesting. They are just giving the foundation to the riffs. Keeping a steady beat in the background.  And I guess for an album like this, this is exactly what the drums should be doing.  Then again they are way louder than on the last record.  And that is a good thing. The playing overall is great, of course there is nothing super technical or I guess technical at all. But I have always been of the opinion that the hardest trick to pull off in any art form is to make something simple yet interesting. And that Ladies and Gentlemen, Just before dawn has truly done here. A meat and potatoes death metal album that will make you come back for more.

So if you like mid paced death metal this album is a must have. Any fan of the bands I mentions as reference will absolutely love Just before dawn's new album The Aftermath. Over and out.

Sweden`s Wilhelm Lindh, "Portuguese by adoption," guitar player,  composer and owner of the Doom / Death Metal band The Gardnerz, reviews here in Careful and professional analysis to the music and albums with suggestions of what there is to see and hear ... not to be missed. "The wisdom is found in the extremes, all extreme Metal here!".

Start listening. Get steamrolled. Released 27 October 2014

1.Across The Battlefield
2.Lightning War
5.Bastard Battalion
6.Death From Above
7.Device Of Utter Death
9.Through The Mud
10.Blitzkrieg Brigade
11.Feast Of The Firedemon
12.The Aftermath

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