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Just Before Dawn – The Aftermath

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Just Before Dawn is a supergroup of seasoned death metal veterans (Anders Biazzi, Rogga Johansson and a stampede of others) showing the world that old school chainsaw metal still belongs to the land of porn, beer and long blonde hair. And Abba, but we’ll give them a pass for that. The music here is straight forward with no frilly time changes, jazz chord shapes or arpeggios, zero djent, and sets a dark mood of utter sadness and biting malevolence. The riffing and composition recalls early Unleashed, as well as post-4th Dimension-era Hypocrisy. There’s a lot of phrygian and locrian minor melodies to be found here, which for those of you who don’t know the difference or give a shit, basically means that nothing, and I mean not a single goddamn riff on this album, sounds even remotely ‘happy’. But the magic happens when you take these minor key modes and join them with that classic Swedish buzzsaw guitar tone, one moment of which can disembowel a raging herd of psychotic frost giants coming off a 7 day meth binge. That guitar tone was made for songs like this, and Just Before Dawn are absolute masters of this tenebrous and bloody craft. Production is gigantic, clear, and absolutely crushing. The guitars grind with clarity and rage, courtesy of the legendary Boss HM2 pedal, and it’s exceedingly well produced here. All elements – rhythm section and vocals, are expertly performed, and benefit from a crystal clear yet massive production that never gets muddy. Vocals are performed by an array of experienced, ferocious lung blowers, including Marc Grewe, Dave Ingram, Jonas Lindblood, Ralf Hauber and many more. Vocal execution is filthy and full of venomous sincerity, ranging from gravely growls to raspy and shredding, tortured screams. Drums are tastefully and appropriately bashed out, backing up and pushing the chugging rhythm section forward. This is a mostly mid-tempo album, yet it never gets old or stale. Every track is strong, with zero generic “filler”, and that’s something I am *never* able to say about an album. You will buy this, and it will be a jem in your collection. (D.L. Beaven)

Chaos Records

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