Dawn of Disease – “Ascension Gate” (Napalm Records)
Despite their grim name, Germany’s Dawn of Disease play a highly catchy brand of melodic death metal very much rooted in the early days of In Flames along with a touch of Paradise Lost! Formed in 2003 and growing to become a mainstay on the German festival circuit, the band have released 3 prior albums and “Ascension Gate” follows in like manner, albeit with richer melodies and equally more melancholic passion this time on the 10 tracks herein. While all the aforementioned styles have been performed before (and to greater success) the mix of blast beating brutality with beauty and bliss has been well undertaken and the musicianship talented enough to pull off the shifting transitions, thus making the material exciting in anticipation but equally a pleasure to listen to! From the whirlwind riffola of ‘Akephalos‘ with its blurring drum work carried by the catchy twin guitar melodies to ‘Lucid’ with its slowish chundering dirty riffs that gives way to melancholic ambience mid way, Dawn of Disease show how they have expanded with these deeper songs – even if Tomasz Wisniewski‘s modest growls remain the one constant throughout. Defining it all perfectly is the title track itself which is like a Scandinavian version of Paradise Lost and works a treat with its suave gothic guitar melodies backed by a foreboding heavy background – excellent! Although seen by many as a 2nd division band, Dawn of Disease have shown great courage to attempt a move out of that league and despite some already criticizing them for doing so, “Ascension Gate” is nevertheless a commendable release, if anything worthy of respect for the very effort that’s gone into it.