Just Before Dawn
An Army At Dawn

Theoretically, for this review, I feasibly should just be able to say ‘If you like Bolt Thrower, seriously, just get this’ and be done with it. It should be that simple, especially after 3 albums and a slew of singles/splits and eps.

However I’ve been in communication with guitarist Anders Biazzi for a few years now, going back to his post-Amon Amarth days in Blood Mortized and through his other band, Gods Forsaken, both excellent Swedish death metal worship, and figured album number 4 needed a real review of sorts.

But Just Before Dawn appears to be his main project now and as with past releases, it’s a large, war mongering Bolt Thrower worshipping affair again featuring a pretty impressive number (a literal Army) of guest vocalists (after Benediction/Bolt Thrower vocalist  Dave Ingram did full duty, primary vocals on 2018 Tides of Blood) helping he, Gustav Myrin (also in Blood Mortized and Gods Forsaken), Johnny Petersson (Henry Kane, Wombbath etc)  and Jon Rudin (Wombbath). You’ve got  Ralf Hauber (Revel in Flesh), Matias Nastolin (Decayed), Damien Terry, Thomas Clifford (Abscession), David Nilsson (Feral), Andreas Stenlund, Mattias Parkkila (Malfeitor), and Robert Karlsson (Creeping Flesh).

Admittedly, they all deliver varying arrays of commanding growls and bellows that are pretty indistinguishable, but what really matters is the pummeling, Tiger track rumbles of the band’s honed in Bolt Thrower worship, delivered with a heavy Stockholm buzz.  I’d dare to say these guys are even more locked in on Bolt Thrower‘s instantly recognizable sound than Memoriam, a band that features actual former Bolt Thrower members.

The generally mid-paced, trundling numbers don’t vary a whole lot, but they do render ample amounts of moody, pounding, lumbering riffs and melancholy leads to march around your house too. From “Intro: Paths of Armor / To the Last Tiger” to closer “Into the First Wave”  and the likes of the “…For Victory’ ish title track, “Dance of Katyusha”, “Belaya Smert” and “The Atlantic Wall”  in-between (on the CD version),  the album 52 minutes of no frills, heftily produced death metal that rarely breaks rank from salvos of mid-paced artillery and makes no bones who they are paying homage too. Did I mention Bolt Thrower?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 5th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: Steve K

    THE RIFFS. Loving this. Can’t get enough of that tone!


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