Just Before Dawn
In The Realm Of Ash And Sorrow EP

In the rather full realm of Bolt Thrower worship, plenty of bands and staked a claim on the mantle left by the departed British warmongers; Hail of Bullets, Humiliation, Frozen Soul, Decaying, Creeping Flesh, Chainsword just to name a few, but you could argue the top two current Bolt Thrower homage bands are of course, Memoriam, (duh) and Sweden’s Just Before Dawn (though it looks like new UK act featuring Memoriam members  As The World Dies could be a contender with their upcoming self titled album).

With 2020s An Army At Dawn,  guitarist/bassist Anders Biazzi (Ex Amon Amarth, ex Blood Mortized, Gods Forsaken) and his rotating army of guests that are a who’s who of Swedish death metal cemented their place as one of the unabashed top Bolt Thrower worshipping bands with what could have been a cover album. But on their latest EP, they seem to have settled on a lineup that’s fewer guests, but still delivers trundling, thunderous Bolt Thrower worship with a sweet cover of another legendary band thrown in.

With Remco Kreft (Graceless, Soulburn) stepping in as a full-time vocalist (at least for now?) joining the core of Biazzi,  guitarist Gustav Myrin (also in Blood Mortized and Gods Forsaken) and drummer Jon Rudin (Wombbath), the core sound is still the same and it’s still awesome Bolt Thrower styled mid-paced, war mongerin’ death metal with a touch of hefty Swedish buzz which Biazzi and Rudin have mastered now.

The EP has 4 new tracks, with the title track being a tribute to Sven Groß, the Fleshcrawl vocalist who died earlier this year, and it’s the EPs somber, 7 and a half minute centerpiece even though other tracks like rumbling, moody opener “Waltzing Hummel” and massive lope of “Bloodlands” certainly get your blood pumping. To say these guys have locked in perfectly to Bolt Thrower’s, Panzer paced, trundling, but almost doomy, tragic salvos is an understatement.

The fifth and final song is a cover of Entombed’s “Drowned”, in memory of LG Petrov who also died earlier this year, and while it’s virtually a note for note rendition carries a little more heft and weight, though I would have preferred “Left Hand Path” or “Morbid Devourment”, as the slower sections in those songs would have been epic. Maybe we can get as covers only release at some point? How about it Anders?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 24th, 2021

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