Dawn of Ashes – Genocide Chapters (Metal Blade Records)

Tuesday, 19th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

Dawn of Ashes’ scary/horror-inspired/highly cinematic blend of black and death metal has fallen out of favor for more primitive means of late, which explains why the band’s third album, Genocide Chapters comes as a mild shock to the system. It rings out like a milder Graveworm, but has the cohesion that more bands would be advised to take note of. Subtract the over-produced nature and too-long songtitles, and Genocide Chapters would have a better shot at climbing the ladder.

The best song here is the first song, which is never a promising sign. “Conjuration of the Maskim’s Black Blood” is a face-melter, for lack of a better term, unleashing a spate of pounding keyboards and blistering sonics, making it the type of mid-paced rocker that would be undeniably striking live. At the root of DOA’s sound is awfully simple guitar work, the kind that ultimately backfire if there’s not enough fat around the edges. And usually there’s not – the band starts to wane shortly after the opening, only to gradually pick things up with “The Ancient Draining Room.”

Not terribly surprised that a noticeable Cradle of Filth nod is made on “London’s Anthem for the Pleasure of Mutilation,” even traversing down CoF’s once-lauded twin-guitar path. DOA ends up saving their melodic bits for the end, on the back-to-back “Carnal Consummation in the Empty Space,” and keyboard-tingling (think modern-day Dark Tranquillity) “Epilogue – Beginning of the End.”

There’s something fresh about what Dawn of Ashes has done on Genocide Chapters, even if it fails to leave much of a mark. It’s not exactly world-beating stuff, nor is it as piss-poor as much of their contemporaries. Rather, Genocide Chapters is a promising third album from a band not quite sure how corral their ideas. Perhaps next time.

www.myspace.com/dawnofashes

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)