When speaking about brutal death metal, very few names from the UK come to mind while it’s transatlantic neighbour boasts way too many names to count. Apart from a few bands like Amputated and Cerebral Bore, I haven’t really come across death metal of the brutal variety from this part of the world. So when Dawn of Chaos’s first and only full length in 15 years, ‘The Need to Feed’ landed in my inbox, I had to check it out. While some may argue that this album is not truly brutal death metal, the elements of brutality and gore are ever present. What sets this band apart though, is the way they marry Bolt Thrower like hooky riffs, dissonant melody and brutal death metal elements, to create a hybrid sound that is familiar yet fresh.
The dissonant melody that is at the start of ‘Blind, Torture, Kill’, brings to mind bands like Preludium that use dissonance to similar effects. The fact that these are not mere collections of brutal death metal tropes is commendable. The tracks have a traditional death metal flavour and tropes like the slams and pinch harmonics are present only to accentuate these tracks in a brutal tone. For example, ‘Thrall Engine’ begins in a typical brutal death fashion, but it unravels to be an old school death metal track that has a lot of groove.
There is even an element of technicality present in the guitar work, as heard on ‘Engineering Atrocities’. But the most important aspect of the music itself are the hooks. The riffs have a hooky characteristic with their short and simple structures and they manage to resonate in the listener’s head for quite a while. For those hungry for a typical brutal death metal track with all it’s slamming glory, ‘Muffocated’ is the track to go to. This track starts with slow heavy chugs and the slams slowly kick in, making it a mindlessly heavy track.
The production has an old school vibe and the mix is beefy. It has the heavy tone that is ideal for music of this variety and the bass effect is capable of punching one in the gut. While the album is thoroughly enjoyable, I feel that the dissonant melodies could have been put to greater use.
‘The Need to Feed’ by Dawn of Chaos might have taken it’s time getting out thanks to various reasons. But this did not take anything away from the quality of the record. The band seamlessly blends old school death metal style with modern brutality, in a way it sounds fresh. An enjoyable record throughout, this album is a fitting farewell to band that is no more.