Released: 2016, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
After a somewhat spotty “debut” with 2014's Back To The Front, Sweden's Entombed A.D. seem to have gained their footing and follow it up in respectable fashion with Dead Dawn. Perhaps it was the rush to get something out following the split of Entombed into separate camps – on this side frontman Lars Göran Petrov, guitarist Nico Elgstrand, bassist Victor Brandt and drummer Olle Dahlstedt, on the other guitarists Alex Hellid and Uffe Cederlund – and whatever legalities were involved, but Front seemed a bland, pedestrian affair. But that's something that actually could have been said about most of Entombed's output since DCLXVI: To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak The Truth nearly 20 years ago.
Dead Dawn, though, is feisty, feral and full of bite. There's more “death” in the band's signature death 'n roll this time out – something that might have rubbed off from Petrov and Brandt's affiliation with blackened deathsters Firespawn, who just released their debut.
Regardless, that is welcome news and the band comes out grinding with “Midas In Reverse” to show they mean business here. The title track follows suit with equal vigor and “Total Death” delivers what its title promises with its d-beat pace and barrage of gritty riffs – as does the especially vicious “Silent Assassin” and “Black Survival,” which hark back to the glory of Entombed's 1991 classic Clandestine without sounding like mere knockoffs.
More mid-tempo tempo tracks like “Down To Mars To Ride,” and “The Winner Has Lost” boast wicked grooves to give them a genuine crunch instead of merely chugging along. When things slow to a crawl, however, as on “Hubris Fall” or “As The World Fell,” they plod on for a bit too long – despite the subtle lead work in the background on “Fell” and the piano strains on “Hubris” – and seem kinda dull by comparison.
But at least the band seem intent on mixing things up this time, and Dead Dawn has as well-balanced – and lethal – an attack as these guys have had in a long time, as Entombed or Entombed A.D.