Put on your military gear, give no quarter and bang your head to the excellent Death Metal crafted by these belligerent men-at-arms.
I must warn you that the first review of 2016 will be as devastating as a blitzkrieg, leaving you completely disoriented after this 27-minute bloodthirsty onslaught is over. I’m talking about The Dead And Those About To Die, the brand new EP by Swedish Death Metal infantrymen Just Before Dawn, who above all things are here to lead us all into the battleground with their refined and belligerent metal music.
Formed in 2012 and having already released the full-length albums Précis Innan Gryningen (Swedish for “Just Before Dawn”) in 2013 and The Aftermath in 2014, Just Before Dawn are back with a more solid lineup, also including some guest troopers armed with their screams and guitars (including Swedish musician Benny Moberg, who was also responsible for the artwork). As a matter of fact, the EP was already “released” in 2015 as a cassette under the Till You Fukkin Bleed label, but the official release as a CD by Chaos Records and by the band itself on BandCamp (also in digital format) is set to January 2016, which means now it’s the right time to get to war.
And let me tell you that the warfare bred by Just Before Dawn will be brutal based on the opening track, the old school Counterbattery, where heaviness is taken to a higher level thanks to the carnivore growls by Jonny Pettersson, the demonic riffs by Jonny and the band’s mastermind Anders Biazzi, and the imposing beats by drummer Brynjar Helgetun. Next, the voice in the background only adds more wickedness to Otnumbered, slightly faster than the previous song but as heavy as hell, with Jonny getting insanely aggressive on vocals while the song’s riffs drag the listener to the battlefield.
The following tune, Graves Without Crosses, presents hints of Doom Metal, which end up making the atmosphere a lot denser in its 7 minutes of obscurity, therefore sounding like a deadlier version of Blackened Doom. Besides, how not to get excited with its warlike lyrics (“A war is fought by man / At the gates of every battle / He stands strong / Stand his ground and face his enemy face on / Defeat is not an option / Surrender, he will never do”)?
Anyway, it’s time to accelerate the rhythm and consequently add more fuel (and blood) to the battle with Into The Iron Mist, an amazing composition showcasing how metallic this army can be. Simply put, it’s top-notch Death Metal, with highlights to the impactful combination of its hawkish growls and headbanging riffs. And the last tune, beautifully entitled Through A Rain Of Fire, keeps up with the offensive ambience generated by the rest of the EP, breaking your neck mercilessly. Bombs explode into pure Death Metal in this hellish chant, not to mention its chorus which, albeit being excellent already, gets even more electrifying due to the song’s pounding drums.
You can find more about Just Before Dawn and their music at their Facebook page, and order your copy of The Dead And Those About To Die at the Chaos Records’ official BandCamp page or webshop. What are you waiting for? Put on your military gear, give no quarter and bang your head to the excellent Death Metal by these unstoppable men-at-arms from Sweden.
Best moments of the album: Into The Iron Mist.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2016 Chaos Records
1. Counterbattery 5:30
2. Otnumbered 5:17
3. Graves Without Crosses 7:03
4. Into The Iron Mist 4:38
5. Through A Rain Of Fire 5:12
Jonny Pettersson – vocals, guitars
Anders Biazzi – guitars, bass
Brynjar Helgetun – drums
Rogga Johansson – vocals
Håkan Stuvemark – lead guitars
Vesa Kenttäkumpu – lead guitars
Marko Palmér – lead guitars
Benny Moberg – lead guitars, artwork