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Scion Rock Fest Set Times Chart (IN COLOR)! by orlandooom407

Scion Rock Fest kicks off tomorrow at 2PM EST in Tampa, Florida. We all couldn’t surpass our current state of elation if we tried. Here’s a handy colorful chart, created by Floridian West Coast native Chris Elmore, to help you in breaking up your evening. Orlandooom contributors and friends are sure to litter to floors of The Rtiz, Czar Bar and The Orpheum. I don’t know about everyone else, but there’s no way I’d miss The Atlas Moth, Sleep, Witch Mountain, Church of Misery or Saint Vitus. Might dip out during Down to catch a peek at Merzbow to complete the day’s sonic overload. Here’s Scion A/V Metal‘s graphical running order too:

Scion Rock Fest Information

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Abysmal Dawn – From Ashes (Re-Issue) by orlandooom407

“Moderately Unpleasant Sunrise – Something Probably About A Phoenix”

I’ve been spinning Abysmal Dawn‘s ‘From Ashes‘ reissue, trying to come up with some glowing words of praise for what is, to me, fairly average death metal.  It’s not brutal enough for brutal consideration and not melodic enough to be melodic.  I could say it’s great for fans of bands like Suffocation, but if you like Suffocation (and who doesn’t? The band OR the autoerotic kind!) you might as well listen to Suffocation.  Or, you know, masturbate while choking yourself.  Or both.  Ideally, both.

On the other hand, it doesn’t suck.  Just as I have trouble summoning forth praise, I am equally challenged at vomiting up words of vituperation.  ‘From Ashes‘ is by no means a shitty album…Hell, it’s not even bad. It straddles the edge of acceptable, but doesn’t quite manage to tip itself over.

This is one case where I think a gimmick or hook might actually be beneficial.  Encyclopedia Metallum states that their lyrical themes consist of “the occult, loss, sci-fi and social commentary”.  Man, I almost fell asleep by the time I got to ‘sci-fi’.  I think Abysmal Dawn needs to pick a theme and throw themselves into it balls-deep.  The reason I think this is because ‘From Ashes‘ exudes no passion.

Now I know this could be said about a lot of technical death, but look at bands like NileKarl Sanders is a hardcore, taped-up-glasses-wearing, D&D playing, pocket-protector-sporting über-geek for Egyptian mythology.  It’s that passion that has taken Nile from a pretty good tech DM band to (in my tiny, tiny world) metal godhood. Pretty talented musicians, of course, that helps, but without that kind of focus, you get Abysmal Dawn.

Even the name is kind of bland, at least in the metal realms.  I’m assuming it’s meant to conjure up some kind of bleak sunrise over a world shattered by apocalypse, but I’m just not getting inspired.  Septic Flesh, Necrophagist, Fleshcrawl, Cephalic Carnage…these are all evocative band names that put an image into your head, sometimes whether you want it or not (let’s not talk about Blastanus, please).  But Abysmal dawn’s name, album and song titles are all just, again, not HORRIBLE, just not GREAT.

I will say that my head bang reflex was triggered a few times listening to this album, but no one track stood out to me or made me hammer the + volume button on my speaker dock until my neighbor’s ears were bleeding.

Maybe I’m being too harsh on a debut from 2006, but I’ve listened to their later albums to see if I was maybe missing the roots of something that would later grow to become great. Unfortunately, it sounds like more of the same to me.  If I was prone to numerical ratings (something tells me my usual “x number of drinking horns raised” doesn’t really apply here) I would probably give ‘From Ashes’ a 3/5…solidly, brutally, middle of the road.  And if I was given the opportunity to say anything to Abysmal Dawn (which, given this review, is not bloody likely) I’d say “grab a theme and run with it.  Something nice and post-apocalypsy, maybe, that always works well with tech DM.  Or tacos.  Everyone loves tacos! You could be the first taconichal death metal band in existence! Quick, change your name to Tacopocalypse before someone else takes that idea! TAAACOOOS!!”

And then I’d probably pass out because I tied the noose around my neck too tight while I was rubbing one out to Suffocation.

Click here to order From Ashes available now on Relapse Records.

Click here to check out Abyssmal Dawn on Facebook.

– Gregor Von Leakenhawer