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Just Before Dawn - Tides of Blood

Just Before Dawn
Tides of Blood
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 30 April 2018, 8:13 AM

Although it started as a two man project, featuring Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER, REVOLING THE GROTESQUERY) on vocals and Anders Biazzi (AMON AMARTH, BLOOD MORTIZED) on guitars, it grew into a huge Death Metal project with a large cast of different players and vocalists, including the legendary Dave Ingram (BENEDICTION, BOLT THROWER), and Martin Van Drunen (PESTILENCE, ASPHYX).

With BOLT THROWER retired and HAIL OF BULLETS disbanded, there is a gaping hole in the Death Metal scene, especially those who speak of war.  JUST BEFORE DAWN are here to fill that hole, and on their third full length, “Tides of Blood,” they do just that by stuffing your broken body into it—this album seriously smokes. After the intro, the album kicks off with “Day of Days,” that brings in that old school groove and some great BOLT THROWER worship.  The song’s main riff is thick, rolling, and has an incredible balance between groove and brutal, raw power.

Tides of Blood,” is not only the album’s centerpiece but also demonstrates the band isn’t just about groove.  The riffs are slower but that allows a super heavy crunch to show through, thus not sacrificing any of that raw power.  I really enjoyed the tortured vocals here as they worked well with the pace and tone of the song.  The drums, specifically cymbals and double bass, are a highlight as well. The next track, “Bombs Over Bremen,” reveals yet another side of the band in the form of a pure, balls to the wall, Death Metal assault.  The riffs and drums pummel, the bass is sonic excess in the best way, and the whole song just makes you want to throw your body thru a plate glass window.

The final track, “In the Depth of War,” is the longest song and definitely the best.  The opening moments are pure adrenaline and the band is firing on all cylinders.  Everything, particularly the vocals, get heavier as the song continues.  From 2:25 all the way to 3:10 is punishing and gave me whiplash and an almost broken pair of headphones because it had me headbanging like it was 1987.  JUST BEFORE DAWN have a released an album that, considering all the hands in the cookie jar here, could have been a tangled mess but instead it ends up being a fitting album that finds its own voice while paying homage to the greats before them.  If you like punishing, groove filled Death Metal, this will definitely take care of your BOLT THROWER itch.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. When The Iron Shield Falls
2. Day of Days
3. Market Garden
4. Formations at the Rising Dawn
5. Battle for the Bridge
6. Tides of Blood
7. Bombs Over Bremen
8. Civilian Alliance
9. Spirit of the Blitz
10. In The Depth of War (Outro – Declaration War)
Dave Ingram - Vocals
Jonny Petterson - Vocal/Guitar
Brynjar Helgetun - Drums
Håkan Stuvemark - Guitar
Martin Von Drunen - Vocals
Thomas Wouters - Vocals/Guitar
Daniel Gustavsson - Guitar
Rick Rozz - Guitar
Marko Palmén - Guitar
Matias Nastolin - Vocals/Guitar
Jörgen Kristensen - Vocals/Guitar
Stephan Gebédi - Guitar/Vocals
Dennis Johansson - Vocals
Ronnie Björnstöm - Guitar
Håkan Johansson - Vocals
Teddy Möller - Vocals
Jocke Mikiver - Vocals
Johan Jansson - Vocals
Jonas Stålhammar - Vocals
Rogga Johansson - Vocals
Anders Biazzi - Guitars/Bass
Mr. Hitchcock - Vocals
Dennis Johansson- Vocals
Jonas Lindblood - Vocals/Solos
Gustav Myrin - Vocals/Solos
Ralf Hauber - Vocals
Tony Freed - Vocals
Record Label: Raw Skull Recordz


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