I’ve said it enough times to be annoying, but the best brand of death metal is the most disgusting, brutal kind that makes you feel uneasy inside. I’m not about to abandon that sentiment anytime soon, because it’s just what does it for me when I’m angling for death metal. For some reason, it just gets the blood flowing more than the overly technical stuff.
Digging into “All-Consuming Void,” the third record from Wayward Dawn was an experience from the first time, and it continues to hammer all the right things with what I want from a death metal record. These Danish beasts go at it full bore as the band—vocalist/bassist Kasper Szupienko Petersen, guitarist Jakob Kristensen, guitarist/vocalist Rasmus Johansen, drummer Lukas Nysted—also slather their heinous art with generous amounts of ashen doom to give that old-school effect but in a way that guarantees the rot you encounter isn’t retread material at all. This is total devastation from front to back, and each journey with this bastard has cost me at least a sliver of my sanity.
“Disorienting Verminosity” dawns in static before the drumming decimates, opening up a path to straight-on death that’s picked up by “Cage of Resentment” that punishes right away. The growls intensify as the heat is turned way up, the rhythmic assault bears down, and heavy punches are volleyed and crush bone. “Isolation” has the drums turning everything to dust as gnarly riffs cut through your midsection, the growls paying the bulk of the ache. The leads burn as the vocals wrench, ending the mission in complete chaos. “The Crushing Weight” enters amid infernal growls and vicious riffs that smear blood on the walls. The pace splatters as the riffs get trickier, nastiness multiplies and sickens stomachs, and the final moments drag everything to eternal damnation.
“Bottomless Pit” enters with wailing guitars and churning that twists your insides, the mix of shrieks and growls playing games with your psyche. The playing pummels thoroughly, building to trudging guitars, scarring growls, and a final gasp that maims. “House of Mirrors” brings a rush of guitars that figure into a total demolition, the carnage leaving blisters all over your body. The heaping death metal punishment gets meaner as the guitars cut through flesh and spill guts on the floor. “Pull of the Boulder” is the longest track, running 12:26 and remaining a steady force through its lifespan. The pace is doomier and less relentless, but it’s by design as you’re here to pay the total price. Guitars become devious as the playing shreds your sanity, drums clobber, and a miserable haze hangs overhead feeling noxious. The final segment rampages a little more, the bass leaves oil slicks, and the congealing wounds are reopened as the last growls batter and leave bodies gasping behind.
“All-Consuming Void” is a perfect title for Wayward Dawn’s devastating third record as once you’re done with it, you do feel like a large chunk of your body and mind has been digested. The fury at which the band plays is impressive and deadly, delivering death metal that guts you thoroughly and spills blood on the floor. This is a massive attack, one you might not see coming until you’re inside the belly of the beast.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/waywarddawn
To buy the album, go here: https://emanzipation.bandcamp.com/album/all-consuming-void
For more on the label, go here: https://emanzipation.dk/