Abysmal Dawn

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Abysmal Dawn is an L.A. based death outfit that’s been around for a little more than 10 years, and although the name has popped up from time to time on my radar, it’s not a band I had ever listened to before this evening where they’d been hired to warm Copenhagen up for the Death (DTA) tour which hit us in late February.
The two bands weren’t strangers though, as Abysmal Dawn vocalist/guitarist Charles Elliot had been one of the Chuck Schuldiner stand-in’s on the first Death To All tour back in 2012.

“We got any fucking headbangers out there?!”
- Charles Elliot (vocals/guitar)

Due to a cock-up with the schedule, where the ticket office had announced the beginning of the show to be over an hour later than the venue had, Abysmal Dawn had already taken the stage when we arrived, and they were blasting hard and fast, an uncompromising death metal show.
The half-filled floor however, took things in quite relaxed, and apart from a few dedicated headbangers in the middle of the first row, I could only see some nodding heads here and there in the otherwise still audience.
This was not because of a lack of commitment from the bands side however – even though their movement was limited, they were present and powerful, and did theirs to get the party started. At first, I thought the lack of response might have had to do with the sound – Abysmal Dawn had a great mix and very clear sound, cheers to the sound-tech guy for that, but it was quite low. However, it turned out this was only because of where I was standing, a little out to the side, and when moving only a few steps towards the middle of the room, I got more in line with the speakers apparently, and the volume grew tremendously, luckily without losing of the fine detail that I had appreciated only moments before.

“Copenhagen, are you still fucking awake out there or what?!”
- Elliot (vocals/guitar)

About halfway in or so, Abysmal Dawn managed to turn the tempo up with By My Demons, and Copenhagen rewarded them with an active 2-3 man strong moshpit. This was cut short in the next song though, as we all needed our air for laughing with wonder and disbelief as the stage was overrun with people wearing not much more than silly sunglasses and towels around their waists – Loudblast (first band of the night) together with a bunch of crew members, and even a few faces from Death, had come on to play the classic “last show on the tour” prank on Abysmal Dawn, who in turn took it in good stride and kept on playing, albeit smiling a bit more than before. After a number of Death shirts had been thrown to the audience, and we had gotten a lovely ironing board solo, the show went back to normal, but the invigorated spirit of things kept strong for the remainder of the concert.

“We’ve got one more song, you wanna hear it? (yeah!) Ok, it’s your own fault!”
- Elliot (vocals/guitar)

Despite the slightly stressed beginning of things, through no fault of the band, things turned out rather well for my first encounter with Abysmal Dawn. I can’t say I was blown away by their delivery, but they delivered a solid musical experience and a very positive atmosphere throughout the entirety of their set, and that’s really all I ask for.

Setlist (incomplete):

Perpetual Dormancy
By My Demons
The Inevitable Return To Darkness
In Service Of Time

Abysmal Dawn

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