Dirty, punk-edged death metal thrashing

I haven’t listened to Abscess for many years but as soon as “Goddess of Filth and Plague” began it seemed like not much had changed.

And essentially, this is correct, as Dawn of Inhumanity has that typically dirty, punk-edged death metal thrashing that this band has always done. The problem with Abscess is that their albums tend to run out of steam before the end. Dawn of Inhumanity is different because this happens a lot sooner.

The cover art continues the fascination they’ve had with eyes since Tormented, this time with a procession of insect-legged eyes and severed hands being led by some hooded men along a river of blood. Musically, it’s Abscess: sludgy, punkish death metal with doom parts and a raw, dirty production with unspectacular drumming and thin guitar solos. The big and fatal difference on Dawn of Inhumanity is the length of the tracks. In the time it used to take them to play 30 songs or more, this time there’s only 10, and most of them are far too long. “Torn From Tomorrow” is their typically cool punk-flavoured death-thrash with some demented soloing and on “Never Sane Again” the band descends into a sprawling, punkish doom death with Chris Reifert turning in a deranged vocal like a cross between Obituary’s John Tardy and Rok from Sadistik Exekution. But most of the other songs are either mind-numbingly over-long noisefests or one riff punk songs that should be about three minutes shorter than they are. The creeping, seemingly endless noise of “The Rotting Land” in turns leads into the seemingly endless noodling of “Dead Haze” as if they are both the one long, drawn-out jam. “What Have We Done to Ourselves” kicks back into sludgy punk rock just in time to prevent the listener from slipping into a boredom-induced coma, but then decides to just go on and on and on and on for five and a half minutes, getting nowhere.

Abscess albums have always been little more than garageish thrashing, yet they were fun because the songs were so short. This one starts out like all the others, but wears out its welcome far quicker.

1. Goddess of Filth and Plague
2. Torn From Tomorrow
3. Never Sane Again
4. Dawn of Inhumanity
5. The Rotting Land
6. Dead Haze
7. What Have We Done to Ourselves
8. Dark Side of a Broken Knife
9. Divine Architect of Disaster
10. Black Winds of Orion