Music Review: Dawn of Ashes- “Daemonolatry Gnosis”

Everything that Hollywood produces doesn’t always shimmer like gold or sound angelic. Sometimes some of the most brilliant and creative music comes from the gutters, dark tunnels and blackened crevices of the mind. Vocalist Kristof Bathory has spent seven albums spewing and spell-casting incantations on record with the symphonic influences of Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth, among others, with Dawn of Ashes. Pulling inspiration from thrash, death and classical music, pouring choice selections into an absinthe-induced web, creating left hand path Diabolos in Musica, from the sunny west coast.

Bathory created DOA in 2001 to instill musical and visual nightmares into the listener’s minds, using numerous soundscapes and genres to smash ears and heads open, adding in what they want you to imagine, see and hear. 2013’s Anathema signaled an acclaimed artistic peak and oddly timed curtain call.

Initial new and bigger opportunities came in the form of extreme metal outfit Urilia with promises of a wider musical reach and support system which proved less than honorable. After only one release, Urilia’s light was extinguished though the music created lives on.

However, where there’s an omega there’s an alpha and a scorching rebirth.  DOA returned in 2016 with its Metropolis Records debut Theophany and this year’s Daemonolatry Gnosis is set for a ravenous June 9 release. They are currently touring the nation with Raum (guitars), Angel Dies (bass), Bahemoth (keyboards) and Brandon Rage (drums) taking cult status to a new level on the Fire of the Phoenix Tour.

Bathory and crew continue to draw knowledge and creativity from the esoteric edge of life. The 12 tracks include two reworked versions of Urilia songs and a special cover of Mayhem’s “Freezing Moon,” with guest vocals from Cradle of Filth’s Lindsay Schoolcraft on “Magick for the New Aeon.”

The diabolical misanthropy in grandeur starts with “The Initiation.”

The rulebook is thrown out the stained glass window from the beginning on “Gods of the Antinomian Path” as Bathory roars out un-divine hymns of worship with blast beats of the beast and a dark winged choir with thunderous symphonic influences.

“Guardians” has the hiss of underlining breath as ceremonial drums and war horns come closer. Like ancient Caligula or Sodom, Bathory summons the ancient world to possess him with hidden, forgotten and forbidden knowledge.

“Core of the Black Sun” is the first of two reworked Urilia tunes with “I am Nephilim” as “Augoeides” churns like old school black metal.

“Sermon from the Horned God” peers into the abyss as the soul shrieks. Dark, discarded emotional havoc set to music as the strings and guitars weave a picture of deeds that could only be done behind closed doors.

“Rulership of the Inner World” opens as ‘80s gothic keys sooth the listener, quietly guiding them into a facial pummeling of bass and guitars, heavy death style. The bell clangs hard, awaking Bathory’s inner beasts and demons, ending as dominant thrash guitars blast forth.

“Magick for the New Aeon” starts out tranquilly moody, guided by the wales of a dark gothic queen and synth swirling atmosphere. Bathory’s cryptic whisper quickly goes raspy as Schoolcraft’s enchanting voice takes over. The lyrical blood drinking commences as Bathory exhales soft spoken verses.

The ritual ends with some traditional Mayhem.

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