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ALBUM REVIEW: Ascension Gate – Dawn Of Disease

It was only last year that German outfit DAWN OF DISEASE released a masterclass in melodic death metal with Worship The Grave. It was a slab of musicianship that showcased the genre’s best elements with excellently crafted catchy guitars and choruses combined with pinpoint aggression. Now with a turnaround that would make an editor salivate Dawn Of Disease are back with their fourth full-length Ascension Gate, a record with hooks that take longer to sink in, but ones that delve just as deep.

Ascension Gate feels like an album that takes its time more than DAWN OF DISEASESs previous work but not because it’s plodding or dull but because it’s more calculated. Not to say the songs are less accessible, tracks like Leprous Thoughts and Perimortal still boast massive choruses, but the record just takes more listens to truly appreciate than Worship The Grave which was an album that was ludicrously instantaneous.

Worship The Grave stayed in its lane of melodeath with some traditional soaring guitars whereas Ascension Gate drifts into other territories briefly like with brief tremolo riffs in the opening of Beneath The Waters, giving the intro a more blackened death feel as the drums swing from hard hitting ENTOMBED style rhythms into frantic blast beats. This may seem like splitting hairs but it’s those small deviations that make Ascension Gate more than just another album of the same stuff. Because of that, this album that needs a smidge more time to fully grow on you, to prove that it’s added some great features to Dawn Of Disease’s already stellar melodeath blueprint.

Once those fine points have been noticed after the first few listens you’re able to step back and see that Ascension Gate features some of the best songs of DAWN OF DISEASEs career so far. Every element you could want from a melodic death metal album is on here. From the from the gorgeous solos of Akephalos, Tomasz Wisniewski’s constant killer roars, to the slow build of Fleshless Journey, a track that suggests that if DAWN OF DISEASE wanted to experiment further in the future they could pull it off. Ascension Gate is a record that further proves DAWN OF DISEASE are modern masters of melodeath, and if they choose to in the future they can branch out and conquer a whole lot more.

Rating: 8/10

Ascension Gate - Dawn of Disease

Ascension Gate is out now via Napalm Records.

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