From Tears To Vengeance
Review by Greg on March 1, 2023.
Out of all the countries near mine, Spain is the one I'm less familiar with, in terms of metal bands. So, here's a new entry for my library. Dawn Of Extinction play a hybrid style of thrash and death metal with huge metalcore influences, and their latest EP From Tears To Vengeance, first release in five years, was my introduction to them. While their genre of choice might sound strange at first, it's not an absolute novelty, as I remember another band, the French Deficiency, going for a similar approach which sometimes worked wonders for them ('The Prodigal Child' and 'Unfinished' are still etched in my memory and will likely be forever) but still tended to be hit or miss, unsurprisingly in strict correlation to the thrash influence. In that case, escaping comparisons to Trivium was nigh impossible, while here the traditional component is more pronounced (the vocalist sounding way more like Johan Lindstrand than Matt Heafy no doubt helped).
So far, it sounds straight up my alley. The last addend, however, is what brings the equation to an unfortunate end. I mentioned that I did appreciate similar ideas in the past, but From Tears To Vengeance seems to go for a seminar on how not to mix these styles. Or at least that's what comes to my mind every time the Spaniards start attacking my jugular with more and more brute force, only to inevitably slow down for a seemingly mandatory clean chorus upon sustained open chords. I might sound like a boomer, but when almost every song is straight up melodic death metal at one second and pure metalcore in the following, I really can't help but wonder if the blending couldn't have been done more organically. What's perhaps the biggest dealbreaker, though, are the toothless, inoffensive clean vocals, which truly give me the impression to have been added as an afterthought. They aren't bad per se – just mostly insipid and lacking in character. Also, I don't know if they were somewhat processed, but they sometimes tend to sound... artificial? It's not a pleasant feeling, if you're wondering. In any case, the absence of any vocal melodies really out of the ordinary makes me suspect that any of these six songs will hardly be still in my mind in the near future, a test their French neighbors passed with flying colors.
Already opener 'Beyond The Fear', while making perfect sense as the first track and single, exacerbates all the problems, ending up as rather off-putting and possibly the least convincing track on display. Completing the picture is a pretty inconsequential solo ('Escape The Fate', to name one, this is not). The rest of the tracks mostly follow the same route, with some sporadic standout moments (the honestly beautiful guitar leading to the chorus in 'Rise From Oblivion', above all, or the vague black metal tremolos of the title-track), and one obvious outlier – the short, explosive thrasher 'Haters', which ironically lacks some more playing time to build upon its simplistic, wannabe-Gojira bridge, but for the rest employs the good ol' gang shouts to make sure no adrenaline is stopped from rushing. The modern production, alas, could have used some more punch, the rather mellow and quiet lead guitar (think Sodom's "Decision Day" and double it down) above all.
It's tough to write off a band for their very idea of music, and the energetic drumwork and genuinely convincing harsh vocals surely can be classified as anything but incompetent, but unfortunately I'm left rather unimpressed by Dawn Of Extinction's formula. Here's hoping they have saved their best songs for an eventual LP, if nothing else.
Rating: 5 out of 10189