With mind weaving solos, like stringing guitar wire across the room with venom dripping spiders spinning on the webs, Halifax, Nova Scotia’s progressive death metal hybrid Forward Unto Dawn makes the heart pound. Whether it’s the guitars slamming, the damming scream, growl or hell-crisp screech of Din Stonehouse as he almost explains the songs as he spits out whatever vocal personality is needed as the bass and drums hammer and pound along.
Going outside the box seems like a given for the boys. Taking the progressive death moniker, giving it a good left field/hand path tinkering, leaving a few unsuspecting surprises within to be found like a shiny cenobite box. Influenced by Dillinger Escape Plan, Dream Theater and Between the Buried and Me and some Black Dahlia Murder, they’re sophomore effort builds strong sturdy mortar structures on the frets. There are even hints of Slipknot spread throughout the seven track disc.
“Transcendency” opens with somber synth inviting the listener in with semi-tense guitar notes with the uneasy tranquility breaking, smashed away with vocals and thrashy guitars. Let the head pounding begin.
“The Collapse” gallops forward from the beginning with Stonehouse going from monster growls to demonic fingernail screeches as Dylan Wallace and Taran Murray lay down technical breakdowns and throbbing chug.
“The Nature of Existence” may be the stand out track with more short-lived tranquil angelic, cautious melody with the howls and guitars slamming eardrums like an unsuspecting mosh pit in a dark, silent room. Technical guitar weaves into a surprise delivery of clean Slipknotish vocals.
“Synthrospect” gives a soft break on the guitars, mostly.
Alpha offers a multi-faceted collection of rapid changing heavy riffs, grooves, patterns and rhythms. It’s music for a thinking MMA fighter’s moshpit rather than a simple slam-dancer.