REVIEW: Dawning of the Inferno – Purification [EP/2014]


Artist: Dawning of the Inferno

Album: Purification – EP


The beginning was…cold. Bereft of heat and light, life crept into existence on this planet like a weed, slowly growing from whatever crevice it could escape from. Before long, simple single-celled organisms found themselves amalgamating, growing more and more sophisticated as years trickled into decades that passed into millennia. Now, life is exemplified by humanity, the climax of life as we know it—cognitively superior, adaptive and creative beyond compare. The truth? Humanity is a plague, infecting earth and draining it of everything that made it sustainable for life in the first place. The time for cleansing is upon us—and it will be done by the hands of Vancouver vanquishers Dawning of the Inferno, and their adequately named EP, Purification. In a time where deathcore is just as overgrown and densely populated as our planet, Purification is just what the genre needs; a recollection to it’s roots. Combining catchy, ear-snagging riffs with voraciously heavy breakdowns and flesh-flattening slams, Dawning of the Inferno create intense deathcore with a classically technical twist that fans of heavy music will certainly find solace in.

Purification is the sound of a band that have spent countless hours and practices refining their instrumentation to a precise combination of lacerating death metal and bone-busting hardcore—taking careful time to add twists of melody, atmosphere and technicality into the mix as well. Even the album’s introduction is a full-bodied showcase of the band’s razor-sharp instrumental dynamic. “Purification” begins subtly enough, however, before too long the ominous silence begins to buckle and give way to the tedious, spindly fretwork of guitarists Jin Kim and Connor Gilkinson. Kim and Gilkinson work together, weaving a tedious, eerie riff that worms its way into the listener’s head through their ears, only to erupt like ten tons of napalm at the addition of percussionist Carl Dick. Often, Gilkinson and Kim find themselves toggling on and off between riff-driven moments of mayhem and straightforward brutality that makes the listener shake in their seat. “Modern Slavery” is a stellar example: the track has a climactic breakdown where Gilkinson and Kim’s guitars are twin twelve-ton steamrollers, flattening the listener with ease, even as the crunchy slam-fest finds itself flanked by tremendous riffs and catchy, almost dancy drum patterns that get lodged in the listener’s head like a splinter, and hammered into place by Dick’s devastating work behind his kit. Dick’s percussion is often instrumental in adding extra punch and heft to Dawning of the Inferno’s fretwork: this is just as true during the opening portion of “Purification,” as it is the climax of “Modern Slavery” or the haunting, atmospheric build up in “Virtue in Violence,” where Dick’s toms sound more like cannons than drums. Together, these three masters of murderously heavy musicianship come together to create a well-oiled machine that is painstakingly talented at delivering precise, punishing portions of excellent deathcore.

The complex, crushing juggernaut that is Dawning of the Inferno would not be complete without its voice—its figurative head—found in the throat of Josh McHaffie. McHaffie reigns over a great majority of Purification with a grisly, low bellow that would make Phil Bozeman or Adam Warren proud, bruising the listener’s head and melting their brain with mere syllables. From the very beginning of “Summoning,” McHaffie attacks the listener with low, guttural rants that sound as if he’s reciting an incantation or—indeed summoning—some kind of demon from beyond. McHaffie’s perfect control over his vocals, combined with his intense, low growl is simply masterful, done so fluidly and consistently that the times where he lets loose with a screeching shriek or mid-range yell become particularly punishing and draw special attention to whatever statement or message he is attempting to impart at that instance.

Between the band’s ability to play their instruments exceptionally well, and McHaffie’s ability to maliciously berate the listener’s ears with harsh, gruff shouts, Dawning of the Inferno are deathcore the way deathcore should be. Think back to the first time you ever heard someone refer to a band as “deathcore”—the twisting, gnashing riffs, pulverizing blast-beats and gut-wrenching guttural vocals that came to mind—remember those? That is the kind of deathcore Dawning of the Inferno provide; intense, immersive music that provides an old-school deathcore feel without feeling too gritty and dated. McHaffie works intimately with Gilkinson and Kim’s fretwork to entrance the listener, while Dick simply devastates everything he touches with his insane drumming. Even “Rebirth,” a track without McHaffie’s influence, is a comprehensive display of Dawning of the Inferno’s talent—all while giving the listener the slight rest from Purification that they so desperately need by the time the track rolls around.

Purification will bathe the listener in immense, scalding aggression and punishing, aggressive instrumentation that will cleanse them of their current perception of the stagnant, cluttered deathcore that exists now. Combining speed, technicality, precision and—of course—heaviness with lethal efficacy, Dawning of the Inferno are a band that might just signify the dawning of a new age of deathcore.



For Fans Of: Whitechapel, Oceano, Thy Art is Murder, Signal the Firing Squad

By: Connor Welsh