Dawn Of Ashes - Daemonolatry Gnosis album review

Polished black metal bombast from an unlikely source

Cover art for Dawn Of Ashes - Daemonolatry Gnosis album

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Hailing from Los Angeles – perhaps not the first territory you’d associate with black metal – Dawn Of Ashes have been at it for quite some time, having crafted no fewer than six albums prior to this one. Having made a curious musical journey, beginning life as an EBM/cybergoth/industrial outfit and morphing toward the symphonic black metal with industrial touches we see today, it’s unsurprising that Daemonolatry Gnosis presents black metal in about as polished and clean a form as you could imagine. The result is a sound based in the commercial black metal of the early-to-mid-00s, bringing to mind the likes of Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, though substituting (maybe ironically) the gothic touches for a more modern and bombastic feel. There’s also a fair touch of blackened death aggression à la Behemoth, and having Anaal Nathrakh’s Mick Kenney mixing and producing has probably given this a bit more muscle than it might otherwise have had, the result being pretty solid, hard-hitting and catchy – but sometimes a little plastic.