This Swedish death metal band was founded 11 years ago by guitarist Anders Biazzi, who some of you may remember as a member of Amon Amarth in their early years. Just Before Dawn’s lineup has been fairly stable for the last six years, with Anders being joined by drummer Jon Rudin and Gustav Myrin on second guitar. While Anders is also taking care of the bass recordings, his philosophy throughout the band’s existence has been to invite guest singers for each of the songs. A War Too Far, the fifth full-length, is no exception, with David Kreft (Graceless, Soulburn) contributing vocals to three of the nine songs. Damien Terry (Envig), Filip Fougstedt (Creeping Flesh) and Matias Nastolin (Decaying) are some of the other growlers in the rest of the songs.
So, what we have here is some really catchy, epic war-themed death metal, in the vein of Bolt Thrower, Hail Of Bullets and, of course, Asphyx. This time, the lyrics are dedicated to the war veterans of the Vietnam war, while the music is as strong as ever. Opener Innocence Lost, The Odyssey of Echo Company and We Few bear some of the more memorable melodies, while the closer When Sanity Cracks is pure Bolt Thrower worship. The opening riff is simply spectacular. None other than the mighty James Murphy plays a fantastic solo in the title track, while Daniel Gustavsson (Tormention, ex-Demonical) lends solos to four other songs. It may be true that Just Before Dawn doesn’t bring anything new to the scene that we haven’t heard before, but it can’t be denied that A War Too Far is competently performed, memorable and inspired. The scene is crowded, yes, and because of that, it becomes harder and harder for new music to attract your attention and stay in your player for more than two spins (at most). This is not the case here. Just Before Dawn know what they are doing and they are doing it with love and even more importantly – they are capable of composing riffs and melodies with lasting power and impact on the listener.
If epic death metal is your thing, check these guys out. Five full-lengths and five EPs since they started – it’s all highly enjoyable stuff, even if the lyrics and theme are quite grisly. But after all – this is death metal, isn’t it?
A War Too Far is out on September 29th via Raw Skull Recordz and can be pre-ordered from HERE