Interview: Abysmal Dawn bring technical death metal to Owensboro for Relapse Contamination Tour


Abysmal Dawn vocalist/guitarist Charles Elliott is a veteran metal musician, and has performed on stages with some of the big names of metal. But, as a songwriter, Elliott draws inspiration from multiple genres of music.

“I listen to a lot of styles of music and metal,” Elliott said earlier this week. “… I’m pretty much all over the place. Whatever I think is good music -whatever gives me a feeling or I think is relevant to me – is good music. Even though metal is what I enjoy the most, I don’t close myself off to any other style.”

Abysmal Dawn’s highly technical extreme sound is both surgically precise, yet infused with a wildness akin to free form jazz. Next week, the Los Angeles band will bring its black-death attack to Owensboro, as part of the Relapse Contamination Tour.

The band is touring in support of its second album, the politically charged “Programmed To Consume.” Although the band already has songs in the works for a new album, Elliott said Abysmal Dawn plans to stay on the road for as long as possible.

“Honestly, I love touring. I might be putting my foot in my mouth with all the touring (we have) coming up, but with all the tours we’ve done, we love playing our songs live,” Elliott said. “That’s what our music is all about – having people enjoy it in a live setting.

“We have done for two songs (for a new album),” he said. “We hope to be (in the studio) by November, but we may or may not be in the studio if we keep getting offered good tours.”

The band has had the good fortune to land coveted opening spots for bands such as Exodus, Emperor, Immortal and Suffocation. Although the band is steeped in death metal, Elliott said Abysmal Dawn works to evolve on every new album and song.

“The direction we’re going has changed. We never want to be a band that makes the same record every time,” Elliott said. “To use a dreaded term, we step up to it. With (“Programmed To Consume”), the songs we’ve written are very technical, but still catchy.

“With each record, we definitely try to progress,” Elliott said. “… We haven’t gotten to the point where there’s no room to grow … At this point, we’re still experimenting and adding different aspects to our music.”

As a young band, Elliott said the members of Abysmal Dawn have learned from touring with older, more experienced bands.

“You gain experience with touring on what to do and not to do,” Elliott said. For example, one essential on the road is wet wipes, for times when showers are scarce, he said.

“I remember the guys in Decapitated, they used to take showers in sinks,” Elliott said. But what Elliott took away from touring with veteran bands was the need to always bring the best performance to the stage.

“You see these guys do it every night without complaint and that’s what you have to do,” he said. “You know you have to perform at the same level with these other well-established bands.

“We always try to bring a real high energy show,” Elliott said. “The more the crowd is into it – the more energy they put our way – we put 10 times more into it.”

Abysmal Dawn will perform with Obscura and Graves Of Valor on Friday, May 1 at The Brothers in Owensboro. Tix are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets can be purchased on-line at

To hear full songs, visit Abysmal Dawn’s MySpace page.

And, just for kicks, here’s the vid for the “Programmed To Consume”


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