AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Dawn of Creation – Self-Destructive Matters

Back in the primordial days of this here blog, we attempted something called “AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö.” The basic idea was to select a bunch of unsigned bands and give them the collective review treatment to find the most worthy buried gems. It was our humble effort to remind folks that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal.

The Rodeö does not exist for the weak. Our collective of socialite reviewers has been known to treat every unsigned victim with unrelenting opinions. As such, we seek bands who, we hope, can either match the talent or attitude to be emergent. Dawn of Creation, hailing from big in attitude country of Serbia, exude toughness with every China cymbal splash, grooving tap run, and clacking bass pulse. But the rhythm of the underground doesn’t always shift in a subtle or even comforting way—such is the beauty of an practiced yet unrefined ensemble. Regardless of how our often contrarian critics may render this chug and rumble debut, know that if you choose to follow this band via their sole Facebook presence, you will see a band who celebrates whatever small victories come their way. Tough guys, big hearts, brutal pits, Self-Destructive Matters.  – Dolphin Whisperer

Steel Druhm: I dearly love my death metal, and so I joined the Rodeö team covering Serbia’s Dawn of Creation and their debut full-length, Self-Destructive Matters. It was billed to me as “tough guy death metal” but in practice, it comes across more like super groove-heavy mix of death, core and nu-metal elements (the kind that should have expired in 2002). While such a recipe could possibly work in the hands of seasoned wizard alchemists of prodigious skill, it quickly goes off the rails for Dawn of Creation and as one plodding groove-fest after another assaulted me, I couldn’t help but think this would be what a Gojira, Coal Chamber, and Soulfly collaboration would sound like. I didn’t want to be cursed with such knowledge. Each track features a riff that quickly settles into a groove that hammers you unto death with far too much repetition, and songs often become a chore to get through because of this signature trait. Add some rather lackluster vocals and a tendency to craft way too-similar-sounding tracks and the scant 33-minute runtime ends up feeling much longer. There are occasional bright spots dotting the crater though, like the frenzied thrash n’ blast of “I, God” where things veer toward Hate Eternal levels of aggression. “Walking Hatred” is also bit more enjoyable than its peers, with a sludgy mid-tempo wobble that feels massive at times. The bass playing by Miloš Đorić is solid and at times impressive and the band makes a sincere effort to spice the material up with slight tech, sludge, and slam elements. This sometimes makes Self-Destructive Matters a bit of a mess, however. There’s talent and potential here. but they need to up their writing game to fully capitalize on it. I hope they can.   2.0/5.0

Holdeneye: When I was in the fire academy, the training captain told us that it’s important to offer feedback in the form of the “shit sandwich.” You start off with some good stuff, give the “shit,” then end with more good stuff. He went on to say that me and my classmates were “punctual and well-groomed,” and he said the same thing again after laying down 30 minutes’ worth of shit. In the same way, I’ll start by saying that Dawn of Creation can lay down a compelling groove when they want to (which isn’t nearly often enough) and that they throw a few surprising elements into their death metal package. Unfortunately, that’s about all the bread I can muster for these guys and their unfortunately titled album, Self-Destructive Matters. While there’s groove, it often becomes brain-numbingly repetitive, and the vocals are dry and just lack any real dynamism. I gave this a deep listen while on a flight the other day, and that 33 minutes ended up being one of the longest hours of my life. The faster bits, like the one found in the middle section of “Fuck Your Blood,” are decent, so if the band can bolster the speed quotient on future releases, perhaps they can overcome the monotony of their current style. I haven’t seen a picture of the band, but I’ll take this opportunity to assume that they’re punctual and well-groomed. 1.5/5.0

Felagund: Dawn of Solace. Dawn of Disease. And today, we welcome another day-break inspired band: Serbian death metallers Dawn of Creation and their debut Self-Destructive Matters. 33 minutes across eight tracks seems like a short run time, but unnecessary repetition and riffs that overstay their welcome make it feel considerably longer. That isn’t to say that this is a poor debut. Far from it. For a DM band who incorporate doses of tech, sludge, slam and metalcore, Dawn of Creation prove to be more restrained than you may first assume. Whether you’re looking for minor Black Royal worship (“Armageddon Manifesto”), some enjoyable cheese (“Walking Hatred”), or a mid-album instrumental that successfully apes the Nightmare on Elm Street theme (“Walls”), Dawn of Creation have respectable songwriting chops and are capable of churning out some engaging tunes. But like so much on Self-Destructive Matters, things are fun but ultimately flawed. The biggest issue? Almost every song sounds like it drew inspiration from Zakk Wylde 57 seconds into “No More Tears.”1 Variations on the same big, chunky, chugging riff show up over and over, planting itself defiantly in the center of too many tracks and demanding that the bass and drums just sort of…work around it. The result is an album that feels bloated and repetitive, with some good songwriting ideas buried beneath the same tired caveman riffing. Given time to outgrow this tendency though, I can foresee a Dawn of Creation delivering a solid chunk of tech death with just enough bells and whistles to be dangerous. 2.5/5.0

Ferox: Dawn of Creation plays death metal with enough chug to power a rail trip across Europe. The testosterone’s a-poppin’ on Self-Destructive Matters, which features tracks like “Fuck Your Blood,” “I, God” and “Walking Hatred.” This is Enlightened Tough Guy Death Metal (ETGDM); Dawn of Creation pounds their chests and whips their gorgeous curly locks in the direction of the world’s problems. No intractable issues get solved (although I haven’t checked the news since this morning), but there is groove-laden fun to be had along the way. Axeman Nikola Kostić packs the platter with a plethora of riffs, and there are effective flashes of variety to be found amid the constant Gojira-esque chunk-a-lunk-a-chugging. “Damned” mixes old-school death flourishes into the formula, making for a gnarly highlight. Unfortunately, those moments aren’t enough to get what is ultimately a humdrum effort over the top. Self-Destructive Matters leans way too heavily on Dawn of Creation’s favorite songwriting trick, and neither Kostić’s monotonous vocals nor the production do much to offset the fatigue that sets in after listening to a few of these songs in a row. My colleague Dolphin Whisperer recruited me into this Rodeö because of our mutual appreciation of all things rock-headed and beef-witted. Given that, I wish I could muster up more enthusiasm for Self-Destructive Matters. The album’s never less than competent, but it’s also never more than inessential. 2.0/5.0

Maddog: Maddog like death metal. Maddog need lift rocks. Simple riff make Maddog lift big. Dawn of Creation also lift rocks. Self-Destructive Matters many riffs. Many chug chug chug like deathcore. Some fast like Dying Fetus (“Fuck Your Blood”). Some slow death metal, simple easy (“Damned”). Good ideas. But songs not all make Maddog happy. Some part too dumb for dumb Maddog, repeat one chord chug chug too much like boring deathcore (“I, God”). Also some songs long, do one idea again and again and get boring (“Armageddon Manifesto”). So album sounds same, and the Maddog mind wanders. Tough to listen to it lots. Not all bad though. Bass rocks, thick and strong like Maddog. Some cool riffs, scary like Immolation (“Fuck Your God,” “Walking Hatred”). Good riff make Maddog Homo erectus. Nice try Dawn of Creation, some things Maddog like. Some things maybe you like too. But next time Maddog lift boulder up hill, Maddog listen Dyscarnate instead. 2.0/5.0

Itchymenace: First off, let me just say that this IS my first Rodeö. When I was roped into reviewing this record, it was billed as “tough guy death metal.” That’s not exactly what I found. I would describe Dawn of Creationߵs sound as more metalcore than death. Correct me if you want,2 but it’s that type of heavy music where the breakdown is the song. Labels aside, Self-Destructive Matters delivers a relentless and economical eardrum assault of mid-tempo bangers. I like that these guys take their time instead of trying to cram 100 riffs at 150 BPM into each song. While the sound gets a bit homogenized, and “Fuck Your Blood” is one of the stupidest titles I’ve heard (and I review plenty of stupid stuff), there’s enough to like here. “Armageddon Manifesto” is a strong opener and “Walking Hatred” is a great slammer for your gym playlist. The mid-album instrumental, “Walls,” is a simple but refreshing palette cleanser that shows some depth before slow burner, “Damned,” kicks in. Play it loud for best results. Based on the conversations around the sump, I like this more than the other idiots. Let the monkey poo-flinging commence. 3.0/5.0

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