Dennis : ‘Tides of Blood’ is the third full length album of Just Before Dawn, the old school death metal band around bassist Anders Biazzi (Gods Forsaken, Blood Mortized, ex-Amon Amarth), drummer Brynjar Helgetun (Gods Forsaken) and guitarist Jonny Petterson (Henry Kane, Ashcloud, Gods Forsaken, Wombbath). On the first two records ‘Precys Innen Gryningen’ and ‘The Aftermath’ the collective invited an international selection of death metal vocalists to sing on the record and on the new album this interesting approach is continued with contributions of Dave Ingram (ex-Benediction, Dead Among The Dead Man, Ursinne), Matias Nastolin, (Decaying), Mattias Parkkila (Malfeitor, Blood Mortized), Ralf Hauber (Revel in Flesh), Teddy Möller (Hexed, Anima Morte), Jocke Mikiver (Crawl, Tormention) and Samuel Englund (Wombbath, Deathbreed) amongst others. Also, Memoriam’s Scott Fairfax, Thanatos’ Marco de Bruin, Blood Mortized’s Gustav Myrin and Wombbath’s Hakan Stuvemark recorded solos for this record, so there were quite a few death metal maniacs involved in the making of ‘Tides of Blood’.
So, is it any good, you might ask yourself? Well, if you’re into the old school death metal of Bolt Thrower, old Amon Amarth or old Hypocrisy, ‘Tides of Blood’ might be exactly what you have been craving for. Just Before Dawn play slow to midpaced, heavy as fuck death metal. The sound of their riffs is massive and combined with the continuously rolling bassdrums Just Before Dawn sound like a true death metal warmachine. The lyrics too, are based around themes from the Second World War, with songtitles such as ‘Market Garden’ (a piece of Dutch war history), ‘Bombs over Bremen’, ‘Battle For The Bridge’ and ‘Spirit of the Blitz’ telling stories about dark times in European war-history. Just Before Dawn certainly aren’t the most original band and the war theme isn’t either, but I think these guys have managed to create a very dark and ominous atmosphere on the record. The songs are quite easy to get into and they all have a very distinct character with melodies that stick in your head after hearing them a couple of times. I like the different vocals on the record, but I am also quite content with the former Benediction and Bolt Thrower frontman Dave Ingram singing on most of the songs, and the latest news is that he is now a full time member of Just Before Dawn. Definitely check this record out if you’re into old school war-themed death metal!