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Five Albums That Changed My Life: Charles Elliott of Abysmal Dawn

Relapse Records

Earlier this year, Abysmal Dawn released ‘Leveling the Plane of Existence,’ the band’s latest tech-death masterpiece. Additionally, the Los Angeles-based group will re-issue their long out-of-print debut album, ‘From Ashes,’ on January 17th via Relapse Records. Originally released in 2006, this wildly underrated album will feature 3 bonus tracks and is available for pre-order now at this location. Finally, Abysmal Dawn announced an extensive North American tour as direct support to label-mates Obscura. The tour will start Nov. 4th in Wilmington, Del. and run through Dec. 7th with additional support from Last Chance to Reason (select dates) and Enfold Darkness (select dates). To help celebrate the tour, Noisecreep asked Abysmal Dawn guitarist/vocalist Charles Elliott to take part in our ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life’ series. On a side note, make sure you also check out Bereft, Elliot’s new project that also features ex and current members of The Faceless, Intronaut and Graviton.

‘Human’
Death (1991)

“I was floored when I first heard this record. The guys in my first band were huge Death fans and introduced me to some of their earlier records. I thought they were cool but when I heard this album it blew my mind and I was hooked. The awesome changes, the odd meters, the crazy yet tasteful drumming, and the jazz-fusion influenced guitar solos of Paul Masvidal had me sold on this band. I love all their records but this one just had some extra aggression to it. I used to go back and forth between ‘Symbolic’ and ‘Human’ about which was better, in the end ‘Human’ won out for me.”

Amazon

‘Heartwork’
Carcass (1996)

“I worshipped the guitar tone and playing on this record for years. Colin Richardson did an amazing job with the production and he actually shaped some of my favorite records growing up. ‘Burn My Eyes’ from Machine Head almost made this list and that has some of the greatest drum tones ever. Anyway, the riffs, the leads and the lyrics all really influenced me at the time. The lyrics are very intelligent and I’d sit there sometimes with a dictionary trying to figure out what the hell bassist/singer Jeff Walker meant. The leads are flashy but tasteful and to me Michael Amott and Bill Steer, along with Andy LaRoque and Pete Blakk, we’re one of the best guitar teams in metal.”

Amazon

‘Slaughter of the Soul’
At the Gates (1995)

“The riffs on this record are catchy as hell and I love the way Tomas Lindberg’s vocals sound. With every lyric I felt like I could hear the pain in his voice as if he might even burst into tears. The lyrics are amazing with this band. Tomas would write some really poetic stuff that would paint a definitive mood and picture with the lyrics. This album also has great production, with a much more melodic sound than most death metal bands had at the time.”

Amazon

‘Low’
Testament (1994)

“This was the first Testament record I heard and shortly after, James Murphy became my first guitar hero. In retrospect maybe I like some of the other albums better (I listened to ‘Live at the Fillmore’ non-stop for over a year, which got me into their back catalog), but this is the one that made me want to pick up a guitar and shred. ‘Low’ convinced me to buy everything with James Murphy on it for a while and I did. It wasn’t until later that I got into Alex Skolnick and he became another major influence of mine.”

Amazon

‘Demanufacture’
Fear Factory (1995)

“The first time a heard this record I could not believe how insanely tight and precise they were. I would listen to Dino Cazares’ right hand and just think I’ll never be able to be as machine-like as him. They were one of the first bands to mix clean and heavy singing too and that made them really unique at the time. I liked the somewhat political and sci-fi content of the lyrics as well. It’s probably a big influence on me in that sense and I never really thought about it until recently. After this record I sort of lost interest even though ‘Obsolete’ was decent. When their ‘Mechanize’ album came out, they made me remember why I loved them so much.”

Amazon

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