Precis Innan Gryningen
2013 Chaos Records
It seems like everyone has at least one side band these days. In some cases, you can't even tell which is someone's main band and which is their "musical playground." Just Before Dawn happens to belong to guitarist Anders Biazzi, who you might know from Blood Mortized, or under the name "Anders Hansson," as an early member of Amon Amarth. Apparently, this was originally going to be a project with the Riffmaster General himself, Rogga Johansson -- who was only going to handle the lyrics and vocals, Anders would write all of the music himself.
Somehow or another though, it turned into a more underground version of Fred Estby's Necronaut. If you missed that project, it featured Fred on most of the instruments, with vocals by the likes of Tomas Lindberg, JB of Grand Magus, Dread (better known as Andreas Axelsson), and Erik Danielsson of Watain. Just Before Dawn however, features a bunch of vocalists from not-so well known great bands... Rogga, of course, as well as Jonas Lindblood of Puteraeon, Mr. Hitchcock of Zombiefication, Ralf Hauber of Revel in Flesh, and Tony Freed of Godhate. Gustav Myrin, who plays guitar in Blood Mortized tried his hand behind the mic as well, as did one Dennis Johansson, whose other bands Plästerd and Headstoned I'm unfortunately not familiar with. Personally, I'm more in favor of having a more regular lineup with just one vocalist, rather than going the "Probot" route. Still, it does more or less work out here, and for me, it's more about the fucking RIFFS. Holy crap. The short band bio describes the sound as a mix of Bolt Thrower and Asphyx. How many times have we heard that, only to be utterly disappointed and let down? Well, not this time! Each track manages to capture the massive sound of Bolt Thrower minus the "war feeling," which has been replaced with the morbidity of Asphyx. Although the album cover appears to depict a scene from World War II, I do not believe that the lyrics are specifically about that war or time period. There is a fascination with the machines of war though, with one song about a submarine and two more about tanks. Images of tank treads crushing fleshless skulls come to mind very quickly (like that scene in "Terminator 2"), as do recollections of the first twenty minutes of "Saving Private Ryan," with bullets flying, men dying, chaos abounding and death gods laughing. All of this... just before dawn.