Dead By Dawn

Time for some satanic death metal on this fine sunny afternoon. This mornings dank and gloomy weather was much more palatable for Glen Benton’s guttural roar, but I doubt my customers would’ve appreciated the rumblings of the now departed Hoffman brothers. 

The self titled debut album from 1990 was considered the second best selling death metal album by the sales tracking company SoundScan behind Morbid Angel’s Covenant album. Those figures didn’t start until 1991 though and there were some influential releases prior to that and most definitely some better selling albums since. 

I’ve only seen the band three times. The most recent one was last year as the closing band on the Altar stage at Hellfest. Before that I’d not seen them since Bradford in 1998. I should’ve seen them a few more times in the interim, but they were down to the band cancelling shows. One was a late cancellation of their Bloodstock appearance in 2012 and a club show I should’ve been attending was axed at short notice. I’m not sure when or where now – 2013 I think and Manchester or Birmingham no doubt. Their last UK show was London in 2014 and not a peep over here since. 

My first live experience was December 1992 on their Legion tour at the now defunct International II in Manchester. The touring package consisted of Cancer and the German version of Atrocity. I’m pretty sure I have the long sleeved shirt I brought that night bagged up in the loft, a Bluegrape original, not the best merchandising firm but their labels standard company at that time. The night was more memorable to me for two other things. Firstly the mass evacuation of the venue due to a bomb scare due to a suspicious package allegedly from the animal liberation front. 

Secondly it’s fondly remembered for the journey home. I hadn’t been driving long and the people I took assured me they knew the way there and back. This was the days before sat navs and smart phones. Surprisingly they didn’t know the way back and it felt like it took forever to get home and I ended up traversing some proper dodgy twisty and winding roads with snow covering done of the higher routes.  Knowing what I know now I went miles out of the way. 

The Deicide album was another album I received in promotional form for my fanzine at the time from Roadrunner Records. I’m pretty sure I also did a postal interview with the Glen at the same time. I need to look for all my old surviving issues and do something digitally with them for active purposes. For a death metal band from Florida – the death metal epicentre of the universe at the time – it’s no surprise to know it was recorded at Morrisound Studios under the guidance of Scott Burns. 

I gave the album a blast – loudly – in the early hours of Sunday morning when we came back from celebrating the wife’s birthday. The next door neighbours were also suitably inebriated and playing their techno dance music nonsense at volume so we gave them an gnarly death metal blast. I think we must’ve won that battle as they soon closed their window and departed. Oh how we chortled. 

Dead By Dawn is one of the lesser satanic tracks from the debut as it’s loosely about the original Evil Dead film. No promotional video for the track was made and this live version is from the When London Burns DVD from 2006.