Personnel: Nico Elgstrand (vocals, guitar); Victor Brandt, Lars-Göran Petrov (vocals); Olle Dahlstedt (drums).
Audio Mixer: Tom VanHeesch.
Recording information: Big Island Sound; Studio Supa.
Photographer: Sara Gewalt.
The second studio long-player from Entombed co-founder Lars-Göran Petrov's newest iteration of the stalwart Swedish death metal institution, Dead Dawn should please fans of 2014's largely well-received Back to the Front. In 2013, with the courts deciding that the band's original name belonged to the four founding members, Petrov decided to go it alone, recruiting guitarist Nico Elgstrand, bassist Victor Brandt, and drummer Olle Dahlstedt, who comprised most of Entombed's then-recent lineup, to come along for the ride. The resulting Back to the Front had more in common with the churning, groove-heavy thunder of 2001's Wolverine Blues than it did the Gatling gun slaughter of 1991's Clandestine, and Dead Dawn follows a similar path. Opening with the taut and economical "Midas in Reverse," which features a nice, darkly melodic midsection but otherwise checks all of the classic Entombed 2.0 boxes (tension, release, repeat), the ten-track LP is is a grower, especially considering that its best moments don't materialize until about halfway through. Beginning with the thick, Sabbathy intro to "Total Death," Entombed A.D. find their footing, tearing through a five-track onslaught of no-nonsense, NWOBHM-inspired everyman death metal that's shot through with enough hooks to incite a mini-riot in the hearts of even the most wayward fans -- they go full Motörhead on the punishing "Silent Assassin" and "Black Survival," but they manage to inject enough Scandinavian bleakness into the proceedings to keep their signature on top. A tad derivative, but not at all unenjoyable, with Dead Dawn, Entombed A.D. have done little to tarnish the legacy of either incarnations of the group. ~ James Christopher Monger