Reviews for “The Character of Physical Law” part 2

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Album Review By Iron Mathew

After Dusk are a heavy metal band from Greece formed in 1998, spending their first few years as a band playing live and composing songs. Their first album ‘The Witch’s Pact’ was released in 2006, with the follow up ‘Hybris’ in 2009. The bands third album ‘The Devil Got His Soul’ was released in 2012, with ‘The Character Of Physical Law’ released in 2017.

Heavy and unforgiving, is one way to describe the sound of Greek metallers After Dusk. Their brand of heavy metal is a relentless pummelling of the senses, and when you’ve finished listening to their new album, you will know how concrete feels after it’s been pulverised by a jack hammer… The album opens with the title song ‘The Character Of Physical Law’, mid tempo pace and very heavy. Mild brutality accompanies every riff, twang and thump, as ‘The Character Of Physical Law’ strides on its way. ‘Masters Of Earth’ brings a touch of the epic metal genre to the fore, as it swaggers on. Heavier than the opening song, ‘Masters Of Earth’ is a little more brutal, a touch more aggressive and will slap you around the head as it changes gear, picking up the pace and storming on to a finish.

The pace increases even more with ‘A Phantom Epiphany’ a rollercoaster of thunder as it savagely storms by. After Dusk are delivering an album of very heavy, heavy metal. The band push the boundaries of the heavy metal genre very wide, placing a foot in the thrash metal genre with the thunderous ‘A Corpse With A Smile’. Uncompromising and relentless, After Dusk are bulldozing their way forward, with equal measures of aggression and brutality. Buzzing guitars breathe life into the NWOBHM influenced ‘Mindinfestation’. Foot stompingly addictive and bearing a resemblance to the sound of the iconic British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, ‘Mindinfestation’ is a thunderous echo of eighties heavy metal.

The NWOBHM influence remains prominent as ‘Pyroclastic Flow (Honeydoom)’ bustles into life and chugs on its way, the buzz sound guitar straight out of the eighties heavy metal evolution. After Dusk are from mainland Europe but have a definite UK influence in their sound. The fast pace, almost thrash metal style returns to the album in emphatic fashion as ‘Even The Sun Must Die’ explodes into life and stomps on with attitude and mood. Those who dare to stand in its path will be knocked down and trampled over, you have been warned… A dramatic change of sound sees, sorry, that should be hears, ‘Take The Bitterness Away’ adopt a mellow, keyboards fuelled, power ballad identity… a welcome breather from the bruising brutality of what has gone before. Thankfully, the album resumes its hard hitting style for the final song to take centre stage. ‘Kings Of Misery’ is heavy on the guitars, mood and attitude, stomping hard and kicking harder. ‘Kings Of Misery’ plays out the album as it began, with a mid tempo pace and very heavy.

Overall, very heavy, with uncompromising attitude and aggression, After Dusk deliver a thunderous and rampant romp of very hard hitting heavy metal.


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Review by FrozenSand – Hybrids are beautiful. – 96%

I have come to the conclusions that After Dusk are one of the most underrated bands in the Greek underground scene. Given their talent and the quality of their music, they are up there with the most famous Greek bands, such as Septic Flesh, Rotting Christ and Firewind. Their new record is a great example of diversity and experimentation, which shows how those two, can work out without being pretentious.

The Character of Physical Law is a beautiful, delicious salad. Yes, you read that well. A salad made of thrash, power and progressive elements, with a dash of death metal and an idea of jazz. The main riffs and the fast drumming are mainly inspired by thrash. In “The Pyroclastic Flow” and “Even the Sun Must Die” though, they develop an atmosphere much closer to death and black metal. The leads at the beginning of many of the tracks sound pretty close to European power metal, with the solos emitting progressive vibes. One can also spot many style changes at the same song. For instance, the aforementioned “The Pyroclastic Flow” turns from a death metal like song to a 80s heavy metal ballad and then to a Voivod inspired thrash anthem. Another great example is “Mindinfestation”, one of my personal favorites. It combines thrash, power and 80s NWOBHM and peppers the song with some modern rock vibes.

The band’s influences aren’t limited to metal only. Apart from the already mentioned modern rock elements, I have noticed some retro video game soundtrack keyboards, which thankfully keep from sounding cheesy. The track “Take the Bitterness Away” begins as a jazz rock song, heavily bass driven, before changing into doom metal and then transforming into a ballad. The classical guitar closure marks the end for this rather diverse song.

I struggled a little bit with the vocals. Not because I couldn’t stand them, but because I was trying to remember the person the vocalist’s voice reminded me. After three songs, I made it; he sounds like a softer version of Tommy Victor of Prong, which isn’t a bad thing, as I quite like Tommy’s voice. Unlike the latter, he doesn’t sing really aggressively, but he puts so much emotion that causes the listener the illusion of “being” in the song.

The diversity also applies to the lyrics. I have to say this; Paminos is a great lyricist as well as singer. He’s written philosophical, thought-provoking lyrics about human existence in a, strangely enough, scientific way. His lyrics here also praise the power of human feelings and point out their consequences. Of course, there is criticism of religion and the human tendency to blindly follow someone or something, as well as egoism, not written in a “wake up sheeple” style, but to a more self aware way. The possibly weirdest moment is a song about an old dude who died from a heart attack because of the pills he took to “satisfy” the girl he cheated on his wife with.

This record is of great originality. Apart from some Voivod and Vektor influences, as long as some Metallica-esque riffs, After Dusk have established their own sound and style. With this effort, they have proven that experimentation is something important, if not essential, for a band to excel. I dare to call this LP one of the best of 2017 and I hope After Dusk get some recognition on an international level-they deserve it.

Review by Chairthrower – Liberally Imbibe From The Crystal Chalice – 83%

Considering it’s been on the backburner for what seems like ages, practically boiling away to the point of evaporation (i.e. at risk of disappearing from my short list!), and that it makes a fine Sapphic complement, cover wise, to Merlin’s The Wizard, I figured it was time to give After Dusk’s fourth full-length release, The Character of Physical Law, a go as the Athens/Attica quartet duly merits accolades for its enchantingly refractive hybrid of power, doom, thrash and groove metal fused over nine tracks totaling three-quarters of an hour.

Aside from FrozenSand’s gregarious and sagacious review, this compelling Greek anomaly has somehow slipped through the Metal-Archives dragnet since its 1998 formation. While she did a fine job of capturing its magic, I feel it deserves further propping-up as this isn’t your everyday, garden-variety (or alternatively, extreme) heavy metal but rather, an ethereally captivating affair which warrants several listens in a row. For one thing, the singer’s low-ranged drawl has a distinctively eerie and lugubrious as well as purposefully nasal twine not unlike, as previously mentioned, Prong’s Tommy Victor, with perhaps a soupcon of Mike Muir’s resigned and squirely disposition, especially on “Kings of Misery”. Secondly, his downcast, at times, rapidly coasting delivery fits the mountainous yet sharply angled as well as ever-switching instrumentation to a tee. For example, on “Masters of Earth”, his languidly stewing despondence, juxtaposed as it is over the cyclical and slowly tremolo’d riffing, builds up a brooding tension for slightly over two minutes before the guitar breaks out into a frenzied downwind shuffle made only more atmospheric by the vividly haunting keyboards which heavily permeate the album and in the process, greatly do justice to the cover’s red-headed and buxom temptress. In other words, these eclectic yet easily digestible yarns are as mythical and mystical as said eye-pleasing artwork.

Another factor which largely contributes to TCoPL’s ephemeral albeit raw appeal is how, despite being cut from the same richly textured cloth, none of the tracks sound alike or succumb to repetition. All moving parts (i.e. fluent coalescing guitar riffs, unorthodox yet highly intricate drum beats and fat, resonant bass lines) coast along ever-gracefully without hitting turgid snags or wallowing for long before effortlessly transitioning to the next well-placed arrangement. One track which beautifully, if not raucously, demonstrates the band’s haphazard fluidity in a most stand-out manner is the massively gripping “Pyroclastic Flow (Honeydoom)”, on which the guitarist precariously teeters between full-blown Shufflelafagus mode and a dime-stopping about turn/suavely unfolding and placid, carnival-esque progression, with further wizened, eldritch keys supplementing a most evocative backdrop. Notwithstanding personal taste, it’s easily the most memorable track (as well as the most flavorful “doom”!).

The fire-brand guitar solos, though sparse, aren’t limited to token singular appearances at the mid-way or two-thirds mark; instead, they’re either sweetly tucked within the songs’ multi-layered arrangements, such as on the relaxing and mellow, almost Leonard Cohen-ish, rainbow and lullaby evoking “Take the Bitterness Away” (the singer is notably crooning and emotional here) or dominantly right up in your face, like at the behest of another fan favorite, the ludicrously macabre “A Corpse With A Smile”, which showcases a slew of Adams Family styled keys whilst the vocals and lyrics truly take the cake, especially on the grooved out, creepily amusing chorus. Also of note is the lurching and pummeling bass line as it buoyantly upholds this most festive albeit sinister track. (Although the bass generally takes a backseat to the vocals, guitar and drums, bear in mind it shines brightest on the bridges and solo sections.)

Like a fine wine, After Dusk’s The Character of Physical Law will effortlessly induce a warm and hazy glow in fans of any of the above mentioned genres. Cheesy as this may sound, as with Ancient Greece, its antiquated charisma and charm also constitute a true find for “academic” metal heads far and wide. In short, it’s highly worth checking out.


Μπορεί να κυκλοφόρησε το Μάιο αλλά τώρα έπεσε στα χέρια μας το νέο άλμπουμ των After Dusk, με τίτλο “The Character of Physical Law”.
Ήταν ζήτημα χρόνου να το ακούσουμε και φυσικά να γράψουμε κάποια λόγια για αυτό το τόσο μοναδικό άλμπουμ. Δεν έχει τον τετριμμένο ήχο του metal, έχει έμπνευση, έχει χαρακτήρα αλλά και ένα συνονθύλευμα μουσικών επιρροών, που κάνουν το άλμπουμ πολυμορφικό και εύκολα αρεστό από όλα τα μήκη και πλάτη του metal.
Έχει σκοτάδια, έχει αέρα, έχει ηλιόλουστα πλατιά σημεία, έχει γοτθικά αλλά και μελωδικά περάσματα. Είναι ένα άλμπουμ που θα το ακούσεις πολλές φορές και θα σου αλλάξει τα μέχρι τώρα μουσικά πλάνα.
Εννέα τραγούδια, με το καθένα να σου προσφέρει τη δική του μουσική ιστορία. Είναι ατμοσφαιρικό και γεμάτο δυνατούς ήχους. Θα σε παραπέμψει σε άλλες εποχές, όπου το metal δεν ήταν θέμα στουντιακών «ταχυδακτυλουργικών» λύσεων, αλλά ήταν έμπνευση, ήταν ο έμμεσος τρόπος να εξωτερικεύσεις όλα όσα συνέβαιναν. Όλα όσα σε προβλημάτιζαν, σε εξόργιζαν, σε έκαναν να επαναστατείς.
Έχει την ομορφιά του παλιού, αλλά και την αναρχική διάθεση της εποχής μας. Δεν είναι στυλιζαρισμένο, είναι ανόθευτο πραγματικό metal.
Τα τραγούδια που ξεχώρισα για τη μοναδικότητά τους είναι το “Masters Of Earth” για τη γήινη και σταθερά δυναμική μουσική του. Το “A Phantom Epiphany” για τα μαχητικά riff και την έντονη αγριάδα της φωνής. Το “A Corpse With A Smile” για την ‘70ίλα που αναδύει. Το τολμηρό και μελωδικό “Take Τhe Βitterness Αway”, ταξίδι μαγικό στο παρελθόν.
Μια υπέροχη δουλειά που θα αγαπήσουν οι λάτρεις του παλιού καλού metal. Εντυπωσιακά θέματα, αναρίθμητα σκιρτήματα και πλούσια απόλαυση μεταλλικού οράματος.
Μπράβο στα παιδιά και εύχομαι να τους πάνε όλα όπως τα θέλουν.
Μαίρη Ζαρακοβίτη