Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Abyssal - Denouement

Fertility in death metal may not ring much of a bell when you think of Britain, but besides archaic giants like Benediction, Bolt Thrower and Desecrator, the current scene is growing more prominent and more strong each day, with such brilliant black/death bands like Grave Miasma, Spearhead, or the Incantation worshipers Cruciamentum collectively inspiring the scene around them. Although Abyssal is dubbed as black/death metal, their foggy, dispersed array of strident black metal chaos does not quite fall into the same bill as the bands I mentioned, assimilating and snatching influences from different bands. Now the cover art may not be very ''metal'', but first impressions can be faulting, and Abyssal's debut album is as professionally written and played as it can be, which is another baffling fact because these guys aren't even signed to a label, much like their black/death partners Morgirion.

I found ''Denouement'' to far more accessible than I expected and much more technical too, because Abyssal sure know how to fuse semi-technical, even brutal death metal elements with dark, cavernous and even atmospheric aesthetics that are used rather often in black metal. I would call this blackened brutal death metal, if there could be such a description since most of the death metal riffing falls behind the classic old school taste, and even though I'm not the biggest fan of the fast, aggressive, most pummeling genre of death metal, lots of the instant passages and darkened tremolo bursts catch my attention right away, and those fantastic shifts which completely flip the whole battlefield into another terrain stand as rather complex and converging pieces of music, no doubt arduous and stamina-draining. The important fact about about ''Denouement'' is that there are two strictly divided sections, black and death metal. Groovy convulsions and sudden outbreaks of melody and temper control these bridges that turn death metal into black or vice-versa, and with such an atmospheric, yet acrobatic maneuvers, the album immediately begins to pull minions with its grappling hooks.

As I said, I'm not the biggest fan of brutal death metal, but as each riff is ominously fashioned and laced with rich, chaotic texture, I find it hard to think of these riffs as boring or even repetitive for that matter. Breakdowns are obviously highly present and highly reactive, but there are also more mellow shifts that are less sudden and eccentric, like the occasional channels of minor arpeggios and slightly faster, but still melody and desolation oriented black metal tremolo sequences found on ''Celestial Dictatorship''. I might complain a little about the dragging, less flashy moments of the album though, parts where the aggression dwindles while melody and feeling take the front row. Abyssal plant a few brutal death metal chugs and stomps into the mixture, but even though, there are a few moments where I didn't really feel the energy too much. Even so, despite a few little flaws, ''Denouement'' manages to break free of the chains and ivy binding it down with a vicious upthrust of vivacity and aura laden black metal, and for an unsigned band, they really make their music tangling though still entertaining.

Deus Vult
The Moss Upon Our Ruins

Rating: 79%

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