giovedì 5 gennaio 2017

Abomination - "Abomination" (Nuclear Blast, 1990; Doomentia Records, 2016)

Band: Abomination
Title: Abomination
Genre: Death/Thrash metal
Year: 1990 (2016's reissue)
Time: 41 min
Rating: 73/100

Paul Speckmann and the death metal music…you can say they are the same thing. In fact, Paul is one of the main icons of the entire death metal movement not only because he is the leader of the veterans Master but also because he lives death metal even since 1984 when he founded Deathstrike in a period where this genre hadn’t still well-precise borders. But, after Deathstrike, Paul founded other projects devoted completely to death metal so to range from the ephemeral Funeral Bitch to the long-lived Master through Abomination.

Among these death metal bands guided by Paul Speckmann, just Abomination have a crucial importance. They were a trio born in 1987 with a line-up initially consisted of the drummer Aaron Nickeas and the guitarist Mike Schaffer of Impulse Manslaughter (very soon substituted by the late lamented Dean Chioles). Achieved a contract with the German label Nuclear Blast after two demos, Abomination released their homonymous debut album on CD in 1990. And now the Czech label Doomentia Records has recently reissued “Abomination” on a vinyl version since his long collaboration with the same Paul Speckmann, that currently lives just in Czech Repubblic.
Said all this, “Abomination” isn’t a pure death metal album. In fact, it still shows an enough classic death/thrash metal assault but declined in a very good dynamic way focusing on the simple riffing of Dean Chioles, able to spew forth some noisy solos à la Slayer; on the tentacular but ultra-violent drumming of Aaron Nickeas, instead able to combine unusual patterns with some very raw ones without vomiting blast-beats (which are very rare); and on the doglike-growls and suffocating screams of Paul Speckmann.

All this is supported by the anarchistic views of Paul, so to inform lyrically smart tracks that are very stick to the US socio-political reality. For example, you can find songs against militarism (“Suicidal Dreams”), the capitalism (“Redeem Deny”) and or the patriotism (“Murder, Rape, Pillage and Burn”) but not forgetting to face themes like the drug addiction (“The Choice”) and, according to an atheistic vision, the religion (“Life and Death”).
Two of my favorite numbers of the album are “Muder, Rape, Pillage and Burn” with its chaotic and heavy metal-oriented mid-tempos and its good basslines; and “Redeem Deny”, a song that alternates menacing doom parts with angered accelerations.

But, in my opinion, the better song of the album is “Possession”, that is also a very strange track full of experimental solutions. For example, “Possession”, after the initial fury, becomes literally paranoid with a lugubre and almost black metal riffing (Celtic Frost anyone?)…before  an absurd soldierly part declaiming, in a desecrating climax, "the Battle Hymn of the Republic”! If this isn’t a touch of genius, then I don’t know what it could be!
Unfortunately, “Abomination” isn’t a perfect album due to its some unconciving aspects. In this way, Abomination have sometimes the tendency to extend too much some songs with the result to repeat the same things. This happens during the final minutes of “Reformation” and in the aforementioned “The Choice”, an almost 8 minutes-track that has even the honor/responsibility to opens the same album. Moreover, the last two songs, “Victim of the Future” and “Tunnel of Damnation” (both lyrically a bit repetitive), don’t add something interesting to what the album has said yet.

So, “Abomination” is surely a good death/thrash metal album but without excelling. At the same time, this album is very interesting due to some strange solutions, to the unusual lyrics for a death metal album of the time and also to an indomable fury due especially to the quasi-punk/HC vocals of Paul and to the pounding drumming of Aaron. In addition of this, I have to say that Paul and Aaron were so unstoppable since they released the debut album of Master in the same 1990. Stakhanovite guys!

1 - The Choice
2 - Murder, Rape, Pillage and Burn
3 – Reformation
4 – Redeem Deny
5 – Possession
6 – Suicidal Dreams
7 – Life and Death
8 – Victim of the Future
9 – Tunnel of Damnation

Paul Speckmann – vocals/bass
Dean Chioles – guitars
Aaron Nickeas – drums

Doomentia Records:

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