Friday, May 17, 2013

Abyssal - "Denouement" (2012)

Self – produced full – length album (January 2nd 2012)

Line – up (2011):      Unknown.

Location:                  United Kingdom.

Better song of the album:


Better feature of the platter:

Its oppressive aura.
Cover artwork: Kristina Gentvainyte

Abyssal, what a strange creature! I knew this band through, an excellent Russian blog concerning the Anarchoblack metal et similia, but I started to listen to them just during this period, thanks to the Polish Hellthrasher Productions, that now has the Abyssal in its roster. This band is very mysterious, since, for example, its line – up is unknown. At least, it’s sure that they belong to that little legion of bands that starts usually with the bestial black/death metal a là Blasphemy to play a completely alien and hostile music, proposing at the same time an imaginary coherent with it, that can be the occultism of the Mitochondrion or the primitive aeons of the Antediluvian. As it seems, the Abyssal want to reflect the decadence of this society with their music, because, paraphrasing the German philosopher Ernst Fischer, just so the art can be truthful.

Hence, you must prepare very well before to listen to the Abyssal because their music is very sick, being a technical black/death/doom metal with incredibly long songs, all the more so because that there are even 10 minutes tracks (“When Paradigms Supplant Gods” and “Swansong of a Dying Race”). The atmosphere is incessantly oppressive and frightful, helped not only by the cold drum – machine (but, above all, is it a drum – machine?), able sometimes to shoot strange patterns, but also by the vocal work, that is completely characterized by a very low growl.

On the other hand, the riffing is various, since it range from the freezing black metal riffs with arpeggios to the stinking death metal moments turning to a surgical brutal death, especially during the slow parts. But the melodic intuitions have a good importance in the Abyssal’s music, and this time it can be very close to the depressive black metal, contrasting to the more violent and dissonant passages presents here and there into the album. 

The soloist guitar has a fundamental role for the band, since it completes and integrates the main riff in many occasions and in various ways, also if there aren’t a single solo into the entire platter. Anyway, thanks to the soloist guitar, the atmosphere becomes usually more apocalyptic and disturbing.

The songs’ structure is another very interesting aspect of the Abyssal. Be scared guys, considering their preference for the innumerable tempo shifts and the sudden musical passages. In fact, their structural approach is totally based on the istinct and temporary emotions, like in a crazy brainstorming. For this, the super – slowdowns with motionless tempos, distributed here and there into the album, are almost relaxing because so you aren’t forced to follow a complex plot like no one. Then it restarts. Without no mercy. On top of that, the ambient and atmospheric sequences that opens and/or closes the tracks are able to terrorize again and again the listeners, that asks: “What will happen later?”.

But, as it seems to me, there are some differences between the first and the second part of the album. In fact, the first 3 songs have a more “easy” structure with some previous passages that comes recover in a very fluid manner. Instead, the last 3 tracks are more black metal oriented and they have a more fragmented structure, that this time is usually based on the progressive modification – rhythmic or not - of the single passages, so to create almost some mini – songs into the song. In consequence, I prefer the first part of the album, that has more reasoned climaxes but, paradoxically, my favourite track is the fourth one, that is “Detritivore”, for two main reasons:

1)      it’s the shorter episode of the platter considering its almost 5 minutes of length;

2)      atmospherically, it is very different than the other songs, proposing sometimes more… “happy” riffs than the usual.

Besides this, “Detritivore” divides the 2 parts of “Denouement”, also because they have a similar length (21 minutes circa).

Well, after a mega – review like this, what more I can say? Mumble mumble… oh yeah… all right, “Denouement” is a original and fresh work like few other ones, but the vocal work is decisively static and inexpressive, also because it doesn’t adapt to the development of music; then, the songs’ structure is sometimes approximate, leaving behind brilliant intuitions (and also incredibly full of groove) that aren’t developed very well (at least, this happens during the second part of the album). At this point, I would be curious to listen their second album titled “Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius”…

Vote: 79

Flavio “Claustrofobia” Adducci


1 – The Moss Upon Our Ruins/ 2 – Celestial Dictatorship/ 3 – Deus Vult/ 4 – Detritivore/ 5 – When Paradigms Supplant Gods/ 6 – Swansong of a Dying Race