Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Abomnium - Coffinships

Self Released 2013
1.Taint 2.Hymn To The Tombs 3.Black Canyons Of The Living Dead
4.Coffinships 5.Conclave 6.Horde 7.Epoch
8.Cast Down 9.Sunfire
As opening track ‘Taint’ slowly fades in then bursts into life, there’s no denying the fact that Pete, the one man behind Abomnium is in no mood to hold back, the punishing and brutal production is the first thing that hits you straight in the face, especially the production on the kick drums, pounding and hammering away, thumping at the chest. It’s an extremely brutal way to open what is Abomnium’s second full length. Sitting between death metal and black metal very comfortably, with maybe a stronger black metal influence showing through a lot of the razor sharp guitar work. ‘Hymn To The Tombs’ starts melodically before all hell breaks loose once again in an absolutely scathing assault of blackened death metal, Pete’s vocals particularly effective when he mixes the higher pitched black metal style with the lower, guttural and more death metal approach – standard fare in extreme metal terms but done well here. As the song breaks from the brutal onslaught, a Middle Eastern sounding section is introduced, chant like vocals accompanying this melodic and very Nile-esque passage. There’s a really epic and haunting feel to this section, heavy thunderous guitars punching through and really allowing the guitar solo to flood out from the speakers. So effective with the epic feel to the track being continued to its conclusion, great stuff! ‘Black Canyons of The Living Dead’ continues in the Nile-esque atmosphere, especially vocally. Musically, there’s a slightly different approach undertaken, whilst remaining utterly death metal, a slight hint of Thrash has been added. Only a slight hint, just enough to add something new to the track but not make it sound out of place from what has already destroyed your ears so far! Title track ‘Coffinships’ see’s the black metal side to the band’s sound been given a hefty airing as the song bursts forth, hints of newer ‘Immortal’ on display, melodic undertones drifting through the black metal feel of the guitar riffs. The pace has been slowed slightly for a lot of the song, the atmosphere of the track taking precedence over speed and when the song slows right down and the lead guitars open up alongside the re-introduced chant like vocals, its sounding epic as fuck, with a real catchiness on display. No fucking around as ‘Conclave’ opens up a whirlwind of furious blast beats and frantic, yet precise blackened death metal – brutal? Of course it is sounding utterly devastating with the hate filled scathing black metal vocals taking the lead once more. There’s no let up at all, truly punishing and even when the song drops its pace slightly, the devastation continues relentlessly through several guitar solos. The track then draws to an unbelievably brutal conclusion, fading out slowly in a punishing finale.
‘Horde’ fades into life slowly, a creepy intro used to good effect before this tracks pummels the listener once more, the slight thrash element re-introduced into the hellish black/death metal onslaught, the chorus of “Rise Horde” enough to get the fist firmly banging in the air, extremely catchy whilst retaining the overall brutality of the album. ‘Following on in similarly brutal fashion is ‘Epoch’ , similar in structure to its predecessor with the thrash element again mixed in amongst the brutal black and death metal. Pete has seemingly mastered the art of slowing a track down and injecting some epic, catchy sections into a song, as he again does here, mixing it perfectly with all the aggression and brutality. As the track begins to end, the sense of determination is more than apparent, the guitar absolutely frantic whilst remaining fully in control, precisely executed. As if to prove the point made earlier regarding slowing the pace and adding melody and catchiness, ‘Cast Down’ does just that, the pace being slowed to a minimum through the use of Egyptian sounding lead guitar work played over hellish black metal riffing. A simple approach; but one that is marvellously effective here. Nothing too complex, it’s all about atmosphere and what a haunting, yet devastating atmosphere is created. Closing proceedings is ‘Sunfire ‘ which see’s Pete bringing back pace to the album, the furious blast beats re-introduced over the catchy, yet evil blackened death metal riffs. It’s very ‘Swedish Black Metal’ sounding at this point, which let’s face it, is never really going to be a bad thing! Clocking in at 52 minutes, it’s quite a lengthy album, but one that is packed so full off well written, well-crafted songs. Pete has definitely improved in all areas of his work with Abominium and ‘Coffinships’ is testament to that. He has produced an absolutely punishing album packed full of quality black/death metal played flawlessly. There are several influences (Thrash, Egyptian/Middle Eastern) introduced into what is an overriding black metal sound which work very affectively and give this album that ‘bit extra’ to stand out. It’s a real step up from his debut ‘Rites Like Chains’ and comes very highly recommended, you really should have this in your collection when it is released in early 2013.
9 out of 10
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