Abscession
Rot Of Ages

It’s been 5 years since Swedish/German act Abscession released their excellent debut album, Grave Offerings, one of the best slabs of HM2 Swedish death metal of the last few years, with one of the best songs in the genre “Gargoyle” of the last few years also. And now partnered with Transcending Obscurity Records (allowing for 46 different versions of the album) for album number 2,  Abscession look to make a move to elevate themselves in the genre. And boy, do they.

Openers “Rat King Crawl” and “Theater of Pain” set the tone with the same massive, punchy, but catchy jaunts as “Gargoyle”.  The same can be said a few tracks later with the energetic, feral gallops of “The Final Furnace”,  pummeling “War Machine” the title track. Abscession certainly knows their way around the classic Entombed influenced canter (i.e seminal “Revel in Flesh”). But the title track also shows a little more experimentation and variety the band has added, with a nice piano and some clean Edge of Sanity vocals out of nowhere.  That same slight but effective sense of evolution appears on other tracks like “When the Guillotine Falls”- with some more clean vocals from vocalist Thomas Clifford. But they can also rip your face off with more intense riffs like “Rains of Death” (which also features another little Edge of Sanity melodic nod) “Dead Mans Hate” and blistering “Prometheus Unbound”. The only thing missing is a full-on slow, doomy song akin to “In My Coffin” from Grave Offerings. Though closer does end the album with an 80s horror-styled instrumental/atmospheric close out.

Of course, the whole affair is rendered with a thunderous, buzzing production from guitarist ‘Skaldir’ (AKA Markus Skrock), who also does the clean vocals on the aforementioned title track,  at his home, Kalthallen studio. It checks all the boxes with a menacing chainsaw tone, throbbing bass, and killer bottom end. Everything you want and need in an HM 2 styled album.

There’s been a solid handful of releases in this genre this fall, with Organic’s Where Graves Abound and Grand Cadaver‘s Into the Maw Of Death, but Rot of Ages is by far the best of the bunch, and now finally with a second album,  these guys should now be mentioned in the same breath as Revel In Flesh, Entrails and Demonical as far as the genre’s top dogs.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 15th, 2021

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