Abysmal Torment
Cultivate the Apostate

Willowtip’s entry into 2014 early/Spring run of superlative tech/brutal death metal comes by way of the tiny country of Malta and the  third album from Abysmal Torment, a band previously unknown to me. And boy is it a doozie.

Using Floridan death metal as a very broad template, Abysmal Torment manage to dirty the core sound up a little. Though not as filthy as some of the Finnish bands like Corpsessed et al, but certainly a little cavernous and with some superb layered vocals that drip menace and authority. Think a dirtier Aeon. The nasty is nasty, but not suffocatingly so as there are some damn fine, complex riffs and time changes concealed within, but nothing too noodly or self indulgent- just more like a swarm of down tuned bees that are a perfect balance of pummeling blast beats and slower, more controlled marches.

Heck, one minute into opener “Whispering Venomous Ones” you get a solid glimpse of the band’s sound with a tempestuous blast leading into a damn fine, authoritative  groove. An that word ‘authoritative” keeps coming up for me as I listen to the album. Whether is due to Nick Farrugia’s commanding vocal presence, the crumbling but precise production or the album’s deft, bristling array of riffs and grooves, it all comes together perfectly.

Each track offers something to sink your teeth into and satiate the most primitive and brutal of base death metal instincts, but it’s done with a real sense of punishing restraint while still ensuring total devastation. Case and point, the likes of “Host of the Swine”, “Metamorphosis of the Maggots”, “Amid Your Scorched Barren Shrines”, and the pummeling breakdown in “Hang Them High” as well as the punishing rumble of ‘”Malkuth” , but the likes of “Dawning New Aeon” and “Conjured to Serve None” bring the blast as well.

Granted with 13 songs and about an hour run time, things get a but samey around “Hymn to Lucifer” and the closing  title track, with no interludes or filler, but there’s no denying the palpable ferocity that the album delivers and matches up with 2014s slew of top notch brutality from far more expected locales.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 25th, 2014


  1. Commented by: krustster

    This is a really good album, though I recommend you check out their previous tape “Omnicide” as it is fucking amazing. It has the same kind of dirty (?) sound you describe with this album only more so, and the riffs are astounding. I was a little disappointed by this album only because the previous one was so damn good. I believe they had a lineup change though.

    Try “Scorched Beneath Flaming Wings” and “Colony of Maggots” for best results

  2. Commented by: Count Breznak

    I would recommend NOT to check out Omnicide, it’s the bands worst offering. The reason for this aren’t the songs, but the horrible production. Try Incised Wound Suicide or Epoch of Methodic Carnage instead

  3. Commented by: Ben

    I’ve really tried with this one but I just can’t make it past perhaps a half hour. My ears hear far too many deathcore elements, and not particularly good ones either….which are limited in general across the genre. It feels too repetitive so far and I find myself repeatedly going to something else. Oh well….they can’t all be winners for me!

  4. Commented by: krustster

    Negative, I think the production on Omnicide is awesome. I mean, I can understand disliking it because it has that weird fuzzy sound, but I believe it was done intentionally. I think it sounds very unique and awesome!!

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