Abysmal Torment
The Misanthrope

Hang on to your seats people. This one is a doozy. Malta’s Abysmal Torment have returned with the fourth full length effort The Misanthrope.  Let’s get right into this okay, the title track “The Misanthrope” hits like a ball peen hammer right away. Max Vassallo is one of the sickest drummers I have heard in a long time and this might be one of the best drum performances of the year for death metal. If you are not familiar with Abysmal Torment’s styled of death metal picture somewhere in between Cryptopsy and Wormed with eight string guitars and sweep arpeggios. There is so much going on in this opening track that it makes you wonder if Abysmal Torment put all of their bullets into the first track. Nope! Every track in this 2018 release is a fantastic display of technique, execution and brutality.

“Second Death” opens up with catchy riffing into a thrashier triplet section and then into a tough blast section.  There are so many tempo changes throughout this that you may need to bust out some Dramamine to deal with motion sickness.  I got to hand it to Abysmal Torment on how precise they are with their song arrangements. Pretty much every song is in that three to four minute range which to me is the perfect length for a death metal song.  These guys put so much into these arrangements that you will find yourself playing this album over and over again trying to keep up with all of the hooks.

“Squalid Thoughts” definitely reminds me of Whisper Supremacy era Cryptopsy. This is in no way a bad thing! There is just something about the way these guys groove out parts.  It is quite refreshing to have parts like these mixed in with all of the blast beat sections.   This particular track also features a pinch harmonic riff that would make Trey Azagthoth proud. “Dread” opens with one of the heaviest riffs on the album.  This track also ends with someone the brutalist drumming paired with sweep picking I think I have ever heard. There is no shortage of catchy riffs on this release.  We are only half way through the album! “Path of Impiety” is a jitteringly aggressive blast assault.  I think I hear a tinge of Hate Eternal in there. “The Pessimist” is a really unique track opening up with a sample from the HBO series True Detective, this instrumental can also be in the mix for heaviest tracks on the record.

“Strains of Brutality” is a strong hair whipping track.  Circle whips all over the place with this track.  Some crazy fretboard climbing by guitarists Kurt Pace and David Depasquale.  Melchior Borg’s vocals are unbelievably brutal and on point.  You might recall Borg’s work from Beheaded’s 2005 release Omnious Bloodline.  The closing track “Iconoclast” builds slowly with some shrieking feedback into an absolute thrill ride to finish up this close to thirty minute clinic of brutal technical death metal. Jason tipton and Willowtip Records have done in it again.  In already extremely busy year for Death Metal Abysmal Torment have cemented their submission towards the top of the herd for 2018. World class good.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
September 11th, 2018


  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This fucking rips!

  2. Commented by: Nicholas Kulczycki

    Erik, i know! It’s a monster!

  3. Commented by: Jay

    Just getting into these guys. Good fuckin’ stuff. I’m a big Crypto fan (still in my top live bands, saw ’em play a ripper) and this hits that sweet spot.

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