Strange Rites

I wanted to like the debut from Pittsburgh’s Abysme so much more.  It’s got the founding member of Funerus, Brad Heiple in its ranks and it’s a dusty old school Swedish styled  death metal record with a classic Nihilist guitar tone and loose sloppy Autopsy influenced riffs. However, the song writing never quite matches the level of the guitar tone and production, as its either washed out by some faster riffs or just merely somewhat forgettable, resulting in me merely liking this record rather than loving it.

Still, Abysme ,while not in the genre’s elite or even up there with the other US act that was playing this style perfectly,  the now defunct Fatalist, they are on par with the likes of Mass Burial or Corrosive Carcass. That being said, Abysme is solid at the style and when they do lock on to a slower, more crawling riff, it does stick and render the style admirably, especially with their dirtier hues. But many of the riffs are buried either by the slightly overdone dirtiness of the production or the speedier riffs.

Openers, “Scribbled in Dust” and “Beyond the Seventh Door” are a perfect examples of the band trying a little to hard blasting and buzzing away with aplomb as the songs simply cant breathe , but to their credit, they do settle down into a more sickly gait. Starting around halfway into third track “Formless”, things start to settle down a bit, trying to improve the initial busy impression I got, which a nice crawl. Then “Annihilated Memory” delivers another solid track this time mixing excited murky blasts and slower much more effective Autopsy-ish moments.

The same goes for “Gift to the Gods”  which tries really hard to wash away some stout icky lurches with over excited blasts. “We Shall Sleep” initially hammer away like crazy before a very cool stop start groove injects some control into the track here and there, highlighting the band’s slight inconsistency as while they grasp the spirit of the style admirably, they just aren’t  quite there as far as the overall pace an patience the genres greats displayed.  The tasty little groove I just mentioned  cries to be the focal point of the song and milk it, rather than feature amid rather faceless blasting a couple of times.

“Terminal Delirium”, “The Third Day” and “Fallen Colossus”   unfortunately return to the pure wall of noise with a small groove  sound before the closer teases again with what the trio can do with a nasty Autopsy crawl at the songs mid point that’s oozes and reeks for the rest of the song’s duration. Still, Abysme are not up there with the likes of Entrails or Revel In Flesh and such as far as this style goes, but if they settle down a bit, there is some promise of being Fatalist‘s replacement in the US scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 18th, 2013


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