Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius

If you want to have your eardrums shattered due to some of the most brutal and apocalyptic sounding death metal you’ll hear this year, then look no further than the new full length album from the UK’s Abyssal. Not to be confused with the Abyssal from Australia, Brazil, Finland or France, this Abyssal is ready to take the metal world by storm with their incendiary style of black/death/doomy metal.

Sporting an absolutely vile production that reeks of radiation from the fallout of a nuclear war, Abyssal hammer away with a simply pulverizing attack. Though they can crank up the speed meter to the max, oftentimes throughout Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius, their second overall release, Abyssal opt for a slower, much more crushing delivery. Encircling the savagery is one hell of a haunting and terrifying atmosphere as well; they’ve managed to create this almost paranoid wall of noise behind their instruments and it’s mostly from their guitars.

But as grandiose and ominous as their sound is, there are plenty of drawbacks to Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius. Number one is that if you’ve heard one song on the album, you’ve pretty much heard the entire thing. An example of this is the main riff of proper album opener “The Tongue of the Demagogue” is also found in the follow-up “Under the Wretched Sun of Hattin” as well as “A Malthusian Epoch”.  Abyssal tends to stick to what made one of their songs work so well and simply replicate the exact formula for each ensuing song.

Granted, there are subtle wrinkles here and there that differentiate the tracks somewhat – like the slower, eerie middle section of “The Headless Serpent” and the blistering speed of “A Sheath of Deceit” but for the most part, it’s the same song over and over, making Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius stale towards the end. ‘Tis a shame because when Abyssal does push the envelope past their core sound, they are inventive and mesmerizing. And with such an ominous sound, there’s no telling how malevolent the album could have been.

Another major gripe is the programmed drums. Nothing sweeps the legs out from underneath an album than programmed drums and this album is a victim of that same fate. They are clicky and tinny, like virtually all programmed drums, and they hinder the baleful sounds of the guitars. If there is a human drummer behind a genuine kit (there is no lineup listed anywhere in the liner notes, promo kit or band website), then shame on the producer because he has sucked the energy out of arguably the most crucial element of extreme metal.

In all, this particular Abyssal (seriously… there needs to be a law preventing more than one band to have the same name) has plenty going for them because their sound is so morose. If they can muster enough energy to create a series of songs that completely stand out from one another, there’s no telling how mighty these guys can become. In short doses, Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius is a ghoulish treat. But after a few songs, the listener might be searching for a comfortable place to lay down because of the tedium that sets in halfway through the album. Plenty of potential here, no doubt. Here’s hoping that in the future they can fix what plagues Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
May 20th, 2013


  1. Commented by: KickMyJunk

    This review piqued my interest, so here I sit listening to this on youtube. I like this.

  2. Commented by: Iwein

    Same here. If this continues being
    rad, I’m supporting this on bandcamp.

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