Brought Forth in Iniquity

High the Memory, the second album from Norway’s Abyssic was one of the more underrated surprises for me back in 2019. Using a base in UK funeral doom ( My Dying Bride notably) and adding a dominant cinematic symphonic/orchestral layer, it was a superb album that made the world of lumbering doom a little more dynamic and epic.

And that is no surprise considering the band features former and ex-members of Old Man’s Child, Dimmu Borgir, Susperia, and Funeral, so there is an adequate lineage there to indeed make an impressive album and take doom metal and make it a larger, more bombastic sound.

Basically, if you took the member’s Funeral and Dimmu Borgir influences, you’d have Abyssic’s basic sound; big, crunchy loping guitars playing slow, morose riffs backed by deep, pained bellows and sumptuous, dramatic piano, strings and brass at every note – not just an interlude here or there or a bridge, but full on symphonic black metal levels of dynamics and delivery. And being doom metal, we get it in lengthy 6 to 18 minutes dirges to make for an enthralling yet despondent 50 minutes of music.

And of course, as its doom metal, there are plenty of moments of rending, wilting sadness in the riffs, that are only magnified by some of the orchestration- case and point the second track “Chronicles of the Dead” and sternly morose “Mirror of Sorrow” where you get the Funeral– ish  (whose “The Architecture of Loss” still makes me tear up like I’m mainline onions into my eyes) vibe of loathsome despondency backed by delicate ivory tinkling that really hits home.

“Djevelens Lys” changes things up a bit with blast beats here and there that imbue more symphonic black metal but mingle with absolutely crushing doom metal and a gorgeous if short mid-song bridge with a flute and piano.

But the standout has to be the 18-minute closing title track, an absolutely soul-withering monster of a number that covers a gamut of pacings and various degrees of sadness and hate including two, lovely late song, string-filled breaks that both climax with decisive, depressive power and fades out with somber elegance, signaling the end of an excellent album perfectly.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 10th, 2022


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