Death metal tends to get described in terms of its influences among the classic bands, and in the case of Abysme it makes sense to mention Entombed, Autopsy and Dismember when describing the style that cloaks the music of this band. Using the brawny Swedish distortion at full intensity, Abysme creating brooding prowl riffs like Autopsy and put their songs together much in that vein by carefully leading up to a moment of unleashing the riff that defines each song, but that riff quickly mutates into a style of melody like Dismember with the boxy but expressive riffing of early Entombed.
This is a Left Hand Path vision of Entombed, not anything later, and most closely corresponds — in its seeking of obscure moods and labyrinthine, backdoor entrances to the major themes of each song — to the songwriting template of Autopsy, but also has its own voice which is more gearing toward a deepening of moods within a dark mantle. The atmosphere of morbid despair generating an impulse to destroy becomes an assumption and within that framework, Abysme create different moods that transition from relatively understandable basic gut-level instincts to submerged existential questioning. Riffs achieve a voice of their own with a protean tendency to twist on themselves and emerge as a new form which evokes but does not echo the old, solving the mathematical symmetry problem that so many death metal bands find themselves becalmed in. Abysme like to vary between doom-heavy slower riffs that use single chords to hold space and the more phrasal riffs of classic death metal, frequently transitioning into single-note picked riffs to shadow and overlay major themes. As a result, from within a familiar style emerges a new voice.
Sometimes the vocals are overdone and sound more like a guy shouting himself hoarse at a biker rally than a musical instrument but for the most part they provide solid rhythmic backing to the change in guitar riff which is only loosely contexted by percussion, which alternates between doom-death quasi-groove to full-on blasting in rapid succession, managing to avoid leading the change within arrangements while still foreshadowing it and following it closely, like a covert sniper tracking a target among the artificial hills and valleys of an abandoned city. While some riffs originate in extremely basic chord progressions, the theme expands over time and develops into an entity of its own. Abysme create music on their own terms in tribute to the past and show an ability to understand death metal as the unusual but articulate beast that it is.
Houston promoter/label The Dread Lair has released a digital compilation, originally intended for zines and radio, which showcases Houston bands and other bands this force of metal propagation supports.
The lengthy work features Mantus,Emperial Massacre, Human Chunks, Plutonian Shore, Humut Tabal and more. It’s best to think of this as a sampler, where you’re looking for many different samples of a scene, rather than some kind of overall plan. This liberates you to enjoy the chaos.
As the metal scene expands, the necessity of promoting bands changes from a scarcity of information to a scarcity of choices. At this point, there is an immeasurable flood of metal. Finding something worth listening to is very difficult, since 99% of it is very bad.
The result is that old school means of “taste making,” or shaping an audience’s taste by presenting them selected works and shutting off or filtering the flood, has become more important than ever.
In 1994, Nile recorded a demo, Worship the Animal. This is from their early years when they still wrote death metal riffs, before the indie/rock/prog influence took hold. It will be released on October 11 on Goomba Music.
The lads over at A FIST IN THE ASS OF GOD have put together a compilation of undernoticed speed metal bands from the 1980s and 1990s. If you love this stuff, it’s quite good; if you don’t, it’s some of the more interesting edges of the genre so you can finally get “For Whom the Bell Tolls” out of your head.
Here’s the god-ass-packing tracklist:
1. Protector (Germany) “Protector of Death” (1986)
2. Morbid Saint (USA) “Assassin” (1988)
3. Soothsayer (Canada) “Build the Terrorism” (1986)
4. Burnt Offering (USA) “Power of Death” (1989)
5. Hobbs’ Angel Of Death (Australia) “Cold Steel” (1988)
6. Toxodeth (Mexico) “Black Doom” (1988)
7. Dolmen (USA) “The Ritual Night” (1989)
8. Pentagram [Mezarkabul] (Turkey) “Intro (Wreck)/Rotten Dogs” (1990)
9. Messiah (Switzerland) “Hyper Borea” (1987)
10. Ulysses Siren (USA) “Above the Ashes” (1987)
11. Infernäl Mäjesty (Canada) “Into the Unknown” (1988)
12. Sindrome (USA) “Rapture in Blood” (1987)
13. Anacrusis (USA) “Imprisoned” (1988)
14. Sacred Reich (USA) “No Believers” (1987)
15. Nasty Savage (USA) “Fear Beyond the Vision” (1985)
16. Lääz Rockit (USA) “Last Breath” (1987)
17. Demonax (USA) “Evil’s Cast Aside” (1984)
18. Holy Terror (USA) “Debt of Pain” (1988)
Today, June 6th, is International Day of Slayer. Many dedicated people, among them the fearsome IDoS task force, have worked to make this event the biggest yet.
You may ask, if interested (and damn you if you’re not), what can one do to celebrate and fully enjoy this day? Easy: by incommodating your parents/neighbours/girlfriend/dog all day long, playing your favorite Slayer(s) album(s) at maximum volume.
But I feel that what’s been said is enough, and we shall preach no more. Today, blast yer speakers through the boundaries of hell!