Finnish old school death metal trailblazers Abhorrence have reformed to play a handful of shows, the first of which will be Tuska Open Air on 28 June 2013.
Perhaps most widely known as the precursor to another notable Finnish death metal band, Amorphis, Abhorrence took the sound of old Nihilist and Bolt Thrower and reduced it to the most crepuscular and nightmarish elements, forming the basis of what would be Finland’s idiosyncratically menacing regional sound.
Following on from the release earlier this year of Completely Vulgar, a compilation of all their early recordings through Svart Records, the band intend to play a small number of gigs for those newer fans that never had the chance to see the original incarnation, before disbanding once again.
If the two tracks released so far are any indication, then the album sounds exactly as the promo blurbs have been describing it (which makes a change): a cross between the claustrophobic, spacey weirdness of Dimension Hatross and the rockier, more mid-paced Nothingface with a touch of the sing-songy style of Angel Rat.
Unusually for a band of Voivod‘s stature, their decision to continue touring and making albums after the death of original guitarist Piggy has been greeted mostly positively. This is probably because his stand-in, Dan Mongrain, at times sounds more like Piggy than Piggy did; studiously recreating the tone and feel of classic Voivod whilst helping craft new material faithful to the era of the band most people always wanted to hear continued.
The album is released in Europe on January 21st and in North America on the 22nd. Eagerly awaiting this one.
Full tracklist for album is as follows:
1. Target Earth
2. Kluskap O’Kom
3. Empathy for the Enemy
4. Mechanical Mind
Classical music and metal are not as strange bed-fellows as first seems. Both try to take the listener on a journey from A to B via certain key points emphasizing conflict/discovery/victory in a narrative style that’s as old as the hills.
Both rely on a sense of heaviness of life itself in their songwriting, classical from a typically more light perspective, and metal from a darker one. Both are full of references and allusions to literature and ancient history.
“When you listen to the great guitar soloists, they’re stealing licks from Vivaldi,” said Pine. She mixes Led Zeppelin, Paganini, AC/DC, Vivaldi and Black Sabbath in some of her live shows, when not creating crashing curtains of doom metal with Earthen Grave.
Classical music is named for its creators’ desire to allude to ancient civilization in form and ethos, specifically but not exclusively the classics – Greece and Rome. What could be more metal than obsessing about the ancient world? In the post-Renaissance world that classical music came out of, studying those older civilizations and reviving their aesthetic values was seen as enlightened and forward-looking, contrary to the “newer is better, always” argument we’re used to hearing about our own times.
Metal and Classical also have in common then that they are both a kind of romanticism: oddly traditional whilst at the same time being futurist and affirming. Through an embrace of the powerful and epic in life, both use an acknowledgement of life’s heaviness to find meaning in its struggle.