In recent years, Iceland has developed a reputation as a spawning ground for excellent black metal bands, but the country’s contributions to extreme metal go well beyond those black arts. And as convincing proof of that, I give you Severed.
I first came across the band’s music back in 2012 when they were using the name Severed Crotch. Even then, I was late to the party. By that point they had released a couple of demos in 2007 and a debut album in 2010 (The Nature of Entropy). Now brandishing a more truncated name (suggestive of more generalized and less crotch-specific violence), the band have recorded a new five-song promo that’s intended to lay the groundwork for their next full-length album.
The band have been gradually releasing songs from the album for streaming since last fall, and today we’re fortunate to bring you the fourth one, a track named “Edge of the Abyss“.
The song scratches all sorts of my itches. “Edge of the Abyss” is a genuinely dynamic death metal song. On the one hand, it’s viciously brutal. Anchored by a booming bass and pummeling percussion, it throws a mix of riffs at your exposed head — from those that writhe like vipers in a fury to skull-hammering assaults to big bone-cracking slams. But as the song progresses, it moves in other directions.
Along with bursts of flashy tech-death fretwork, grim melodies surface like ghostly wails emanating from a crypt, and near the end you get a fluid, slithering, dual-guitar instrumental that’s powerfully seductive. And through it all, the vocals are just as dynamic — Ingólfur Ólafsson seamlessly moves from truly massive, monstrous growls to truly ghastly rising howls.
All in all, a really excellent song — and you can hear three more from the new promo by clicking the links below.