(We present Andy Synn’s review of the debut album by the Danish band Abscission.)
So how’s everyone doing today? All good? I’m only asking because I’ve been relatively off-the-radar doing musical stuff (and then recovering from the cumulative hangover) for the last few days, and so haven’t had much chance to catch up on the various comings and goings of the interweblogosphere.
Obviously that also means I haven’t had any time to do any real writing for NCS for a little while, with the result being that I’m now even further behind on my review schedule than I was last week.
So, in an attempt to get things back on track (though I’ve got a couple more shows to play this week still), here’s some of my vaguely informative ramblings about Vacuity, the dazzling debut album by devilishly dark Danish Death Metallers Abscission.
The gloomy clean guitar intro to opener “Vertigo” soon develops into a thunderous torrent of brooding, bruising riffs and moody melodies, topped off with the scarified vocals of Kasper Juhl and firmly anchored by the punishing percussion of drummer Richardt Olsen, after which the slow-burn introduction to “Desolation of the Self” provides bassist Mike Sabroe Nielsen (whose low, looping tones are pleasingly prominent throughout each of the album’s ten tracks) his own opportunity to shine before the song erupts into a full-force blast-a-thon, complete with an array of bleak, spine-tingling melodic touches and one impressively infectious chorus refrain.
The band’s subtly technical, highly textured, take on Death Metal most clearly owes a hefty debt to latter-day Gorguts (whose influence one can hear clearly in songs like “The Ubiquitous Black” and the atmosphere-heavy “To Build Upon Broken Bones”, for example) and early Gojira, and also shares more than a few sonic signatures in common with proggy Tech Death merchants Rivers of Nihil (“The Stronger the Push, the Greater the Pull”, “Vacuity”) and Black Crown Initiate (“The Final Release”) without ever sounding exactly like either.
And yet despite this, or perhaps because of it, the band’s hybrid Death Metal sound actively seems to resist precise classification, with songs like the hard-to-describe “Epiphany” – all intricately intense drums, rippling bass-lines, and gritty melodic hooks – and the multi-faceted Prog-Death of “Dreamless Void”, seeming to twist and turn in an attempt to avoid being pinned down.
Concluding with the searing sturm und drang of “Everything Flows”, in the final reckoning Vacuity proves itself to be one immensely intriguing, unflinchingly intense, album.
Tight, technical, textured, and tumultuous, it delivers the goods on multiple levels, making an instant and unforgettable impact while also providing a much deeper, darker listening experience designed to reward multiple replays.
A very impressive debut, no doubt about it.