(Grant Skelton reviews the new album, released on Halloween, by the Mexican funeral doom band Abyssal.)
Way back in April, I reviewed a compilation album by the Mexican funeral room band Abyssal. Fernando Ruiz, the band’s vocalist, gave me the privilege of teasing Abyssal’s next release. At the time, the band provided the title Misanthrope, with a tentative release date of late summer. Although delayed until Halloween, Misanthrope has (thankfully) arrived.
Prominent among Abyssal’s attributes is their consistent adherence to single-track albums. Misanthrope follows in the footsteps of its predecessors in this regard. It is a solitary, immensely rewarding excursion best enjoyed if consumed in one sitting. Another significant aspect of the release is its length, topping out at just under 46 minutes.
Misanthrope is what happens when funeral doom makes itself a chrysalis. It enters a form of agitated hibernation. When it is sapped of energy, and can no longer muster the strength to crush the listener with despair, funeral doom dreams. And that dream is Misanthrope.
Abyssal deal in hazy, dreamy, almost peaceful tones. Their music is much more likely to pacify you than to flatten you. It is a quieter breed of funeral doom that inspires focus, reflection, and introspection. Misanthrope unfolds from vengeance into musing, minimalist movements of sorrow, pain, and anger.
This is an album that you will want to drift away and drown in. If it is possible to find beauty in bleakness (and I believe it is), then Misanthrope is it.
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