(Here we have DGR‘s extensive and evocative review of the new album by Ireland’s Abaddon Incarnate, which was fired into the world by Transcending Obscurity Records on August 5th.)
The Wretched Sermon, the latest album from Ireland’s Abaddon Incarnate after an eight-year space between full-lengths, has come up in the work playlist a lot since its early August release. Considering we’re rolling into the back half of the year where everyone pretends that it is fall, as if the current home base isn’t currently placed under some higher power’s magnifying glass, it’s difficult not to grip on to anything that has excessive amounts of brutality, rage, and vitriol to match the inner mood while everyone outside insists that all of this is normal.
The Wretched Sermon is a good candidate for that; Abaddon Incarnate‘s latest album seems to have struck a surprisingly pure vein musically and one that may even be a bit of a shift for them. On The Wretched Sermon, they clock thirty-six minutes of music across thirteen songs – multiple of which barely clear the two-minute range – which can be evidence of one overriding influence of so many: Abaddon Incarnate have really thrown their hat in the deathgrind ring this time.
They are a sleek unit on The Wretched Sermon, utilizing a double-pronged vocal attack and a large low end to keep things moving. They show off just how well-seasoned they are in death metal trappings throughout the album. While we are currently caught in the third or fourth wave of Bolt Thrower/Entombed-esque death metal revivalism, Abaddon Incarnate are adept at the powerful double-bass roll gallop whenever they need to break it out with an unchallenged knack for groove. They are absolutely zero-pretense the rest of the time though, with multiple songs just cruising past very fast.
Ten of the thirteen songs on The Wretched Sermon don’t even cross the three-minute mark and many of them are an excuse for drummer Olan Parkinson to just blast things into oblivion while a high-low vocal attack hits with about as much percussiveness as their drummer does. The highlights on that front come early, as both “Veritas” and “Gateways” make for a good one-two boxing combo in the opening minutes of this album after the band race through the initial death metal gurglings of “Rising Of The Lights” – whose opening riff sounds like something straight out of the world of Centinex before Abaddon Incarnate lean hard into “tear heads off'” mode.
Heck, if you’re curious just how little pretense there is within The Wretched Sermon vs just how dedicated to non-stop assault it is, over half the song titles here don’t even bother with more than two words. On the other hand, one of the longer titles, “Resurrected From A Mass Grave”, is one of The Wretched Sermon‘s shortest songs. It plants both feet in the Rotten Sound sandbox up until an oddly off-kilter closing solo catches the listener on their back foot. It’s all circle-pits and maelstroms in that sense, which is why even the longer songs on the album tend to blast by you and the shorter ones all fuse together into an ugly flesh monster.
“Isolation and Decay” fools you by starting off slow and somewhat atmospheric in a release that has otherwise been like having someone ring your doorbell and then firing a cannon through it when you answer, but then it just as quickly dives right back into the deep end of constant rumbling bass guitar and drumming assault. There’s guitar throughout but it cuts through everything like a hurricane of knives. The attack that Abaddon Incarnate hit you with in the back-half of the song while segueing from foundation-cracking double-bass roll into the slower closing segment is fierce. It would’ve served as a good closer on its own, were it not for the manic “ONE MORE TIME”-esque go around the carousel circle pit that is “Silent Indifference”, which actually wraps the whole Wretched Sermon event up.
It’s clear that with The Wretched Sermon that Abaddon Incarnate are very good at staying within the genre-lines they’ve drawn. The combination of grindcore and noise-filled death metal works out well for them. Every song has an extra lay of “apocalyptic” layered over the top of it, no matter how often the band return to the well to fish out another few dead bodies to add to the pyre they’re building.
Lyrically the band lean hard into all things cathartic violence and psychotic murder – which is more than evident from a song just titled “Killing Spree”, and more than once throughout The Wretched Sermon that’s the scenario being portrayed as well… a killing spree.
It was mentioned before, but this isn’t from the high-minded and artistic intellectual side of the heavy metal world. The Wretched Sermon is strictly primal and falls perfectly in line with a lot of the caveman death metal that has made itself popular over the past handful of years. The extra spiciness of the grind assault that filters its way into it makes The Wretched Sermon just that much more intense. Which may be just what we need right about now.
I didn’t need this review to tell me this album is great, but still I’m glad to see my opinion is shared, great review!!
I’ve got to say “like having someone ring your doorbell and then firing a cannon through it when you answer” properly made me laugh!!