We’re ghoulishly happy to help spread the word today about a new Australian death metal band, Abyssal Tomb, and their debut 5-track demo Buried, which will officially be released tomorrow.
Though the band is new, the members aren’t newcomers. The lineup consists of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Callinan from Galaxy and Sylvan Awe (whose fantastic new album we premiered here just yesterday), lyricist/vocalist Rohan Buntine (Battlegrave), and drummer Tim Wright (Munitions / Blunt Shovel).
They describe their aspirations simply and directly — to “celebrate death metal in one of its early forms, honouring bands such as Obituary, Morta Skuld and early Six Feet Under“.
We have a further explanation from Stuart about what the band did to accomplish their objectives:
The demo abandons the tropes of modern production and instead focuses on natural tones with dynamic range. The spirit of writing and recording was focussed on simplicity (mainly) and spontaneity to write and present with a less is more approach with minimal revisions, takes and editing etc.
I wanted the challenge to write engaging, less ‘technical’ material than previous listed projects to pay ode to that swampy Floridian sound most of us adore. No plans to reinvent the wheel here ha! The material came together quickly, I enlisted Rohan (dear old friend) to write and lay lyrics/vocals and then to follow his mate, Tim to track drums. Keeping that spirit of trust in what we were doing without overcooking it, which can result in the loss of spirit!
Buried definitely isn’t overcooked, and the riffing definitely does have a swampy sound. The guitars are distorted and “thick”, gruesome and hulking in their tones. The drums sound like the kit has been set up right in your living space. The vocals are suitably ghastly — the horrid growls, noxious gags, and ragged screams of some crypt-dwelling monstrosity.
In many ways the songs sound primitive, stripped of any fancy filigrees. But that’s not to say that they’re monotonous, because the songwriting is dynamic. The beats are as likely to scamper as they are to lurch, the riffs as likely to sound punk-ish, jittery, and jackhammring as they are to resemble the lumbering momentum of some heaving horror.
And while the muddy riffs do often feel like the movements of some gargantuan beast in a bog or a blood-congealing abattoir (sometimes slogging and sometimes feverish), they’re also catchy, just like the whip-crack of the snare and the gut-punch of the kick drum.
Moreover, quivering guitar leads contribute sounds of disease, queasiness, and dementia, and here and there you’ll encounter supernatural sounding solos with a clearer tone, like will-o-the-wisp ghost lights appearing in this choking swamp. In “Wild” the slowly writhing leads give the whole song an eerie and miserable mood, though it will ruthlessly jackhammer your guts too.
If you’re looking for a song that maybe best encapsulates the dynamism we’re trying to describe, you won’t go wrong with the ever-changing “Swamp of Viscera“. If you just want to get brutishly stomped into a sickening pile of bone splinters and goo, and then be fed upon by rapidly gnashing teeth while something hideous roars and screams in delight, have a listen to “Sun God“.
No, Abyssal Tomb aren’t attempting to reinvent any wheels, but they’ve done something here that fans of the bands that inspired them are likely to be inspired by, as well as anyone else who relishes death metal monstrosity in one of its most primeval forms.
Further credits: The drums were recorded by Luke Walton at Danger Tone Studios last April. The record was mixed and mastered by S. Callinan at Sunroom Studios in May.
Buried is available for order now in digital format. The band expect that a potential physical release on cassette tape is likely to follow.
CONTACT ABYSSAL TOMB: