“18 minutes of eldritch lurch ‘n’ crunch“. Sometimes it’s hard to improve on a good publicist’s summing-up, and in few words that is indeed a very good description of the “crushing ruminations” (another stolen phrase) displayed across the four tracks of Abysmalist’s debut demo, Reflections of Horror. A solemn and shivering bow must also be aimed in the direction of Abysmalist for their selection of a title for the demo, because electrifying horrors live and breathe within its supernatural confines.
Formed by two veterans of the Bay Area crust and hardcore underground, Abysmalist indulge their affections for Bolt Thrower, Obituary, and other “pre-blastbeat death metal” from the early ’90s (one more stolen phrase), as well as an attraction to such authors as Clive Barker and Patrick Süskind, whose works provided lyrical inspiration. And like authors such as those, the eerie reverberations and ghastly vocals in their music send chills down the spine even as the band pound and eviscerate or drag us through dank crypts like rotten but still breathing corpses.