January 14, 2014

Filthy Music Review - 'Abyssal (UK) - Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius'


Abyssal - Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius DLP (2014)

Iron Bonehead Productions. 

Review by Trevor Proctor

Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius is the second album from the UK’s underground death metal group Abyssal, following their 2012 debut album “Denouement”.  Novit was initially self-released by the band via their Bandcamp page, but subsequently snapped up for release on CD by Profound Lore Records in April 2013, and on cassette by Exitium Productions in May 2013. January 2014 will see the album getting the vinyl treatment from the excellent Iron Bonehead Productions, a label whose name is synonymous with quality underground death metal. 


The album title “Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius” is Latin and was quoted by the monk Arnaud Amalric during the crusades, and means the Lord knoweth them that are his - the monk’s quote originally began with “Caedite Eos” which means kill them all - very little seems to be known about the band themselves who appear to be intent on shrouding details of members, instruments etc. in a veil of dark, occult mystery.

First track forebode is exactly what the title suggests, a brief instrumental introduction – it’s a bleak, weird and spooky inauguration into Abyssal’s desolate, harrowing world. The Tongue of the Demagogue follows, it’s a colossal, crushing, smothering monstrosity of a track lasting over 8 minutes and also a quality taste of what Abyssal have to offer – slow, torturous, suffocating death metal. Atmospherics play a massive part on this track and throughout the album as a whole and its Abyssal’s atmosphere that sets them aside from a lot of today’s death metal mob.

I’m a fan of long tracks, but only when they’re used effectively – there’s nothing worse than a track, or album, that drags and drags with no obvious purpose or progression. Thankfully this is never the case on Novit at all, especially during any of the five tracks on the album that surpass the seven minute mark. In contrast to these longer tracks there’s also a few intros lasting less than a minute, but they’re also used efficiently to add to the blackened atmosphere – Elegy of Ruin and Elegy of Staves are two shining examples of this, encompassing less than a minute between them they’re freaky, creepy horror movie shit that aren’t for the faint hearted and are best not listened to in the dark…

The worldwide death metal scene is; thankfully, extremely healthy at the moment and 2014 looks like it’ll be one of the most exciting years yet for releases within the sub-genre. With bands like Abyssal, Malthusian and Sheol around, to name but a few, it looks like the UK and Ireland has  some unbeatable bands and will continue to command the underground as the sub-genre mutates and grows further.

Iron Bonehead are initially planning to release 500 copies of this immense death metal oppressive masterwork, make that 499 as I’ll be getting my hands on a copy for sure – if you’re a genuine fan of harrowing, atmospheric and blatantly intimidating death metal you’ll love this so do both yourself and your vinyl collection a favour and go grab yourself a copy. 

Tracklist:

1. Forebode 
2. The Tongue of the Demagogue 
3. Under the Wretched Sun of Hattin 
4. Elegy of Ruin 
5. The Headless Serpent 
6. A Sheath of Deceit 
7. Elegy of Staves 
8. A Malthusian Epoch 
9. As Paupers Safeguard Magnates 
10. Created Sick; Commanded to be Well 1
11. The Last King 

The Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius double LP is released by Iron Bonehead Productions on January 31st. 

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