Profound Lore Records (CD) Iron Bonehead Productions (Gatefold DLP)
Review by Trevor Proctor.
One of many positive factors with reviewing music is the volume you’re lucky to have access to, occasionally bringing bands to your attention that you may not have heard about as quickly were it not for that promotional email hitting your inbox. This was certainly the case for me when Iron Bonehead Productions gave the excellent “Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” by Abyssal a thoroughly deserved vinyl release back in January 2014. “Novit…” had previously been released on CD during 2013, first by the band then by Profound Lore Records and also got released on cassette by the UK’s Exitium Productions.
I liked the sound of Abyssal and their music so I decided to give it a go and review it for The Lair of Filth. At this stage I’d been reviewing music for 2-3 months and had heard a lot of underground music that had impressed me but nothing that prepared me for the aural assault set to ensue on listening to Abyssal - you can access my review of "Novit...." here. At this stage I was also fortunate enough to be given the chance of interviewing the band, which you can also access here. Fast forward 18 months and I’m still very happily reviewing for The Lair but if you were to ask me which bands I’d listened to during this time that had made the biggest impression then Abyssal would be one of the first that would spring to mind. I constantly return to their albums and since hearing “Novit…” on digital I’ve sought out every release on every format available – yes, they really are that good.
Abyssal aren’t shy when it comes to creating longer tracks yet no matter how long there’s never a moment of boredom or repetition as another of their abilities is their use of all effects weird, wonderful and horrific to break things up and add to that unpredictable nature – you’re guaranteed plenty of surprises during Abyssal’s music. This factor is shown during track three “Veil of Transcendence” which breaks to a doom like pace after five minutes, when a weird sample kicks in that sounds like a creepy broken Victorian jewellery box - no doubt there’ll be plenty of differing opinions as to what this sample actually is but no matter what its origin is it’s moments like this that remind me why I love this band so much – only bands like Abyssal can use odd sounds like this with such intriguing and devastating effect.
The production levels have sharpened slightly, giving their music a more focused approach and in comparison to “Novit…” this feels like a more solid album as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, “Novit…” is and always will be a classic, but as an overall album this is slightly more cohesive and that cohesion in turn gives their hostility a more honed approach, making it all the more effective. All of Abyssal’s albums are brilliant in my opinion but there’s undoubtedly a progression from each to the next and “Antikatastaseis” is their most accomplished work to date.
Unpredictable, unconventional and filled with horrific brilliance this is one of 2015’s essential albums.
1 – I am the Alpha and the Omega
2 - The Cornucopian
3 - Veil of Transcendence
4 - Telomeric Erosion
5 - A Causal Landscape
6 – Chrysalis
7 - Delere Auctorem Rerum Ut Universum Infinitum Noscas.
The CD digipack is currently available from Profound Lore Records and both CD and Gatefold DLP are available from Iron Bonehead Productions. The DLP is available in black or very limited blue/black splatter vinyl.