Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Abominant - Unspeakable Horrors

Here's one of the most immediately-appealing death metal albums you're going to find from the 'raw and obscure but still refreshingly developed' slew of 90's death metal. Abominant has shifted sound from album to album and done it well for the most part, but this is their most enduring work if you ask me. A very fresh and exuberant album that replicates the same kind of passionate spirit in legends like Morbid Angel and old Pestilence. Not necessarily any particular sound, but just this very well-crafted and confident playing style that oozes memorability and a sort of spirit that allows the band to somehow carve out a sound that prevails over a lot of other bands. This is that type of album. A debut where all the fresh musical intent is intact and makes for an amazing listen.

Outside of Nuclear Death, this album is perhaps my most listened to release within the league of old Wild Rags bands. There's just something special about it. Evocative by means of strange riffing and a somewhat technical flair, this release straddles the line between death metal and black metal in a unique way. I'd say there's about eight five percent death metal here, with the subtle but effective fifteen percent of black metal influence. In a way this is a lot like what a black/death metal side project of a NYDM band might sound like. Primarily death metal, but using the brutality to go after a more grainy and disembodied sound in a black metal fashion.

This fits right along side with many old-school legends/semi-legends, but still isn't comparable to any of them directly. Deicide songs written by Morpheus Descends with help from Demoncy perhaps? Something like that but not quite? Yes and no. It's easy to pinpoint inspiration but not direct influence when it comes to these bad-ass songs. They just serve up what we all love about both death metal and brutalized black metal in a way so tastefully twisted-together it makes you wonder why nobody talks about this band much. The clear but simple and crude old-school feel is awesomely driven home but the mixing of the instruments. The rugged guitar tone nearly sounds like steel itself and has a lumbering crunch to it that just slaughters. Add the monstrous bass presence comparable only to Rottrevore's Iniquitous and you have a heavy fucking album.

It's pretty much all killer and no filler, but the second half is really where it's at on this one. I think the real highlight is "The Ecstasy of Sufferance"; featuring some stone rolling riffs so kingdom-smashingly heavy you'll fold like an origami tulip in a box crusher. I AM THE DARKNESS YOU FEAR INSIDE, IF YOU BETRAY ME YOU'LL SURELY DIE. I'LL BUILD MY FORTRESS UPON YOUR CRUSHED BODIES - BOUND BY CHAINS OF BITTER BONDAGE. My sweet fuck, and after you hear those flashy sweep leads after the awesome spoken word part, you too, will be playing this shit loud. "Child of the Sky" is another great one, throwing in some eerie melodies amongst the panzer riffs that decimate all. And is it just me or does "Intentionally Accused" sound like old Pestilence writing an Effigy of the Forgotten song while unintentionally churning out a thin sheen of black metal? There's a lot of great elements in this release that make it a unique treasure, and it's an album more rewarding to absorb yourself in than to analyze, so we'll just stop here so you can go listen to it now. Seriously, go do it right now. And if you already love this album, go put it on to remind yourself of just how much ass it kicks.


  1. From the beginning I knew I was gonna like this one, and by the middle of the last paragraph I have stopped reading to write this comment, after which I will immediately download "Unspeakable Horrors."

    Pure gold: "featuring some stone rolling riffs so kingdom-smashingly heavy you'll fold like an origami tulip in a box crusher." and THAT is how to write about metal.

  2. Never heard of this band before, but by the way you describe the music, it seems like it would be impossible for me to dislike this album in any way. Cheers!