Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Abyssal: Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius (2013)

Not on the Fence

Review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

Profound Lore are on a hot streak. Bell Witch. Subrosa. My favorite album form last year - Dawnbringer. Everyone else's favorite from last year - Pallbearer. Full Metal Attorney's favorite from this year - Portal. Add Abyssal to the list. I really don't know what this is, but I like it.

The band gives us a short "Forebode" - ing intro before the wall hits. And the wall is the Great Wall of China. Huge, overpowering, and expansive, slithers the "The Tongue of the Demagogue." It sounds like sped up funeral doom. Mid-way through "Under the Wretched Sun of Hattin" I feel like I've been turned back by that huge wall to wander the Mongolian desert in doom trodden defeat only to be suddenly pummeled by a black metal rain storm. Then as the storm relents, I'm about to slay a fallen foe. I do and it's terrible. My head is pounding over and over. Marching to my doomed destiny. All in one song. Then the "Headless Serpent" almost - almost swaggers, but this ain't swaggering music. So we get a black metal "Sheath of Deceit" which writhes like a headless serpent. A hellish interlude. Then a four song pounding highlighted by "As Paupers Safeguard Magnates". The songs slow and pound and then rattled and then pound again, only to rattle when you don't expect it.

All of it and each part of it is hard to pin down. It's noisy, but it's not noise. It's punishing, but it's not a chore to listen to. It's "black" metal but it's doom. It's funeral, but it's death metal. I heard Gojira in there, I swear. It's heavy, but well, yea ok, it's heavy. And that's what counts.

Profound Lore are simply one of the best, if not the best, labels putting out new metal music today. I love Shadow King Records but with them there are no surprises - it's going to be awesome but it's going to be kick ass old school metal - doom or heavy. (Which is, if I may so, totally awesome and needed). But everyone's library needs a little variety. If I am on the fence about a purchase of a particular band, having liked what I've read or heard about a band, if that band is on the PFL label, count me in. You should do the same.

Four out of Five Stars.

Profound Lore Records