Monday, January 27, 2014

Abyssal: Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius (2013)

Profound Boneheads

I made some minor proclamations from my ivory tower here (or unfinished basement, as it were) about how 2013 signaled the return of death metal, after what I saw as a pathetic 2012. The UK’s Abyssal is yet more evidence to that effect.

Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius was released by the band early last year, and was re-released by Profound Lore back in April. It is now seeing an additional release courtesy of the reliable Iron Bonehead. The Profound Lore reissue got an extremely positive review here back in March by joanismylover. I don’t normally set out to re-review albums, but this one really intrigued me.

To state it as simply as possible, Abyssal belongs on Profound Lore. This is exactly the kind of death metal that label is prone to release: Heavy, with a stifling and inhuman atmosphere. The twisting, Lovecraftian riffs should appeal to fans of Portal, but they’re not so alien that they’ll, uh, alienate those among you who just can’t get into the Australians’ mindfuckery. It’s an hour-long record with so many dynamic shifts that it’s actually engaging throughout the full run; the short instrumental tracks don’t hurt, but it’s really the many tempo and texture changes in the songs that do it. Plus, it’s done with an excellent production—also the kind of production you typically get with Profound Lore. Even though it was made without PL, and isn't even on PL this time around.

So, if you still haven’t managed to pick this one up, maybe you should think about getting it on this third go-around. Or, failing that, the name-your-price Bandcamp download. You will not regret it.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Iron Bonehead Productions