Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Abigail: Intercourse & Lust (1996)

Tentacle Rape by Chthonic Venom Worshipers

As I was listening to Abigail's Intercourse & Lust, I had no idea it was 18 years old. Speed metal is evergreen. This is true to the purest ethos of the backpatch-on-jean-jacket set.

This reissue has new cover art, from the band's native Japan. Believe it or not, I looked up the Wikipedia page for tentacle porn a while back and found that this is a print by Hokusai (of dorm poster of a wave fame) and an early example of tentacle porn. I bet you thought that didn't exist until the 1990's, but here's indisputable proof that Japan is weirder than you ever imagined. But it's weird in more than just the way the popular culture depicts. And thus, it is home to some of the most badass of metal, straightforward yet twisted to an extreme.

If you've ever heard Sigh's Venom covers EP, that's a remote cousin of Abigail. Both are a simplistic form of speed metal with a distinctly Japanese edge. But this is much better, and much more insane than that EP. It's a many-tentacled beast from the underground, which means it's rawer and uglier.

Each track sounds like it was recorded live while the band members were under the influence of stimulants, and the first take was used for each one. Frantic but simple guitar solos punctuate relentless riffs and animalistic snarls. It could have been done by any group of morons with the requisite endurance, except for the fact that they manage to form melodies out of the din.

This wonderful, raw beauty goes on for roughly half an hour of bliss before the band descends into a more stereotypical version of Japanese weirdness for the last ten minutes, which could have been mixed more evenly but should be good for the Japanophiles among you.

It's a relentless attack that leaves you in ecstasy. At this point, I wonder whether I should have gone on some weird extended metaphor of tentacle rape for this review.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Damn, you really nailed the Venom similarities in this review. The vocals strike me as straight up Seth Putnam (AxCx). An interesting, and beautifully disturbing, combination. Thanks for turning me on to this!