Abraxas - Wretched Existence
Relapse Records
Death Metal
4 songs (15:42)
Release year: 2009
Official Myspace, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Charles
Death metal purists should probably pay attention to this- although anyone outside of that category may be able to survive without it. They leave a grimy smear across the sides of your head with these four tracks of unrelenting, unfriendly death metal in a Morbid Angel vein. It has enough mid-tempo groove to make it appealing, and drips with cranky attitude.

It is generally almost entirely unadorned, based as it is solely on the familiarly primitive tools we know and love from similar experiences past. It switches diligently from bludgeoning Deicide-y staccato cackles and slower, Altars of Madness-like churning. I say almost entirely unadorned; there is the odd moment where the brutal onslaught/monotony (take your pick) is interrupted. For example, there is the most tantalising fragment of an abstract, garbled bass guitar solo that belches its way to the fore somewhere in Eternally Erased. It gives it, momentarily at least, the character of a Gorguts, or one of their modern-day acolytes such as Obscura; an unexpected moment of avant-garde invention. Then, there is also a rather good, frantic guitar solo on Agony Absolution, which is rather more tech-death than you may assume from this band’s orthodox foundations.

This is a band with some extensive experience in brutal and underground death metal, with guitarist and bassist Makoto Mizoguchi being perhaps the most notable figure, being the current live bassist with Hate Eternal. It is he that supplies much of the attraction here. The vocals, by Mike Hrubovcak of Vile and Monstrosity are fine, but hardly new.

So, a reliable group of guys playing reliable death metal. Abraxas apparently has a full-length in the works, which will almost certainly deserve a listen from death metallers. Listen to this, and keep an eye out. That is, unless you want something fancy like ‘originality’.

Killing Songs :
Eternally Erased
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