Abyssous - ...Smouldering
Iron Bonehead Productions
Death Metal
9 songs (29'23'')
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Jared

A lot of death metal I have had the opportunity to listen to lately has been technical, melodic, and sometimes even symphonic. It’s been a long while since I have heard a band play death metal that really feels like it is taking a step back in time with a rawer more old school style sound. Abyssous, from Germany, has put the rewind on death metal this year with their album Smouldering. They had made quite a buzz with their original EP back in 2012, and this first full length album expands on what this band is capable of bringing to metal.

For starters, this band’s sound will definitely excite many fans of older death metal. There’s no doubt that Abyssous has really focused on a grainy sound that doesn’t push for the strongest sense of production. The band also throws in a little bit of a surprise with three short ambient and atmospheric tracks that come at the start, middle, and very end of the album. All of them evoke a frightening atmosphere but also fit into the album very nicely. After the short track, Into the Cave, the track Abominations doesn’t waste time in erupting with intense blast beating and quick and aggressive strumming of the hellishly distorted guitars. The song takes a slight break, providing a nice heavy chug of the instruments and simple beat pattern, but immediately rebuilds the energy quickly after the short heavy bursts within the song. Burial Sea might be the most intense offering on the entire album, which includes one amazingly crafted solo that is hard to not feel awestruck with.

The vocals in the album feel like a blast to the past with death metal, but also reminded me greatly of Christofer Johnsson’s death metal days before Therion had gone to become purely symphonic. No song reminded me of this more than my favorite track, Invocation. This track is a forceful, hair spinning good time and show that this band really respects the older sound of death metal immensely. I was quite surprised by how much the intensity did not let go through the entire duration of the album, despite the atmospheric tracks that were found in between. The track, Inverter, kept the intensity alive even toward the end of the album which also included a slower more interesting ending, laying over a creepy and echoing guitar lead.

Smouldering is one of those albums that I can see older fans of metal really embracing. However, the album only reached to just about the thirty minute mark making me only wish that I had more to bang my head along to. For some it may be too short, but for others, this may be the absolute perfect punch of old school death metal to get acquainted with.

Killing Songs :
Abominations, Burial Sea, Invocation, The Inverter
Jared quoted 70 / 100
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