Abyssal – Novit enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius
Testimony to the taste of our readership, Abyssal’s Novit enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius was brought to my attention on bandcamp a couple of months before I heard Profound Lore were picking up and releasing the album. At the time, and on our commenters’ high recommendations, I gave this initially self-released wonder a spin, and immediately fell into the forlorn chasm created by these UK blackened-deathsters. Steeped in the slurry of Portal, the chaos of Mitochondrian, and against-all-odds catchiness of Antediluvian, Abyssal nevertheless have their own agenda. While taking cues from their aforementioned PL brethren, Abyssal worship at the altar of the Riff God above all else, in doing so breaking up tremolo-picking and bent Blut Aus Nord-style chordings with imposingly large, down-picked chugsters that force your ear canals to stand and be counted. Instead of enveloping you in full-on madness, this band’s choice of focus – memorable, marching riff admonishment – has you teetering on sanity’s brink, and is altogether more frightening for it. How much more afraid can you be anyway, once already inside the maelstrom? Abyssal show, through their anti-aria writing, this resolute belief: real tension arises before you step over the edge, in that moment when you willingly lay your senses and better judgement aside, when your tidal wave of fear *almost* holds you back from opening up to the black … but fails. In that soundspace between hope and hopelessness, life and death, Abyssal take root and thrive. Novit enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius’s balance between uneasiness and awe provides the listener an unreliable handhold for avoiding a tumble down into the dark. As the beats deftly blast, as the voice belches fire, and as distortion scours your soul, you’ll swear to those you know in polite society that yes, of course, you’ll hold on to your mind for as long as you possibly can. But as the album carries on, Abyssal will beckon, again and again. And you will obey.
You will let go. -Jim
~ by cliftonium on March 13, 2013.