Abstracter – Tomb of Feathers

The sound of this CD initially made me take notice due to the full and real buzz this band cultivates on their quest to out sludge bands like High on Fire, Neurosis, and Swans. Before I proceed, here’s the technical info/shameless bio regurgitation:

“Entirely self-produced and self-funded by the band, Tomb of Feathers was recorded live in three days (one track per day), directly to 22-track 2-inch analog tape mounted on 30-minute reels processed by a mid-80’s Akai tape recorder, by sound engineer Josh Garcia (DEPECHE MODE, MELVINS, DWARVES). The recordings were then passed on to Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios for mixing, and were then shipped to Philadelphia to be mastered by James Plotkin (ISIS, SUNN O))), OLD, KHANATE, etc.).”

Looks good on paper and pleasing to old ears such as mine who prefer analog recording techniques to all the slick tricks of the modern era. This also forces a band to practice and know their craft when hitting the studio so they can all get in the same room and knock it out live. I have a lot of respect for that. Where Abstracter lose me is in the music itself. The riffs and structures are about as open ended as you dare go. I can see why they had success playing this in the studio, for there really isn’t a whole lot going on. The 11 minute opener, “Walls that Breathe” is empowered by the bands mighty tone, but there is little to no depth or layers in the music. Powerchord riff after riff hammers and knuckle drags in a neanderthal showing of territorial dominance which I’m sure goes over great live. Scream a lot and turn it up all the way, let the audience pay for their lack of vision and sort it all out the next day amongst the grinding of eardrums and woozy alcoholic haze. “To Vomit Crows” begins with a bit of a quiet interlude before summoning the amplified erection, but it is good to hear a few dynamics enter this bands equation on this track by way of quieter passages. There is a lot of palm muted crunching on this one and the closer “Ash”. Ultra stripped down and simplistic. Again… burly, but boring.
Abstracter’s influences are evident on Tomb of Feathers and they also act as hinderance that looms over this material like a suffocating veil of what “could have been”. A bit harsh to say, especially for a band that sounds like they are on the right path in knowing what they want to accomplish technically. They have the chops and the sound, but lack the “songs”. Again…. if I saw these guys live before hearing the CD, I might have been a bit more impressed. -Marty
The Path Less Traveled Records

~ by martyworm on October 16, 2012.

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