Thursday, January 14, 2016

Abysmal Grief : " Strange Rites of Evil"

This is their fourth full length in twenty years so these guys are on a every five year circle when it comes to full albums . They have  however amassed a collection of splits and eps. This album finds them reunited with drummer Lord of the Fog. They have the big mournful sound that doom needs to have down. They keys really help with this and allow the guitar to chug along a simpler path. The vocals have some growl to them and the cleaner vocals remind me of Skepticism. It makes sense that these guys are from Italy as like much of the black metal that comes from there has a 70s horror movie soundtrack feel to the ambiance.

They love returning to traditional religious music. The title track takes a more deliberate chug taking them closer to a more mourning form of doom. It chugs at a similar speed to Celtic Frost as the vocals take on almost more of a croak. The horror elements stay intact on "Cemetery" as the pace picks up into more of a typical metal chug, it's really the vocals that give this song the most personality. This is more straight forward than the previous songs. They actually sing in a bellowing baritone that is surrounded by possessed gurgles. "Child of Darkness" has more of a stomp than a chug , but not pulses at a similar pace as the previous song. The vocals follow the guitar riff a little too closely  for me, but I would not say it's a bad song. "Radix Malorum" follows a darker path that works best for them in fact it plays off of all the elements that make this band strong, very dark driving synths and a more aggressive and focused vocal.

The album ends with the 13 minute "Dressed in Black Cloaks" which takes on a more Candlemass like chug. It takes well into the half minute mark for the vocals to come in and sing the verse. In the last tow minutes things speed up, but for such a commitment, the songs didn't feel like it delivered as much as the others and kinda droned its way into the background. I'll give this one an 8.5, over all they put a lot of heart into what they do, if weird Celtic Frost style doom is your thing then you ow it to yourself to give this a shot.

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