Abysme - Strange Rites

Abysme is a old school Death Metal band from the U.S. that performs music in the vein of Bolt Thrower, Disma, and Incantation. The music is slow and fuzzy, almost bordering Doom Metal quality but the visceral vocals and sudden bursts of ferocity from the drums certainly mark this as Death Metal. Yes, the production is very fuzzy to the point where the guitars almost jus feel like background noise while the drums and vocals are taking charge, the Abysme do an excellent job at varying up the pace. One point the music is slow, foreboding, and builds upon itself like on "Gift To The Gods" and then it explodes with a smattering of drums and vocal abuse. The guttural style makes it impossible to understand but matches the sludgy, downtuned sound of the instruments to drown listeners in a sea of crushing Metal.

The only downside to this is repetition. Abysme, like so many others, tend to resort to the one trick pony sound on their debut album here. Most of the tracks like "Annihilated Memory" and "Terminal Delirium" have the same opening as it slowly performs a few riffs and then picks up pace, slows down again right before a guitar solo, and then picks up again. Other tracks like "Remarkable Conqueror" pick up the pace faster and carry a heavier tune all the way through, but at the core of the sound the formula is still the same with the kinds of rhythms the group uses as it churns over and over again. Here and there the band will use some cymbal work to vary things up- it is really up to the drums to make a difference since the vocals and guitar are layered together to help hold up the atmospehere, and sometimes it works. But, listeners who have heard one too many Death Metal albums are probably going to find 'Strange Rites' too much for them. On the other hand, those who are tired to the chugging/ overly fast modern sound of Brutal Death Metal like Cannibal Corpse and want something a little more fuzzy and mystical while still remaining triiumpantly crushing, then Abysme might be worth checking out to revisit the grind of the early 90s.

  1. Scribbled In Dust
  2. Beyond The Seventh Door
  3. Formless
  4. Annihilation Memory
  5. Gift To The Gods
  6. We Shall Sleep
  7. Terminal Delirium
  8. The Third Day
  9. Fallen Colossus
  10. Remarkable Conqueror