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Abaddon Incarnate | ‘Cascade’

Abbaddon Incarnate’s decision some years ago to embrace grind, and most especially the Nasum legacy, was probably one of the best they could have made. It gave them a vitality and a crossover appeal that their otherwise well worn death metal lacked. ‘Nadir’ and most especially the excellent ‘Dark Crusade’ became angry records rather than some dubious notion of evil ones. That made them all the more relevant.

They’re continuing down that path, and it’s great to hear. ‘Strappado’ couldnt be any more appropriate an opening to this new album: about a minute and a half of quick fire riffing and blasting, setting out their stall for the rest of the album. It’s got everything. Military aggression, hooks, their trademark swap of grunting and gnashing vocal, and groove.

The Trackmix production is slightly more crusty than usual from the studio, no doubt at the band’s request. Where ‘Nadir’ occasionally cracked and clipped toward saturation point though, this sound is still within tolerances.

Drummer Johnny King has stepped ably into the band. He’s a little straighter in dynamic than either the much missed Olan Parkinson or Jason Connolly, both of whom had a much quicker turn of phrase on the kit. But he’s pummelling and fast, as well as displaying excellent double bass rumbling, which helps add solidity to some of the songs that can at times get a little hectic.

That though is an important point. Abbaddon know, and always have really, how to rein it back. How to lock down into a beat and a groove. All the blasting in the world is worthless without it. The band are tight while at the same time preserviong a loosened, live feel, and tracks like ‘Cursing The Inept’ do justice to the grind tradition that they’ve adopted while maintining the feral DM spirit of bands like Deranged.

The cover art is good for its necro purpose, though I’d offer that it’s dated. ‘Dark Crusade’s art moved them forward so much. It was arresting, vivid, and stuck out on the shop shelves. This one, cool as it is, kind of brings us back to 1994, and I’m not sure anyone would notice it in a rack. But there you go. It’s an excellent grind attack, a great ambassador for the genre, more intelligent and tight than all the sound and fury would initially suggest.

3.7/5 – Earl Grey ::: 14/09/09

  1. A good and fair review IMO. I only got my mits on this on Saturday and I have listened to it a couple of times since. The vox and drums stand out the most. The opener is vicious and it doesn’t relent from the opening sample. It is a very aggressive album. My only slight reservation is with the guitar production, which is most likely intended to be crusty as fook, but it could be a little chunkier, perhaps more filthy bass higher in the mix might have sorted this. It makes listening hard at times but this could be down to poor quality audio from my car stereo … All in all, my advise is to get this album if you haven’t already!!!! Looking forward to seeing you live soon in Ireland lads as I couldn’t make the launch…sort it out yeah:)

  2. opon face surgery Says:

    i think dark crusade is getting more credit than it should.nadir is an infinitely better album.drums are too choppy or something and the artwork and logo are fairly boring.this cover is way better and its good to be using the old logo again.haven’t heard the album,yet,though.

  3. Are you for real about the Dark Crusade artwork?! Thats was possibly THE worst artwork i’ve seen from an irish band and is why that album didnt stand out for me for so long and why i didnt pick it up sooner, woeful stuff .

  4. Yeah, nobody in the band likes the DC artwork, it wasn’t what was asked for at all. Wait for the re-release, new (savage) artwork by Dom from Nephridium.

    We all like the cover of Cascade.

  5. As for thew whole story of Dark Crusade..I can tell you from experience it was a total ruch job. I still like it though. Good tracks on that one and some good memories. The cover is terrible though..nothing like we wanted but the was due to the album designer more than anything ..and sure we even had to change the title of the thing as we got a shit load of criticism from a hell of a lot of people on this very forum something that showed the utter hypocrisy of the sorry state of the metal ‘seen’ in this country. A shame really as the ideas behind the 3rd album and the final product were totally different in the end. Still it got some great reviews and a lot of folks seemed to like it

  6. Have to say i agree that the DC artwork is pants. Doms new artwork is fuckin deadly though.

  7. Dark Crusade is the nadir (ba-dum) of their entire discography in every regard. Cascade is a step back in the right direction but I still think the production is a bit undynamic. The drums are a bit too clean sounding and show up a few flaws, which would have been smoothed out by a more live and full sound. The guitars are a bit too crisp too. Basically all I’m saying is The Last Supper is the law 😀

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