Abscess | ‘Dawn of Inhumanity’
With the entire world in a state of giddiness at the prospect of an Autopsy reunion (however limited), it’s a good time to be reminded that Reifert and Corrales’ “other band”, is more than merely that.
Abscess have now existed twice as long as their legendary forerunner and if they never match ‘Mental Funeral’ or ‘Severed Survival’, it’s not as if anyone else will.
Later albums have seen the band shift from a template close to Autopsy’s ‘Shitfun’ to formulate a filthy concoction that adds Sabbathy sludge and punk to its basic death metal as required.
Whereas the last album, ‘Horrorhammer’, was particularly punky, ‘Dawn of Inhumanity’ is stylistically closer to the earlier ‘Through the Cracks of Death’. Though the riffs are usually basic enough, they are often pressed into almost epic structures. There’s a particularly strong run of tracks in the first half: ‘Torn from Tomorrow’ manages a nice gear shift into a near-boogie.
‘Never Sane Again’ bookends a doomy midsection with an upbeat Deathstrike-style riff. The title track could easily pass for Autopsy, with it’s lumbering riffs and dry bass break.
The album is particularly well-sequenced and paced, and is nicely divided by a couple of interesting diversions midway through – the toxic psychedelic noise of ‘The Rotting Land’, followed by the brittle and world-weary ‘Dead Haze’.
After this interlude you’re ready for more of the “straighter” material, and it ensures that none of the tracks get lost in the crowd.
Reifert remains one of the most organic-sounding drummers in metal, and as ever, you can spend the entire album just getting off on his unpredictable playing. Yes, the snare does sound like an upturned plastic bucket, but if you think that’s a problem, this probably isn’t your type of metal anyway.
It’s also striking how much of the abrasiveness of the sound lies in Reifert and Bower’s strangulated rasping, and the lyrical obsessions of insanity and holocaust don’t merely aim for laughs, but possess a real sense of desperation.
The closing ‘Black Winds of Oblivion’ is another odd one, dissolving into noisy abstraction before gathering itself to track humanity’s last remains being swept into a lifeless sea. What a way to go.
This is the final release on Darkthrone’s Tyrant Syndicate imprint (Nocturno and Fenriz contribute a vocal each) and probably the strongest, as well as being the most satisfying, consistent, and (dare I say it) mature Abscess album to date.
4.7/5 – Paul Condon ::: 30/05/10