Abominism is a two-headed monster from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania presenting a dissonant and intricate blend of Black and Death Metal. Initially appearing as a two-song EP, Abominism’s full-length was a surprise release on March 18th. The full album delivers on the promise of the two-track teaser and then some; Black and Death Metal mixed well with technical prowess minus the noodley guitar playing. Consisting of only two members, Stephen Baker, and John William Dunn IV, they create an impossibly large and dynamic beast reminiscent at times of latter era Gorguts, and the mighty Deathspell Omega among others.
I came across this release through whatever black magic algorithm Bandcamp uses to suggest new music. At the time the release was still in its infancy but piqued my interest nevertheless. I came to have the chance to review it through a connection with TH of The Wolf Garden and a Facebook group that Stephen Baker is in as well. I eagerly hopped at the chance to dive deep into this release and was more than pleased with what is presented.
The two members split their duties with John William Dunn IV on vocals, and Stephen Baker on guitars and bass; with no one listed on drums, it is possible there was a session drummer or a drum machine was employed. The drums, whoever handled them in whatever capacity, are spot on; furious blasts and fills pound and crash with flawless execution, so robot or not, someone is deserving of praise. The vocals are provided by John William Dunn IV, and is primarily a ferocious deep growl summoning the most hateful creatures to mind; occasionally the vocals are backed up by a Black Metal scream to intensify the assault. Stephen Baker is in charge of the bass and guitars, which are incredibly impressive; dissonance rings out at any opportunity with technicality slightly obscured by the crushing Death and Black Metal amalgam. The guitars are especially noteworthy in regards to the dissonance, as it was that specifically, that brought to mind Deathspell Omega, a band I don’t invoke lightly; the guitars often sound completely evil, crawling through your ears to your very core and corrupting every cell.
Each and every song on here has their individual character, but all still feel natural alongside the rest of this group’s work. Burn Them Slowly opens the album with dissonant ringing guitars until the drums and growls join the fray, obliterating everything in its path, slowing down only long enough for you to understand you’ve lost your bearings. To Live, Dream and Yet Die as Nothing begins with piercing discordant riffing and ritualistic drumming then descending into a churning abyss all before the vocals even come in; an impressive solo and an eerie ending cap off an excellent song. Abominism was too good a name to be only the band’s moniker and the album title, so the song is fierce and firing on all cylinders right out of the gate; never relenting until just near the end of the song, then exploding once again. Famine of Hope closes out the album with everything on full display, from the agile guitar playing to the versatile switching of genres, and of course the unearthly vocal performance. The strongest song on the album is your last impression before silence, and I couldn’t wait to listen to it again.
Overall this is a phenomenal first outing by this duo and a nearly perfect album. Six songs across thirty-three minutes accumulate memorable moments of pulverizing and tornadic Blackened Death Metal. Fans of either of the big names I mentioned or the likes of Abyssal and Ulcerate would do well to get on top of this right now, as well as anyone into creative Blackened Death Metal. These songs are each fine examples of the craftsmanship put forth by the duo and an unbelievable amount of promise for what they can cook up in the future.
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Country: United States of America
Release Date: March 18th, 2019
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