Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Adversarial- Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation(2011)

Adversarial- Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation

For all of its faults in terms of production, Adversarial's All Idols Fall Before The Hammer was arguably my Album of the Year for 2010: the combination of bestial intensity with an undeniable creative edge made it a joy for the active listener, even if the demonic ping from the Asshole of Hell itself at times impeded the experience. I won't defend the paper thin production or abysmal snare sound, but fuck all if All Idols Fall Before the Hammer was not some of the finest fucking Death Metal released the last decade.

Prophetic Plains of Abyssal Revelation is purely fan-service: a repackaging of the bands 2009's Thralls demo, two new songs and two covers(of Incantation and Archgoat). The three Thralls demo tracks have even worse production than All Idols, and the fourth s/t track comes from the same recording. The Thralls demo is all together solid but mostly unnecessary if you have All Idol Fall. Of the three new tracks, only one, "Impending Eternal Blackness," is a new original track, and it is fantastic: Adversarial take the most brutal sounds in Death and Black Metal and mix them in a bloody grinding mess of pain and suffering. But the band have a penchant for deep, complex guitar interplay, making them one of the more fascinating bands in Death Metal today. The production on this track and the two covers is a vast improvement from All Idols Fall: Adversarial seem committed to truly low-fi recording, so a fully even mix may never come from these Canadians brutalizers, but the production is a step up regardless.

While mostly inessential in its content, Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation could be the turning point for those who could not escape the snare sound of All Idols Fall. The bands talent, creativity and massive brutality are undeniable, and with the more consistent and less jarring production sound on the new tracks, Adversarial are in a position to convert the non-believers. For those of us who already believe, this EP gives us much needed satisfaction until the band feel the unholy need to bless us in blood once again.

Rating: 8/10

Review Round-Up: Gardens of Golgotha

I am back, but my time was well spent listening to many different albums. Album with different names anyway, since about half of them sounded like Incantation. And I got to thinking: how the hell am I going to write so many reviews about the same fucking sound?


Be Lazy.

So here are a number of short reviews describing my feelings of each album, with the pre-text that they all sound a lot like Incantation

Gorephillia- Ascend to Chaos
An album lacking any originality, charm or heart, this cleanly produced, lifeless Incantation fellatio is an insult to the listeners tolerance for blatant genre worship. There is not one thing found on this album that you cannot find anywhere else, and often other places will offer a better product. Devoid of atmosphere and energy, this EP is 5 tracks(and one predictable Intro track, which is a trend that is wearing thin on me) of pointless drivel. The final track, "Tower of Bones," provides the only juice.

Rating: 4/10

Cryptborn- In The Grasp Of The Starving Dead

In The Grasp Of The Starving Dead is also far from original, but the little things keep it floating and delivering some decent listening. Cryptborn mix some Finnish Death/Doom into their Incantation-style songs, and the fuzzy guitar production gives everything the correct sizzle. A touch of Rippikoulu is a nice touch indeed. The production is properly low-fi and brutal, but also uneven with the vocals mostly lost in the mix. And this is still some very typical stuff, if plenty competent.

Rating: 7/10

Grave Ritual- Euphoric Hymns From the Altar of Death

This was one of my favorites for the past few months, even though it is fairly basic Incantation worship. The main reason is the energy and atmosphere are in full supply here: each riff is played with blasphemous conviction and the muddy production elicits the feel of a cold coffin shivering with the struggles of its now active occupant. There is nothing of groundbreaking importance to be listened to, but the effort and bleakness of the album is worthy of your time.

Rating: 8/10

Corpsessed- The Dagger And The Chalice

This EP also impressed me, for many of the same reasons that Euphoric Hymns of From the Altar of Death. The Dagger and the Chalice is filthy, mucky and evil sounding to the extreme, and this young band have fantastic confidence in their sound. The vocals are a particular delight: they are not merely imitating Craig Pillard, and instead seek to bring some uniqueness to the band. Again, nothing groundbreaking or original, but damn tasty regardless.

Rating: 8/10

Blessed Offal- Blessed Offal

Blessed Offal offer a doomier, more Finnish sounding alternative with their standard Incantation grooves, similar to Cryptborn in a way. But Blessed Offal are clearly a more talented and inventive band. Blessed Offal is slow, suffocating and purpose driven to ruin your sunny day. A fine EP from a band clearly on the rise. The production is a bit clean for this sound, but not as sterile sounding as Ascend to Chaos by any means.

Rating: 8/10