Saturday, February 18, 2012

Abyssal- Denouement(2012)

Abyssal- Denouement

The UK Death Metal scene is as rich with talent and innovation as it has ever been. The country of colonization and Big Ben has never been particularly well known for its expansive Death Metal scene: sure, everybody knows Bolt Thrower and Akercocke, and the well informed can name Benediction, Korpse and Cancer, but in comparison to say Sweden or Florida, the ol' Land of Limey's has never been at the forefront of Death Metal. But these last few years has seen an explosion of new talent in England's Death Metal scene, from Cruciamentum to Spearhead to Grave Miasma. And now Abyssal can be counted as another of these young, up-and-coming acts looking to make waves with their debut album Denouement.

Rich with texture and dissonance, Denouement fits in beautifully with the current trend in Technical Death Metal: using complexity to create dense, Occult atmospheres. Elements of Black and Doom Metal add layers to the listening experience, but Abyssal also toy with some of the more brutal elements of Death Metal throughout Denouement. A consistent guttural growl, sudden bursts of blast beats and palm-muted riffs bring elements to Denouement that other bands in this burgeoning sub-genre lack(often on purpose). Just as we saw Flourishing do on The Sum of All Fossils with Post-Hardcore and Gigan on Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes with Noise and Grindcore, Abyssal bring these Brutal Death Metal elements to the forefront to give Denouement a bit of distinction from the growing number of Ulcerate clones, though one should not expect too many breakdowns or pinch harmonics throughout Denouement(though the breakdown near the beginning of "Detritivore" is hard too miss).

There isn't a whole lot of fault with Denouement, but it never quite breaks through to the next level. The intensity and songwriting can be uneven, with less appealing sections of songs dragged out far too long. In fact, many of the tracks on Denouement could use some self-editing, particularly the final track "Swansong of a Dying Race," which could have used some of it's massive eleven minute run cut away. Bloated songs filled with too many unessecary concepts are the pratfalls of many a new group, and while Abyssal artfully dodge many other mistakes, they trip up in this regard.

Denouement is a brilliant start regardless of these minor mistakes. Abyssal have their own sound, a sound which I can honestly say I have never heard before, other than perhaps early Ulcerate before those New Zelander's dove head first into a sea of formless dissonance. All this band needs is time to develop their sound and their songwriting, and I have no doubt that Abyssal will be one of the bigger acts in progressive Death Metal in the near future.

Rating: 8/10

Abyssal are also among the more progressive bands in their distribution, as Denouement doesn't have any label support. The band are giving the album away through Bandcamp. If you are not familiar with Bandcamp, then this is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with arguably the most important website in independent music today.

Download Denouement Free And Legally From The Band, Via Bandcamp


  1. good review man. found this band on a different blog and checked them out. I think I like them a little more than you do haha.

  2. This was one of the worst reviews I have ever seen, "ol land of the limeys" mate what the fuck is this. Also way to forget Carcass.

    You seem to know all about fuck all.

    Sorry to be so crass but these kind of blogs are ten a penny, next you'll be telling me death metal is brutal.

    Good day.