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The Archaic Abbatoir
January 2006
Released: 2005, Century Media Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

With a press release that mentions Carcass a total of five—count ‘em—FIVE times, one presumably knows what to expect here. This is, however, hardly fair. This reviewer would only have mentioned Carcass twice.

Actually, this band really needs little introduction—they are already well on the “A” list overseas; truly, ‘tis only the lagging slackers in the US that have yet to fully “get” this band. But with the surprise success of bands like Impaled, Splatterhouse, and Ghoul, Century Media has done the sensible thing, and targeted the proper demographic. Truthfully, most Death Metal fans passed on this band before under the mistaken impression they were a brutal, Cannibal Corpse-type act. And while the lords of gore are clearly given offerings of goo—vision goo—the point of all this mess is clearly melodic thrash-based Death. Certainly, it grinds; but more accurately, it churns, thrashes, and sloshes all about like your bladder on a field trip.

This is fast, melodic, and thrashy. When it isn’t channeling Heartwork B-sides, it finds the time to sound like what might happen if a Razorback band were given stolen credit cards to record. The vocals are varied, with gang shouts like gang rapes, and high, low, and mid-range screams and growls. Quite frankly, one never really gets a solid angle on the vocals—they change with maddening frequency, and surprisingly, most times for the better as the songs build and explode. It’s difficult to believe they come from just one person…one feverish, sightly frightening person, at that.

“Hecatomb” channels NECROTICISM just a bit, before delving into some more modern-sound stop/start riffing, only to follow it into a grinding mosh part and classic thrash-based wrap-up.

The band has riffs to spare; I’ll give them that. Sometimes it hurts the song—“The Gangrenous Epitaph” is an otherwise epic number that suffers from chronic over-embellishment. Other times, it seems the band is seeking to please too many audiences: “The Inertia” is a brilliant number with a fantastic groove, and an even more fantastic gallop; but it simply seems to go in too many directions. Every direction is effortlessly clever…but it seems from the outside as if the band is never certain of which way to express that cleverness, or just what might be required of them beyond sheer talent and ability alone.

“A Cold Logistic Slaughter” has some fabulous drum work, and a very modern, almost “post-death” sound. But really, it’s the tracks like “Threading On Vermillion Deception” that remind you why these guys are still on top—it’s epic, and brutal…yet entirely and effortlessly catchy, if not melodic at times. There really is something for everyone, if often in the same sick composition.

This band is not quite the Second Coming Of Carcass that the ad buzz might have you to believe. But they are pretty damned amazing now and then; and even when they misfire, they do so with such style and vigor, that it’s forgiven by the start of the next track. Watch this band…it will be interesting to see where they might go from here.
Track Listing

1. Dead Wreckoning

2. Blood Fixing The Bled

3. Gestated Rabidity

4. Hecatomb

5. The Gangrenous Epitaph

6. The Inertia

7. A Cold Logistic Slaughter

8. Threading On Vermillion Deception

9. Voracious Haemoglobinic Syndrome

10. Descend To Extirpation


Sven de Caluwe - Vocals
Stephane Soutereyand - Guitar
Thijs - Guitar
Frederic - Bass
Gilles Delecroix - Drums

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