Released: 2015, Final Gate Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Sweden's ABSCESSION built up quite a stir with their previous EP “Death Incarnate”. In a modern metal world where everything seems to focus on the ridiculously technical, or the most “brutal” sound, it is refreshing to hear a band that hark back to the older, rawer version of death metal. Where modern bands can come across as esoteric and even a little pretentious in both their music and lyrics, ABSCESSION successfully bring the simple, tried-and-trusted gore.
Even with this approach, there are always going to be pitfalls that can be encountered and, given their more “vintage” sounds, there is one in chief: sounding unconvincing. Yet the trio here play precisely and passionately, with a strong songwriting craft – everything sounds focused and with the intent on making the best sounding track possible. Notable cases include the bludgeoning “Cabin 13”, the crawling and sinister “Freshly Dug Graves” and the epic “Downfall, Pt. I”.
Where bands using the modern-era death metal sound tend to lose a lot of that edge the genre should have is attempting to create the biggest, harshest yet most technically-impressive and clear sound possible. When it's done great, it really is great but with a glut in this sound emerging, it becomes very homogenising. Which is another factor that makes “Grave Offerings” such a pleasure – it's not attempting to sound like the modern “brutal”, nor is it attempting to sound like an ode to the genre's origins. It just is.
There will be those that deride this for not reinventing the sound or other such reasons, but then this same argument could be thrown in the direction of many other bands that have emerged in any genre where their influences are apparent. But fundamentally, it's all about the songwriting. It's already been mentioned that this is a very focused affair, and this just seems to permeate both the album and the band – ABSCESSION know who they are, what they are and what they're doing. It's this clear vision that helps craft a damn good album.
Review by: Lee Carter