Released: 2014, Iron Bonehead Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
U.K. band ABYSSAL have unleashed quite a powerful monster with their second full length release, entitled "Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius". If the slow dirges of Incantation mixed with the dissonant guitar work of Immolation, with a touch of Nile on the side, you might want to check these guys out. The album is produced in such a way that instruments create a mass of sound that pummels listeners, but avoids turning into a blur: each instrument is audible, yet played in such a fashion as to emulate a demonic maelstrom sweeping off some unfortunate world. Guitars go from face-ripping fast tremolo riffs to dissonant open chord arrangements which create a morbid atmosphere. Underneath the chaotic guitar work, drummer Striga gives shape to the arrangements alternating between fast and slow (very slow at times) tempos as well as adding odd fills that are not unlike those found in Jazz music. ABYSSAL have the incredible ability to use techniques that have been used before by other bands, yet make them sound fresh once more. It is impressive how effortlessly the band creates a sonic landscape that manages to be diverse yet with a clear singularity of purpose: this record was conceived as an extremely morbid, dark, sick endeavor where everything gels successfully, no matter what elements the band incorporates in their sound.
After the short intro "Forebode", the listener is immediately attacked by the dissonant guitar work and hyper fast drumming of the eight minute epic "The Tongue of the Demagogue". Although it is a lengthy track, it is by no means tiring, as the band keep things interesting with some really odd tempos going on during the verses. This opening track is actually like a total immersion into the record, since there are no break between songs except for maybe an intro or two. Throughout the first track, and indeed during the rest of the album, guitars tend to follow a riff until they break away from each other, creating dissonant melodies that are simultaneously brutal and simply beautiful. This technique is repeated quite often during the album, but it proves effective because the guitarists are very good at what they do, and never sound forced. This technique also helps in maintaining a clear focus throughout the album which makes songs fit with one another conceptually. For this reason, I believe that the best way to listen to NOVIT ENIM DOMINUS QUI SUNT EIUS is to sit down and play it from start to finish.
If I sounded like I am praising this release too much, I recommend you to get a copy of "Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius" and experience it for yourself. ABYSSAL have definitely crafted a name for themselves with this album, and I am looking forward to future releases. The biggest achievement with this album was the ability to experiment and incorporate elements from other styles of music without compromising brutality, and keeping a conceptual edge to their music using some of the rawest Metal techniques they could find. That is an impressive feat for any band to achieve, especially for one that have released only two full length records so far.