Review by Brian on January 6, 2015.
Abstracter are back with their second LP of sludged out, doom-laden, blackened crust. Back in 2010 guitarist Robin Kahn and vocalist Mattia Alagna, formed the project with the intent of being a noise duo that would never record or play live. Lucky for us they added drummer Ben James and bassist Jose Picou to round out the lineup and record their wonderful debut Tomb of Feathers. Both Ben and Jose have been replaced by Emad Dajani on drums and Donovan Kelley on bass for the upcoming Wound Empire LP to be released in February.
Abstracter has picked up right where they left off with 4 lengthy tracks of dark, gloomy, sludge fueled psychedelia. Opening track "Lightless" sets the tone, it's bleak slow beginning builds to a swirling black metal frenzie that collapses into a sludgy doom riff that is so heavy its weight can be felt in your chest. It then circles back around, keeping the listeners attention. This formula works very well for the band. Although these are longer tracks, all clocking in just over or slightly under 10 minutes, they keep your attention. What I really like on Wound Empire is the ever present psychedelic undertone. I guess the noise experimentation that was the basis of this band shines through when the psychedelia oozes through the tracks like lava engulfing the landscape, turning everything to ash. Another aspect of the music that Abstracter has good command of is using melody quite well to build that epic feel before it destroys everything with a heavy sludge riff. This can be heard throughout the albums four tracks as well.
With all the different styles that the band displays, they never seemed forced and maintain a steady flow. Because of this the listener never loses focus, even through the slower and noisier sections. Abstracter have created one of the more solid releases of this style of music that I have heard. The execution is damn near perfect and the production is superb. With Wound Empire they have built upon their debut and surpassed it in every way. I hope that they keep progressing and building upon their sound. This album is like several natural disasters happening at once to apocalyptic proportions. Volcanoes erupting during an earthquake while a typhoon causes a tidal wave that destroys everything in its wake. The end is near and Wound Empire is the soundtrack.
Rating: 9 out of 10