In preparation for the new Abscess
of Inhumanity’, I picked myself up a copy of the last one, 2007’s ‘Horrorhammer’. Part of me is a big fan of this kind of death metal, because it represents what death metal was really about when it first arrived; thick sludgy riffing, raw production and a commitment to old school values. Unfortunately many bands have jumped on the ‘old skool’ death metal band wagon of late, but with Abscess
’ pedigree including members of primeval death legends Autopsy
, they are simply a cut above the rest.
‘Horrorhammer’ is a triumph of raw, dark, tar-thick death metal, doing almost nothing original but feeling all the more welcome for it. Too many bands try to experiment with their sound and end up ruining what little appeal they had. Not so with Abscess
. They know what they want to play, and they play it, no bullshit. A raw, almost punkish death metal vibe runs through all of these tracks, from the doom of ‘When Witches Burn
’ to the proto-thrash of ‘Hellhole’.
They may not be reinventing the wheel, and sometimes the similarities between songs can be grating, but as an overall album, there is little to complain about. Abscess
play old school death metal the way it was supposed to be; evil, simple and supremely dark. Opener ‘Drink the Filth
’ is a rager, pulling out a tearing, wailing solo within the first 30 seconds of gurgling vocals and rampaging death riffing.The songs are generally short, most under 3 minutes long and the longer tracks, like ‘Beneath
a Blood Red
Sun’ or ‘Poison Messiah
’ have some great, slow atmospheric points.
If you like your death metal raw, punky and atmospheric like the old days, there are few better albums by modern bands than ‘Horrorhammer’. It’s rather satisfying to hear old school death metal still played by proper legends of the scene who were present at the birth of the genre, and have it pulled off well. It’s not as original as it used to be, but there’s nothing wrong with such an excellent homage. Try and buy!