Abysmal Darkening – No Light Behind …   1 comment

The Total Rust promo sheet reads; With a unique mix between traditional doom riffing, stoner doom, elements of 70s proto-metal and some blackish influences, Abysmal Darkening managed to create a new form of audio sonic terrorism. Transcendental, sharp, suicidal, old school music and yes, it is recommended to fans of Bethlehem, Deinonychus  and even Celtic Frost and Urfaust.

This is all true but there is a lot more to this band like the sonic dirges of Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Burning Witch,  and even early Pentagram can be heard within these hellish blackened grooves. They are still known as a ‘black-metal’ band by most in the underground media but lovers of extreme doom will surely get a lot of pleasure out of this crusty blackened doom-metal and yes I am calling this doom. It has taken the band 7 years between their demo recorded in 2004 and this 2011 début full length so the wait better be worth it and thankfully it is. The album kicks off with Godzilla-like plodding with ‘Behold The Gods’ that combines giant doom riffs and some very dirty low-ended bass rumbling with a disturbing amount of tortured black-metal ambience. There is a blast beat section that enters the track about halfway through but the bulk of the song is a sickening sludge-metal crawler in the vein of Burning Witch and Khanate only with much more black-metal influenced hatred. The screeching vocals are a perfect match to the guitar assault which sticks to fairly basic chord progressions but that only helps to support the atmosphere of unadulterated misery.

The following ‘Dead Eyes’ is possibly even bleaker if that is possible at all. It starts with the most minimalist of doom riffs and a snail-paced tempo along with growls, moans and tortured vocals. It is so slow and heavy that at one point it sounds like the track might stopped all together but instead goes in a blackened droning section. This doom misanthropy is very sparse so don’t expect much in the way of musical dynamics but do expect something truly scary, depressing and ethereal. ‘A New Dawn’ changes the mood ever so slightly with more of a cruising stoner-doom kind of vibe but it still has that washed out Saint Vitus kind of feel especially in the tempo of the song. It is still slow but faster by Abysmal Darkening standards, like ‘Dead Eyes’ it has the mid-song breakdown or mood shift going from sinister to melancholy.

‘Endless March Of The Dead’ is up next and one the albums best pieces. This is probably the closest the band ever gets to traditional doom at least in the sabbathian sense of the genre but it is still played at half-speed and with twice the aggression. Like most songs here they blend in bursts of black-metal hatred which mainly stems from mid-tempos and menacing screaming vocals. The band follows this highlight with another one, the eerie grooves of ‘Words Of Doom’ which really highlights the bands skills at atmospheric sludgy doom. It also highlights this bands ability at mixing 70’s rock groove with drones and plodding yet melodic doom-metal. This is where the band and this album reaches its peak in my opinion. Even though the songs move in a heavy but awkward way, there is an element of melody in the guitar lines which is hypnotic. They follow this monster with ‘De zomer Is Dood’ which really showcases the bands twisted, deranged melodies to perfection. This track is almost like three bands in one, it is has the trad-doom laden section, the bombastic aggressive sludge element and also a black-metal blast to round things off.

The album ends on a druggy cover of Sisters Of Mercy’s ‘Marian’ and the band not only put their own stamp of doom onto the song but they basically re-invent it as well. Strange but I have always hated Sisters Of Mercy and this song but this version is excellent. It is like Darkthrone and Burning Witch got together for a jam and the result is sheer brutal madness. This rounds out an excellent, almost flawless album and it must be said that Total Rust who put out this album are on a roll right at the moment. Along with Abysmal Darkening they have just released killer albums by Pyramido and Highgate and this adds up to three of the best albums released this year but back to this album. ‘No Light Behind’ is an essential sludge-doom album for 2011 from a band that has been worth waiting for. Not only will doom,sludge and stoner fans dig this but black metal fans and lovers of the extreme should find this album nothing short of exceptional…..9.5/10

Abysmal Darkening Official
Official Myspace
Total Rust Music

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Posted May 28, 2011 by doommantia in Abysmal Darkening

One response to “Abysmal Darkening – No Light Behind …

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  1. Thank you so much for this awesome review! We are deeply flattered by such words ov doom!

    Kev. of A.D.

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