Abstracter: Tomb of Feathers

Never has being viciously brutalised been so satisfying as from the debut album from US metalers Abstracter. Tomb of Feathers, their three track forty minute betrayal of sonic sanity, is an unrelenting corruption of heart stopping, senses blowing malevolence. It crushes and melts synapses through its trio of mesmeric yet corrosive scarring soundscapes, its legacy provoked thoughts and eager submissive allegiance.

Abstracter is a quartet from Oakland, California, friends with the same musical intent and view on the world which drives and stalks their sound. They create a destructive mix of sludge, hardcore punk, crust, and doom metal with much more adding to the black heart of the results. The tracks which make up Tomb of Feathers are enveloping consumptions which mesmerise and destroy simultaneously, their far reaching touch provoking and evoking. Influenced by the likes of Amebix, Swans, Bathory, Godflesh, and Disembowelment, the band vent their anger and hate, disgust and venom through the three massive landscapes of noise and aggression which evolve without ever showing mercy and enthral whilst stripping the senses of safety.

The album is a concept album with the single theme of madness and mental disease resulting from ‘the extreme and cynical individualism that permeates the world, and humanity’s cowardly tendency to constantly leave the weak behind.’From the opening Walls That Breathe through to the closing track the release wears its anger openly and permeates every note and syllable with its loathing. The first track opens with the beginning sounds of a raging storm but it is merely the lull, the emerging guitars leading one into the oncoming ferocity with heated skill. Once inside the oppressive presence of the track, it bears down heavily with spiteful guitar intrusions and firm rhythms whilst vocal harmonies spark the shadows. Soon guttural growls spear the raised intensity and predator like grooves whilst the track overall explores and rages within the head, its intent challenging and testing ones resolve and thoughts wonderfully. It is not an easy listen, as with the following pair, but certainly is one of the most rewarding.

The following To Vomit Crows is the pinnacle of the album, a mightily stunning track and one of the best to emerge within extreme metal for quite a while. Immediately churning riffs cast their abrasive strokes across the ear, soon multiplying as the raptorial bass joining the fray. There is an early Killing Joke bruising to the sound which soon turns into a fire of primal ravenous energy as the song seeks out and brands every inch of the senses and mind. It is magnificent, its hungry sonic energised crawl driven by ear rapping beats, a caustic lashing to smart and drool from. Thirteen minutes long it never outstays its welcome, though neither do the other pair, and through its distorted breath, sonic savagery, and twisting malicious ambience makes every second the richest.

The final track Ashes is no less impactful, the slowly building and lumbering intensity a perpetual drain on ones energy and emotion, its ignited flaming rub annihilatory. The song completes what is a formidable and staggering release which surely marks the beginning of towering things for Abstracter.

Self produced and funded, Tomb of Feathers released digitally via The Path Less Traveled Records with a physical release to follow, is a giant of an album and though arguably it offers nothing widely new in sound, it creates a fresh and explosive new fissure within extreme metal.


RingMaster 18/09/2012

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