Abstracter – Wound Empire

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Thrusting the listener into a doomed physical and emotional landscape, a stark yet compelling void, US doomers Abstracter enchant and suffocate with the impressive Wound Empire. Four tracks to immerse within gleefully whilst expanding into the darkest corners of the psyche, the forty minute long album is a tantalising and fearsome journey though the rawest of climates over uncompromising wastelands.

Wound Empire is the successor to debut album Tomb of Feathers; a new encounter which those in the know suggest finds the Oakland band taking their already acclaimed sound to further reaching intensive heights. Breeding their own bordering on hallucinatory soundscapes within Wound Empire from inspirations which range from essences of Godfesh, Swans, and Neurosis to His Hero is Gone, Blut Aus Nord, Dystopia, and Darkthrone, Abstracter recorded their release with Greg “The Wizard of Doom” Wilkinson (Brainoil, Iron Lung, High On Fire, Noothgrush, OM, Atriarch) last year. Continuing their “fascination with concepts of human decline, cultural and industrial ruin, and complete social collapse,” the band swiftly engulfs and incites from the release’s first breath.

Lightless opens on a sonic breeze, broadening its haunted cold presence through raw caresses of guitar and a resonating heavy bass tone. As the whole of the album’s proposal, the track is a slow expansion of sound but every note and heavy lure offers a potent piece in an emerging picture. Once in full caustically scenic view, riffs gnaw and beckon with corrosive breath and infectious nature whilst the bass turns carnivorous in sound and predation as it prowls the track’s primordial terrain. Oppressively heavy and crushingly merciless, the doom drenched offering surprisingly has a potent swagger and contagiousness to its unsettling presence, a catchiness to enthral and grip ears and body as imagination and emotions are buffeted and ignited by the sonic enterprise.

There is no respite from the cavernous depths and cold of the climate evolved in its predecessor as Open Veins follows; the blackened sludge reaped tar of sound and coarse emotions a FINAL_ABSTRACTER_jacketmelancholic poison seeping over flesh and thought whilst crust caked vocals roar and slowly squally within the invasive doom. Slim but toxic grooves only add to the allure and detached nature of the track, their minimalistic but rich tempting a vine to grip as the rest of the sounds and vocals groan with the breath of hell.

The transfixing presence of Cruciform comes next and by this point the realisation that Wound Empire should definitely be taken as one fluid dose rather than individual apocalyptic descents into glacial prisons is evident. It is fair to say that the track holds none of the almost welcoming traits of its predecessors but still has some form of catchiness to its flight into the heart of the soulless; its sounds binding as they erode air and senses with caustic persistence.

Wound Empire is concluded by Glowing Wounds, a calmer slightly celestial tempting which still remains encased in an immense doom sculpted embrace. The track is as meditative as it is sonically fierce, a lingering flight across radiant hopes but accompanied by an insidious hold of unrelenting blackened malevolence. A masterful end to a seriously riveting encounter, song and album will not be an easy fit for all, but offers a thought and emotion provoking arousal each can take something from. In the dark times and world which encroaches on us all, it is releases like this and its groan of hell rather than most tirades of words which brings the cold reality home.

Wound Empire is released in the US and Europe on February 10th 2015 digitally via Sentient Ruin Laboratories @ http://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/wound-empire, on cassette through Sentient Ruin Laboratories and An Out Recordings, on CD by COF Records, and in vinyl version by Fragile Branch Recordings in the US and Vendetta Records, 7Degrees Records, and Shove Records across Europe.

http://abstracterband.com/

RingMaster 10/02/2015

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Keitzer – The Last Defence

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The saying goes that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but if the Devil wants to give her a run for her money then he could not no worse than call on German metallers Keitzer. The band has never been slow in unleashing scourges of sonic spite and brutal confrontation but they have unlocked a new vat of hostility with latest album The Last Defence. The bands fifth full-length is as ferocious as it gets; a furnace of vitriol and blast beats which leave ears and senses floundering in their own waste but within the torrential downpour the band seduces with some of the most viciously tempting grooves. The 1999 formed Keizter and album are as pissed as they can be, showing time can only intensify sonic grievances as proven by this juggernaut of contagious mayhem, an assault leaving deep bruises and open satisfaction.

The follow-up to its successful predecessor Descend Into Heresy of 2011, the FDA Rekotz released The Last Defence takes no prisoners as it treats them to some not admittedly ground-breaking but voraciously vindictive and equally rewarding metal. The album’s press release suggests it lies somewhere within the assaults of Misery Index, Marduk, and early Deicide, something you cannot dispute or want to as it definitely gives a potent hint as what Keitzer has in store within the Jörg Uken mixed and mastered hostility. From opener Bellum Indicere, an introductory instrumental, the album boils up and over with the cruellest sounds and intent available to its creators. The first track brings an atmospheric storm to bear on the senses, a controlled but tempestuous climate of sonic and rhythmic incitement which provides a fiery but kind introduction before the savage ravaging of Exist To Destroy. Ears and senses are thrust into a brawling maelstrom of sound and intensity straight away, the guitars of Nicolai Hinse and Michael Dölle squalling with all the respect of a sandstorm as the rhythmic ferocity of drummer Tim Terhechte violates air and body. Driven by the excellently malicious and varied vocal enmity of Christian Silva Chaco the second track is an incessant conflict but also the source of a rich acidic groove.

There is no respite from the furnace of sound and aggressive with This Is The Only Solution, its body of vindictiveness in sound and lyrical bitterness devoid of mercy but virulent with grinding torrents of riffs, debilitating rhythms, KEITZER_cover_WWWand vocal causticity. Unveiling a hardcore seeded rabidity to its breath and an irresistible heavily footed groove from bassist Simon Venig, the track twists and flays around with a dervish like fanaticism, those hook lined grooves bringing even more potency to a lure which is intensified in the next up Forever War. Its opening melodic enticement is soaked in intrigue and mystique, a coaxing hinting at a valiant emprise ahead. What erupts is an avalanche of precise yet insatiably hungry drum provocation and flesh flailing riffery within further scorched grooving. In some ways what emerges is underwhelming from the song’s delicious start but those disappointments are soon smothered by and lost within the barbarous intensity and heart of the track, though it does fail to ignite ears and emotions as fully as its predecessors.

   Marching Forward To Victory is another which seems to lack the spark and irresistible bait of other engagements, but it still offers a wall of jaundiced passion and accomplished violence to keep attention locked in and cowering under its punishment before the outstanding title track triggers another lustful hunger. The carnivorous grumble of the bass is ferociously addictive bait but as with most songs to be honest, it is the swarming of grooves with their waspish tenacity and virulent toxicity which sear the sweet spot. The track continues to destroy and seduce with its shifting landscape of rapacious melodic relentlessness but never loses its core of repetitive and addictive bad blood.

The album continues to impress and uncage its ruinous appeal aligned to sheer pungent loathing, the likes of the bestial Next Offensive with its twist of heavy almost stoner seeded hate bred grooves, the similarly predatory We Are The Serpents Of Doom, and the pestilential Fleshcrawl in varying degrees leaving ears ringing and passions basking. The third of the trio especially teases and exploits the imagination, its corrosive opening moving into primal seduction with salacious grooves of wanton designs within a rhythmic battering which only takes a slight breath in its steely intent to suck air in for the next up Todgeweiht. The track is a minute and a handful of seconds of raw brutality and sadistic rhythmic suasion but still lines its wrath with an admittedly slight but nonetheless persuasive groove.

The album ends on a horde of triumphs starting with Glorious Dead; to some extent the release holding back its best for the closing stretch. The track is a jubilant waltz of decay and pestilence, its swinging gait and grooved revelry a contrast to the rancid attitude of the beats and bass incitement, as well as the song’s subsequent stalking of the senses. It is a riveting and thrilling assassination of emotions which is equalled in quality and intent by Ausgelöscht, the track as malignant as it is urgent as it tears the senses apart for the intimidating but seductive corrosive grooves which follow. It is a masterful annihilation of the psyche left in the shade of the best track on the album Crusade. Its title reflects its sound and purpose, a heroic air and stature wrapping the riffs and ear caging rhythms. This eventually parts though for the inevitable uncontrollable expulsion of inhospitable and frantic enticement though it never loses its touch on the song as it reassert its dramatic, hostility driven majesty time and time again.

The album closes with the tension drenched animosity of …Before Annihilation, though it has to be said that its title is a bit late, the destruction and blood-letting having been and not exactly gone but done its worst by the time of this final exhilarating violation. It is a great end to an exhaustingly exciting release, which probably you can say is not unleashing a new bloodshed or aural corruption but certainly delivering it in a style and inventive ferocity to rigorously enjoy being pulverised by.

The Last Defence is available via FDA Rekotz now on download and CD with Black Vinyl and Ltd Edition red vinyl versions available through 7Degrees Records and @ http://keitzer.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-defence

https://www.facebook.com/keitzer

8.5/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

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