Thursday, 25 October 2012

Abstracter - Tomb of Feathers review

This first release from four piece Abstracter from Oakland California features three extensive journeys, recorded live on analogue equipment, through inner turmoil and personal anguish. The opening few moments of rainfall and thunder give way to a brutal assault on the stability of the listener. Meditative chord progressions and ethereal vocals soon open up to a barrage of guttural hostility and hammering guitar riffs.

This is the opening of “Walls That Breathe” which develops gradually into an epic voyage of ferocity and malice. Drum and bass appear low in the mix as the relentless guitars and vocal shake the listener into attentiveness. “To Vomit Crows” opens with a guitar riff that will have even the most casual of listener reaching for their air guitar. Over the next twelve minutes the track expands into an almost mathematical arrangement of time signatures and chord progressions underpinning that same ferocious vocal. The other instruments here appear to be given equal consideration as bass and drums have their own individual input. Interplay of growls and lucid vocals lends the piece character and a level of inquisitiveness. “To Vomit Crows” does not pummel the senses in the way “Walls That Breathe” did, but utilises a sonic palette of tension, violence and intelligence, to subtle, yet effective consequence.

The length of each of these pieces allows them to assemble and widen their scope in such a way that the listener may not appreciate their actual length, and become mesmerised in their bewildering journey. Lumbering gradually along “Ashes” closes the album with as much despondency and angst as its predecessors and at sixteen minutes has the space available to meter out its twists and turns of mood with aplomb. Reverting back to the intertwining style of vocals and ponderous riffs, “Ashes” is a trawl knee deep in Abstracter’s world of doom. Again, there are chord progressions that will have the listener rocking backwards and forward unselfconsciously as the riffs envelope them...

Read the full piece here

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