Abysmal Torment
Epoch of Methodic Carnage


4.5
superb

Review

by Anthracks USER (14 Reviews)
October 28th, 2009 | 19 replies | 5,484 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The groove-age has begun

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

The more I write brutal death metal reviews, the more I’ve come to realize exactly what the genre’s critics have always argued. There’s no denying that brutal death is in a somewhat stagnant position; where bands only sound radically different to those individuals who invest sufficient time into it. After all, it’s a bit of a challenge to write a review within the genre without mentioning [at least] one other band to describe the sound. Once in awhile though, a new band emerges and puts a fresh spin on the formula (it should be noted however, that a band can only deviate so much from this "formula" without being considered in a different genre entirely). Abysmal Torment is one of these bands.

Hailing from Malta, a country relatively dry in terms of brutal death, Abysmal Torment are a five-piece outfit where there are two vocalists as opposed to the typical two guitarists. Their first offering, an MCD, was great, yet incredibly derivative; both of which adjectives received a promotion by their first studio album, Epoch of Methodic Carnage. With this release, we see a band finding their voice; it’s clear that they have no intentions of becoming the next Suffocation, but the first Abysmal Torment.

As I implied earlier, this doesn’t make Abysmal Torment the Gorguts of the brutal scene. Their style is unique and it can’t really be described by just namedropping bands, but they aren’t absolutely revolutionary by any means. What Abysmal Torment construct is absurdly groovy and catchy brutal death metal with ever-so-slight industrial inclinations. If you’re familiar at all with the genre, you might be scoffing at the mention of ‘groovy’ in a brutal review; probably the mention of ‘catchy’ as well, while we’re at it. Don’t worry though, this isn’t the same kind of ‘groovy’ used to describe Devourment, Cephalotripsy, or whatever your grandmother’s favorite slam band might be; that is to say there is no excessive slamming (though they do exist here). Nor is it the same 'catchy' used to describe…well…let’s just say they don’t sacrifice any brutality for the sake of being catchy.

Epoch of Methodic Carnage has the band falling into some stereotypes though. For instance, the album is bookended by two short samples, but where they break the mold is that the samples are actually used effectively. Both of them are just short phrases, where the first is an utterance of “The carnage has begun…” followed by a whispered: “all shall be undone,” before it races off into the neck-snapping intro riff to Relapse Into Sickness. The album also ends, almost humorously, with a voice clip from the Saw films: “Congratulations, you are still alive.” Overall the two samples in question actually add to the cohesiveness of the album. Aside from that, there is also the typical gore-themed lyrics, and then of course the artwork.

It's safe to say that Abysmal Torment have a unique riffing style, compliments of David Depasquale, which is where much of the ‘catchy’ and ‘groovy’ comes from. The majority of it flirts with technicality, but it never even peeks into the realm of wankery; there isn’t a single lead to be found here either. It suffices to say that the riffing is one of the album’s highlights along with the drumming. Again, this is not a case where boundaries are being stretched, but Abysmal Torment’s drummer, Wayne Vella, is a more than competent drummer to say the least; it also doesn't hurt that the production benefits the drums greatly. Much of the music is littered with lightning fast fills where Vella isn’t blasting away. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it sounds like he gets tired somewhat easily during extended periods of blastbeats, whereas his fills are impeccable and almost rejuvenating. Don’t get me wrong though, by no means is it blast-fill-blast-blast-fill; there is some variation here. For instance, Vella and Depasquale make an expert tag team during the last minute of the title track, where after a bit of silence a short sample is played which results in the band bursting out into one of the grooviest outros you will ever hear.

For the sake of mentioning the vocals, there are two vocalists after all, they don’t really make much of an impact. Given that there isn’t much variation in the sounds they make, and that their voices are nigh indistinguishable from each other, it doesn’t seem necessary to have two of them. As for a comparison, (here is the only area where they are comparable to another band), it’s easiest to say that the vocalist(s) sounds like a phlegmier version of the young Frank Mullen (Suffocation).

The album contains plenty of accessible elements, therefore people should find little to no trouble in seeing past their preconceived ideas of the genre and finding something to enjoy. If you’ve been looking to break into brutal death metal, Epoch of Methodic Carnage would be an excellent place to start. If you’ve already written off the genre, there’s a chance that this soon-to-be colossus just might change your mind about it.

Highlights
Relapse Into Sickness
Befouled With Zest
Epoch of Methodic Carnage



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user ratings (30)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Anthracks
October 28th 2009



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

about time someone reviewed this

whoopsies i forgot to add song highlights which arent rly necessary anyway but i like doin em

Digging: Tobacco - Ultima II Massage

OllieS
October 28th 2009



2024 Comments


Great review!

InHumanForm
October 28th 2009



316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good you finally reviewed this, this album is awesome.

liledman
October 28th 2009



3817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds pretty interesting, good review.

shindip
October 28th 2009



3536 Comments


M3TAL album cover

DBlitz
October 30th 2009



1685 Comments


probably ur best review

couch
October 30th 2009



311 Comments


are the vocals better on this than omnicide? i can't get into that album.

Anthracks
October 30th 2009



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

honestly i dont see much difference in the vocal delivery so much as how the differing production changes them, then again a lot of people claim to see a drastic difference with the vocals. there aren't any of the pig squealy tendencies on this one though. like i said i find the vocals on here to sound like a less comprehensible frank mullen - not only should you give this album a try but you should probably give omnicide another chance too...they're both amazing

InHumanForm
October 30th 2009



316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

omnicide is just not amazing to me. it just gets really boring after awhile and the vocals are different

landonius
March 24th 2010



70 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

god, I love the outro to Epoch of Methodic Carnage... its so incredible. blew my mind the first time I heard it.

East Hastings
August 4th 2010



4391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah the title track owns face

liledman
December 5th 2011



3817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

one of the few bdm albums i keep coming back to

seedofnothing
December 5th 2011



3425 Comments


haven't heard this album, hopefully its not a waste of time

MO
February 24th 2012



17337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rules

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

cagedescending
March 10th 2012



4124 Comments


breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeegghgj

YUJOS
April 30th 2012



890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One of the best brutal death metal realeases I 've heard in a while.

Digging: Aosoth - Ashes of Angels

Anthracks
April 30th 2012



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

it is one of the best

mindleviticus
March 6th 2014



7933 Comments


this sounds surprisingly really good for slam dm

Anthracks
March 7th 2014



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hmm it's not slam...it has slams (like 99% of bdm bands) but is not slam



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