Review Summary: Idioteque reviews something he has listened to
Right, Abyssal’s sophomore effort Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius
(which – unsurprisingly - translates into “the dead master of true decay is decomposing”) is perhaps the most interesting, varied and significant album of 2013 thus far, due almost solely to the fact that it is the only relatively important album of the year that has been released. Upon being informed of its existence, I felt compelled to investigate and was immediately met with a situation that I have very rarely encountered before; as anyone vaguely familiar with my reviews should know, I seldom listen to music, since I consider the quality of the artwork to be far superior to that of the sound and therefore get far more enjoyment from examining whatever image the artist has chosen to accompany their album rather than actually hearing the music. This usually pays off, but when I saw how terrible the artwork for Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius
is, I immediately realised that I would be unable to justify not listening to it by staring at such a boring picture of clichéd decadence. Therefore, I gritted my teeth, prepared to immerse myself in a world that I had absolutely no experience of, and pressed play.
The first thing that struck me about the album was that the band has ideas. I was so absorbed by the immensity of that fact, and by the pressurized atmospheric depth (think that Crash Bandicoot level in the Wrath of Cortex with the station in the sky with the fans that slice you to pieces that comes before the wind boss), that it took me a while to realise that none of them are good ideas. The harsh production is used successfully to further bury the quality of the music, a double-bluff that tries to make the listener assume that there is something good buried underneath the layers of miasmic roughness; it didn’t fool me (I should point out once again that I am not a real user, and therefore am not quite as stupid as I pretend to be). So, the first flaw with the album is that there are no good ideas. The second flaw is that the band very quickly runs out of bad ideas, and therefore has to recycle all the crap that they’ve already used. The similarities between first (proper) track The Tongue of the Demagogue
and the last track The Last King
are infinite, ranging from similar riffs to an identical morse-code message sent by the drum-machine’s cymbal in the second verse (see, I really have listened to it) that says “let the dead bury their own dead”, which is a reference to the As Cities Burn song Wake, Dead Man, Wake
(however, since As Cities Burn took it from the Bible, they have the last laugh). That’s really all there is to say; it’s a **** album that pretends to be even worse than it is to make itself sound better. If your into black metal, or you’re a ********** (a la skeletorissatan), then you’ll probably dig it, otherwise go back to Burial with all the other posers.