Review Summary: Konkeror plow forth with their juggernaut of aural destruction
Hailing from beyond the stars (or Detroit, MI according to their bio) Konkeror have forged their name into the pillars of extreme music with their 2012 debut, The Abysmal Horizons
. These demigods are on a mission to reclaim the universe, while decimating all who stand in their path with their unique blend of blackened death metal. Peppered with the perfect amount of melody, thrash, and Mesopotamian riffage, Konkeror plow forth with their juggernaut of aural destruction.
The musicianship displayed throughout is near perfect with noteworthy performances by all members. The guitar riffs are incredibly tight, varied, and interesting throughout each song. The backbone drumming is devastating on the faster tracks, and completely crushing when the tempo is taken back. The bass is simplistic, yet pertinent to the overall controlled chaos. What truly takes Konkeror to the next level in the death metal realm are the vocals and lyrics performed by Jeff Beauchamp. His ability to blend brutality with audibility is uncanny, and suits the lyrics perfectly. He seamlessly switches between a death like growl and the occasional blackened shriek. Centered around occult and metaphysical themes, the abstract depictions the lyrics portray are simultaneously intelligent and obscure. The production on this album (self-produced!) is impeccable, and compliments all of the instruments.
A mysterious Middle Eastern acoustic guitar riff opens up the album before "I, Monolithic" rips through the gate with its neck breaking death metal tour de force. Firing on all cylinders Konkeror introduce the listener to their sonic ethos both musically and lyrically. While this opener is a great example of what’s to come throughout the album, the next and slowest song on the album, "Towers," demonstrates their other half. A crushing, plodding, slab of half speed death metal obliterates the listener with enough intricacies to remain captivating. The rest of the album tosses between this dichotomy of ferocity and mid-paced heaviness, which keeps the entire album balanced and interesting. The penultimate track, "The Pillars of Creation," is one of the albums highlights. Clocking in just under 8 minutes, it effortlessly switches between slow and fast, brutal and melodic, and the atmosphere throughout is both unsettling and grandiose.
In a metal scene inundated with clones, Konkeror shine through the murk with their own unique sound. They haven’t reinvented the wheel on The Abysmal Horizons
, but have perfected its design while adding enough creativity to craft an album worthy of praise.
Beyond the Abysmal Horizons
The Pillars of Creation
Full album stream: