Review Summary: The ashes burn out and new life rises.Cinereous Incarnate
is an immersive listen. Hailing from Oakland, Abstracter have become the forcing hand that pushes their listeners into the darkness. With the band’s 2015 piece, Wound Empire
still etched into the mindset of the group’s fans, this world of bleak music waited with bated breath. Despite the critical acclaim surrounding Abstracter’s sophomore, the band themselves never achieved a huge success. Instead of cultivating a soundscape ready for a more mainstream environment, Abstracter’s recipe for bleak oppression permeates the conscious, weaving and transforming as the sounds of the underground slowly crawl out of the shadows, dragging colours of black and mottling grey with it.
Whilst looking back, a couple of things become instantly clear; Cinereous Incarnate
is not another Wound Empire
. Where the sophomore replicates a visceral form of melancholy filled post metal, a veritable tumulus of milder blackened metal, twisted into a beautiful despair, the band’s latest pulls on the fragment of what’s left behind. It’s because of this “lesser” feeling that, Cinereous Incarnate
is both different in atmosphere and overall quality.
That’s not to say Abstracter has seen a dramatic shift in their overall sound. At the core of the matter, Cinereous Incarnate
sees a manipulation of their former sound, building on the doom naturally found within their music. Album opener, “Nether” is particularly definitive of where Abstracter’s music stands when compared to the band’s other releases. The typical riffing fuzz meets a slamming of blast beats and wailing deathly growls. “Nether” showcases a more fluid, less controlled flow of sound, giving life to the backbone of the band’s newest album. In this case it’s less about the proficiency, but the impact of Cinereous Incarnate
in direct comparison to Abstracter’s other musical exploits.
As the album progresses, the consistent nuances that build the very foundation of Cinereous Incarnate
begins to add flesh, form and appeal. The normally suffocating presence creates a stampede of archaic darkness, heralding the sheer post apocalyptic cadence of this Californian band. With two of the album’s six tracks filling the void in variants of darkened ambient awash with brooding melancholy and sensual minimalism, the music allows itself breathing space, extending the reach of the band’s music intolerant of the confines of the genre they play in. The ten minute opus, “Wings Of Annihilation” highlights the new record. With the atmospheric brooding so often at reach at any point of the band’s career the track excels, surpassing simple genre identification while equally dabbling in the realms of misanthropic doom metal. And while Abstracter’s new record may not reach the lofty depths found in the likes of Wound Empire
the aphotic natures of the band’s newest album gives weight to a choking, suffocating wall of sound that’s defined by its fluency, rather than a rigid unmoving motif.
For forty three minutes Oakland’s Abstracter seeps out of the shadows with a weighty display of sweet, feedback driven cacophony. The eventual climax of Abstracter’s blackened, post, doom metal world showcases a band just going through the motions. Thankfully, where Abstracter naturally gravitates, so does the quality - even if their past efforts slightly out-murk the band’s current canvas.