Abyssal
A Beacon In The Husk


4.0
excellent

Review

by Marehelm USER (6 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2019 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dynamics, suspense, release, catharsis.

I kind of have a thing for albums that I, for one reason or another, associate with what is going on in my head. Like, if my thoughts, experiences, emotions and so on had a soundtrack. If they could be translated to vibrations of the molecules of the air, how would the offal of my skull sound" An example of such an album is Tim Hecker’s Konoyo. Sometimes, especially on bright, beautiful mornings when the sun flows in through my window, my head sounds like Konoyo. One fleeting thought/synth takes over from the previous, sometimes they start weaving together, ebbing back and forth. It’s beautiful. And then, suddenly, some kind of weird ***ing japanese classical music comes out of nowhere and I take another sip of my coffee.

So it is with Abyssal as well.

After an initial 8-minute opening blast, “Shapes Upon the Retina” enters. One track of scorching, warped death metal is followed of ambience and noise. It’s a beauty of a track. Abyssal sure knows how to utilize the vocals and ambience together and, when the noise and drums hits around mid-track, it evolves into a monster. Climax. It relaxes once more, only to rise again and finish off with two minutes of death metal similar to that experienced in “Dialogue”. Climax.

Next track. “Awakening”. Here, again, Abyssal masterfully utilizes dynamics and offers an doom-ish death track following the fast-paced two minute closing of the “Shapes Upon the Retina”. “Awakening” is followed by two minutes of probably the most “normal” death metal of this release in “The Cloisters Beneath the Grime” which, you’ve guessed it, changes midway and finishes off with touches of doom again. So it keeps going throughout the entire album. It’s a ride. Up and down constantly in both intensity and emotion.

All the time, even though sounding superficially like Immolation, Portal, or the Chasm, Abyssal is himself. There’s a drum outro on “Khyphotic Suzerains” which is pretty cool. I’ve praised Abyssal for the dynamics, but I would like to point out that, if it were up to me, I would have placed “Shapes Upon the Retina” as either the first track or in the middle of the album. It functions, for some of it’s run time, more or less as a breather, but you don’t really need it after only 8 minutes of “Dialogue”.

So, I figure my head sometimes sound like this. Or, if you’ve followed me this far in the review, evokes the same kind of feeling that is evoked by what is going on in my head. A large part of this is probably due to the production. This is some twisted and warped ***. Portal-esque, but not really. Dense and suffocating. Listen to it, man, it’s hard to describe. It’s beautiful as well.

Another characteristic of “A Beacon in the Husk” is the ever present vocals. They’re great: Deep and frightening. But he just never ***ing shuts up, which might get a bit much for some people. One will not find lengthy, jaw-dropping instrumental sections like in “Chrysalis” of his previous album. The vocals everywhere, in every nook and cranny of my skull and they just never shut up and never leave me alone. Like my thoughts.

Until we reach the final track “Soliloquy”, that is. No vocals, no guitars - Only ambience. It’s almost like he’s giving you a chance to step back and look at the destruction and the dust slowly falling towards the ground and settling while singular rays of sunshine peep through the clouds. It’s beautiful.

Luckily, when it feels dense and suffocating inside my head, I can often find beauty in it, just as I can in “A Beacon in the Husk”.



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user ratings (49)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (4)
A hulking husk indeed....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Marehelm
July 2nd 2019


848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, well. I actually tried writing a bit about the music.





oltnabrick
July 2nd 2019


37145 Comments


gotta check

Digging: Oli XL - Rogue Intruder, Soul Enhancer

brainmelter
July 2nd 2019


6506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pos!

Digging: Grey Aura - 2: De bezwijkende deugd

Marehelm
July 2nd 2019


848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks fren

Azog
July 2nd 2019


193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Portal-esque, but not really."



Portal has always been a major influence, in a good way. Abyssal's sound is actually quite distinct and instantly recognizable.



This being said, Beacon doesn't quite reach the same highs as Antikatastaseis did. However, it still counts as one hell of an album, in my book.

Marehelm
July 2nd 2019


848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Azog, yeah, exactly. That's pretty much what I meant by that sentence :-)



The production puts this over the top for me, it's crazy good

Azog
July 2nd 2019


193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Agreed. Not your typical wall of sound, but a good dynamic range.



Marehelm
July 2nd 2019


848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an aoty contender, sput. Get on it

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2019


9396 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not too bad of a review my man. I definitely intend on visiting this soon enough.

Digging: Disentomb - The Decaying Light

Papa Universe
July 2nd 2019


22234 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

aPOSsal

Marehelm
July 3rd 2019


848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks father!

TheNotrap
July 3rd 2019


11431 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album rules, I might bump my rating soon

Digging: Wormed - Metaportal

Marehelm
July 3rd 2019


848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ye, do it

MewCore
July 3rd 2019


29 Comments


He managed to make it sound much worse then the last record. No dynamics whatsoever and cardboard drums with no impact at all. Could have liked the music but it's just so flat and murky.

Azog
July 3rd 2019


193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Blame it on your audio equipment, or maybe you should have your ears checked. Anyway, the production on this album is more than adequate.

DungeonBoy
July 3rd 2019


6254 Comments


Isn't it supposed to sound murky and cavernous? I mean I personally don't always love this style of death metal production, but it certainly sounds intentional and fitting to me

Digging: Falls of Rauros - Patterns in Mythology

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2019


25585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

production on this is perfect for what it is

Marehelm
July 3rd 2019


848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Spirit knows

necropig
July 3rd 2019


5531 Comments


apeeshell

Digging: Asphodelus - Stygian Dreams

MewCore
July 3rd 2019


29 Comments


I'm listening to this album on deezer and comparing it to Antikatastaseis. I done that with with Beyer DT990 over ear and Fiio F9 in ear with Fiio E10K and Q1Mk2 amps, also wirh Btr1k bluetoth amp. Also with Logitech Z5500 and little Sonos 1 speakers. That's all the equipment I have. My ears tell me Antikatastaseis has better instrument separation, harder drum kick, more soundstage that for sure has something to do with reverb and overall sharper presentation. This album sounds like a demo and I am unable to enjoy it. Its not crushing, punishing or heavy, just...dull, bad production overall and puzzling when compared to older albums. If you like it, spin the hell out if it.



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