An Abstract Illusion
Woe


4.5
superb

Review

by Melodeth USER (20 Reviews)
September 10th, 2022 | 231 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A new leader in progressive death metal

Progressive death metal. Like a blank canvas, anything is possible. A conceptual idea is one thing, but an artist’s ability to portray that feeling onto an observer with effect is a measure of that artist.

The realms of progressive death metal have artistic pursuits more than most in the cosmos of metal music. With its unlikely mix of blast beats, varied vocal styles, cameo instruments, riffing and melodic guitars, and shifting moods, there’s much to consider in achieving cohesiveness. Only a skilled and inventive band can pull it off. Rivers of Nihil, Eternal Storm and Ne Obliviscaris come to mind and now they are joined by An Abstract Illusion.

Previous album Illuminate the Path was an expansive prog death metal listening experience and now the follow up "Woe" seeks to forge a leader reputation in this genre. The hour-long album works as one piece, with the first section comprising the opening three songs delving the listener into a heady atmosphere.

By the end of “Tear Down This Holy Mountain” you know you’re dealing with a special album. To half listen to this wouldn’t do it justice. It’s a smooth whisky and headphones album in a darkened room looking out at a night-time landscape.

“Prosperity” starts before you know it with synths over a probing bass line and cleans before progressing to death metal territory and back again. These songs cover so much ground and it’s a procession of good ideas. A section of the metal fan base won’t connect with this album but a lot will, especially the more dedicated to forward thinking musical ventures.

Like any great progressive metal album, there’s quality to be found later in the piece, with the simply stunning highlight “In The Heavens Above, You Will Become a Monster”. The arrangements on this song in particular are something to behold and if you’re only going to listen to one song on this album this is it.

This Swedish trio draw on influences ranging from Devin Townsend, to Opeth and Anathema to create an inspired and beautiful painting. And in a world of manufactured, disposable metal albums, this is a soul filling keeper and possible AOTY.



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user ratings (288)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Muzz79
September 10th 2022


3094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pretty awesome record

Elynna
September 10th 2022


1449 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had my reservations after hearing the lead single, but I'm glad I was proven wrong. Great record and a worthy follow-up to Illuminate the Path

ThatDude
September 10th 2022


113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Serious metal AOTY contender.

Josh D.
September 10th 2022


17845 Comments


ooohh this is that band with reddit atheist style lyrics. The music is good, I'll just have to not watch lyrics videos

Drpibb
September 10th 2022


192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea this album is fucking phenomenal

Piripichotes
September 10th 2022


814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't know what to make of this album... I don't know if it's just pretentious or if it's really THAT good...

One thing is for sure, you can sense they put a lot of effort into making this.



Zac124
September 10th 2022


2912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review! Will give this a go. It sounds great.

Piripichotes
September 11th 2022


814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OK, 3 whole listens in, by the last minutes of "Slaves" I realized that this is really good. Even if this is 1 hour long, it sure doesn't feel so.

Muzz79
September 11th 2022


3094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Went to try a couple of other releases this weekend but couldn’t, this shit’s just engrossed me.

Yeah Notrap I’ve been keeping an eye on this one for a bit

And cheers guys for well wishes.

Seem to find more every go. Small things like the drumming transition to Slaves

Muzz79
September 12th 2022


3094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Tops pizza.

The last minutes of Prosperity is also really good

tyman128
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2022


4552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is dense

Coldplaz
September 13th 2022


205 Comments


Great album but does anyone know where I can find the lyrics? The lyrics for Slaves were pretty terrible so I hope the rest is not as edgy but judging by the track titles that's probably not the case.


Zac124
September 13th 2022


2912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The best melodeath album of the year so far easily. The solos (the instrumentation in general tbf) here are top notch. Agree that the lyrics are shit though.

Muzz79
September 13th 2022


3094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It’s one of only two albums this year that can go straight on repeat as it finishes. The other is Drift into Black - Earthtorn

tyman128
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2022


4552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just waiting for something to click with me like it did for y'all

WattPheasant
September 15th 2022


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is obviously a pretty good album, but I do think it has a lot more filler than its competitors (Rivers of Nihil, Kardashev, White Ward, etc.). There are just too many extended moments with simple riffage and repetitive blast beats.

Muzz79
September 16th 2022


3094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"This is obviously a pretty good album, but I do think it has a lot more filler than its competitors (Rivers of Nihil, Kardashev, White Ward, etc.). There are just too many extended moments with simple riffage and repetitive blast beats". Fair enough op mate but I don't necessarily agree. The build-ups and quieter pieces here seem very organic and well paced. And with simple riffage, I'd argue an extended riff like in the second half of Prosperity gives it time to breathe and leave a lasting impact

cjhinkus
September 16th 2022


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Absolutely hooked on this album right now. It speaks to me on an emotional level that I can’t quite put into words.

AnusNballs
September 17th 2022


201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy fuck this surprised me… the solos are some of if not the best in metal today..great range on the vox.

AnusNballs
September 17th 2022


201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah definitely some Ne in here.. replace their violin with a keyboard n Boom



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