An Abstract Illusion
Woe


4.5
superb

Review

by Muzz79 USER (3 Reviews)
September 10th, 2022 | 96 replies


Release Date: 09/09/2022 | 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.


user ratings (104)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Muzz79
September 10th 2022


1990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty awesome record

Elynna
September 10th 2022


1191 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

Digging: Enteli - Enteli

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


18074 Comments


One of the albums I want to jam this weekend, loved the first single.
You said you were going to drop this one, didn't you? Keep those reviews coming ;) Good albums lack threads.

Digging: Gaerea - Mirage

Tundra
September 10th 2022


7475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Brilliance at its finest.

ThatDude
September 10th 2022


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Serious metal AOTY contender.

Josh D.
September 10th 2022


17554 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


190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea this album is fucking phenomenal

Brabiz
September 10th 2022


1845 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very cool album

Digging: Orville Peck - Bronco

Piripichotes
September 10th 2022


643 Comments


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.


Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2022


17733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Glad this has a review. Gotta spin this a couple more times before I rate it

Digging: Darkthrone - Astral Fortress

Zac124
September 10th 2022


515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

Digging: The Callous Daoboys - Celebrity Therapist

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2022


28813 Comments


Good rev Muzz, I only heard that long single and it's really good so definitely checking this.

Digging: The Lovecraft Sextet - Nights of Lust

Purpl3Spartan
September 11th 2022


5028 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album with room to grow

Digging: Laufey - Everything I Know About Love

Piripichotes
September 11th 2022


643 Comments


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.

MeatWolf
September 11th 2022


274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Phenomenal album with a shitton of beautiful harmonies of all kinds and literally zero filler content.



Latest records by Iapetus and White Ward come to mind as references.

Muzz79
September 11th 2022


1990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

pizzamachine
September 11th 2022


19399 Comments


Pos’d.

Digging: Draconian - Turning Season Within

Muzz79
September 12th 2022


1990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tops pizza.

The last minutes of Prosperity is also really good

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2022


28813 Comments


Yeah I am halfway through this now and there's a lot to take in. And when I say a lot I mean A LOT.

The last part of In the Heavens is what sold me to check this out in full though.

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2022


3633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is dense



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