ABHORROT: Abysmal Echoes
Release year: 2019
Label: Morbid Chapel Records
Hailing from Austria, Abhorrot’s career amounted in a number of smaller releases and this one full-length album. Apparently the decision to kill off Abhorrot had already been made at the time Abysmal Echoes was released, as the liner notes state “this is the end – DEATH.” So what we have here is at the same time a debut album and an epitaph.
Death metal is the name of the game, and the Austrians’ style can be described as murky and lo-fi with considerable elements from the bestial side of black metal. The sound is very crude and the whole album comes across as quite under-produced; the drums are flat thuds without power or impact, the guitars cake up into degrading distortion, and the vocals are a non-descript groan in the background. Because of this, Abysmal Echoes sounds more like a half-decent demo than a full-length album.
Now, I know, underground death metal isn’t about fancy production values and crystal clear sound. But when under-production hampers the music, it’s too much. And such is the case with Abysmal Echoes. With a better, clearer and more powerful sound, who knows? Abhorrot’s style of down-tuned, blackened and doom-laden death metal could have left a positive impression. Now, the best it amounts up to is a non-committal “eh, could have been worse”. There are moments when the listener can muster up a bit of excitement, but ultimately, it just sounds too flat.
As the band have split-up, there’s little to no chance for them returning to the hacking table to give it another go. As such, this unconvincing slab of murky, demo-level metal of death remains the band’s final testament to the world, which is a shame, as it fails to leave much to commend. Had it been a demo, I would have been more encouraging and positive, but as a full-length album, this piece of badly produced, unoriginal run-of-the-mill blackened death metal just leaves me cold.