ABYSMAL LORD: Exaltation Of The Infernal Cabal
Release year: 2019
Label: Hell’s Headbangers
It’s obvious from the first tones of the intro: these guys are seriously into Beherit. Seriously into The Oath Of Black Blood. It’s the backbone and black lifeblood of their concept, and an adequate substitute to all of those who hoped Beherit would have continued in the same vein on their later career.
So, once again we’re in the realms of bestial black metal filth. Throw expectations of originality and innovation to the garbage bin, and strap yourselves in for some very, very traditional old school black metal chaos.
Abysmal Blood from the US are a three-piece who’ve put out a small body of releases since 2013, with a debut full-length called Disciples Of The Inferno in 2015. Exaltation Of The Infernal Cabal is the follow-up, and little to nothing has changed. The guitars are still a downtuned, shapeless mass of buzzing chaos, the drums pound away crudely and primitively with abandon, and the vocals are the rabid bark of a hellhound a’la early Blasphemy.
It must be said about the production that the guitar tone isn’t very aggressive or heavy, and that the drums sound quite muffled, and the vocals are a bit dominant in the mix. But it all sounds quite deliberate, a conscious choice in the spirit of the classic recordings of yore. A pretty good emulation of those old recordings whilst still managing to maintain enough balance to keep things sounding good.
As with many albums in the genre, there are really no standout tracks on Exaltation Of The Infernal Cabal. They all sound pretty much alike each other, and there are few if any standout sections or moments. It’s all the same kind of pounding, buzzing chaos with absolutely savage vocals laced on top. But it’s hard to consider this a flaw, more a characteristic of the genre.
And in any case, the album works, standout tracks or no. It’s dark, bestial and fierce in all the right ways, evoking the essence of old Beherit skillfully. I do think the debut album was slightly better, but there’s no major lapse in quality on Exaltation Of The Infernal Cabal. From start to finish, it’s a well-crafted slab of bestial black metal of death that salutes the old legends but at the same time stands firmly on it’s own two legs – despite having not one iota of originality on it.
So, in a nutshell, if you crave for more of that good stuff, for more The Oath Of Black Blood -style goodness, then here’s your ticket. Exaltation Of The Infernal Cabal is a very impressive pastiche, and sees Abysmal Lord start making some serious claims for a pole position in the genre.