Now this is a South American curiosity to be sure. Abske Fides are Brazilian and what they play kinds of depends on which bits you pick up on. We have post hardcore, funeral doom and doom/death in the ebb and flow shape of Isis and Ahab, delicate melody akin to Opeth, introspection and cascading riffs like Katatonia, Neurosis like intensity and curious Godspeed You! Black Emperor post rock with odd samples. Thankfully it isn’t just slapped down in clumps like that, though. Nope; Abske Fides really have worked at this sound.
‘The Consequence of the Other’ is a seven and a half minute opener with a sludge-laden doom riff with a real pull on it. Beginning with a low half formed guitar sound it slowly builds a head of steam from the funeral bedrock and pushes off into a Katatonia tuned doom riff. With some surprising and fine deep harmony vocals to slow it further it then pushes into an inexorable drive, ridden by harsher Neurosis like voices. Closing with clean backing vocals joining the riff it is a confident song and very nicely balanced, full of a despondent atmosphere that clings to you. Those final vocals do bother me a little but I kind of get used to them in the end.
‘Won’t You Come’ brings a more sludge darkened Opeth style; a nice downtuned riff with clean vocals falling into melody and death vocals. It has less of a pull than the opener initially, and I never quite shake the Opeth thing over its nearly ten minute length particularly in the languid, finely paced quiet sections, but you can’t help but be impressed and, better, drawn into it. There are superb vocals once more on this one and smooth, lovely guitar melody before the fine rhythm section break.
‘The Coldness Of Progress’ continues the Opeth quietness but the riff returns with a feel more like a slow Isis slip and slide before being crushed by the closing, bleak deluge. ‘Aesthetic Hallucination of Reality’ delves a little more into the funeral doom for some of the vocals but the guitars are often harsh, up tempo maelstroms of sound. These wind around intense pools of introspective post-rock delicacy fused with distant samples and a layered sound that has a hard urban feel to it. Quite a trip. ‘4:48’ takes a hypnotic, almost stoner sound and mixes clean and harsh vocals into a strangely upbeat cloud, resting for a while in reflective mode before dying in a fire of hard guitars. Finally they leave us with ‘Embroidered In Reflection’ which is very post rock; almost Sigur Ros and Goodspeed You Black Emperor woven through a lengthy spoken sample that allows you to softly drift away. It brings to mind something that Apostle Of Solitude managed on their debut, too. Good company to keep indeed.
It is an ambitious and complex album and don’t let the words post-rock fool you; this is not some hipster outfit trying to steal more of metal’s clothes. More, this is a fine and highly promising progressive, Neurosis andIsistinged piece of doomy sludge. There may be room for a little more development in the transitions between tempo changes, maybe, and you can still feel their individuality still asserting itself rather than being fully fledged already but make no mistake; if they continue on this path they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Very classy, very good. Fine, brooding debut.