Back in the day, as in the 1980s, when extreme metal was placing its boots firmly into the metal scene bands like Abysmal Lord would have been snapped up by yours truly as something violent and oozing a blackened septic vomit from the pits of hell itself. Step forward 30 years and Abysmal Lord hold that black flame of nihilistic slaughter aloft in true defiance at today’s over produced metal delectations that seem to be preferred by the newer element within extreme metal, fools that they are.
Interestingly the opening intro has a fuller sound than the actual songs written for the album and should have been omitted giving “Sabbat” a grand opening of malignancy for this debut album. For most modern extreme metallers this will sound like a cacophonous amorphous racket that rides the fine line between melody and pure black noise as the sound is stripped back to the point of sounding like many demos I heard in the 80s and 90s which for me personally is good thing. There are plenty of bands around today playing this sort of proto-black thrash blended to the rhythms of death metal such as Weregoat, Bestial Holocaust, Satanic Bloodspraying, Archgoat, Autokrator, Black Witchery to name a few that tripped out of my head. As the album enters the “Temple Of Perversion” following an eerie outro the drums clang around randomly it feels until one really listens very carefully to the riffing and how the band has cemented that stagnancy of each section together then you get an album rich in obsidian disgust but harking back to a time where sonic violence was more preferable to outright musicality.
Hideous and seeping gelatinous horror via the disembowelling vocal style “Tormenting The Virgin” is the sound to your own dismemberment on a sacrificial altar watched my minions of black clad demons all drooling at the sight. The use of church like sound effects is nothing new as “Golgotha Crucifixion” opens with a despairing short intro piece before unleashing nothing short of corrupting toxicity as the vocals seemingly take a nose dive into ever more gurgling tones. Comparatively a lot of this album is similar to debut Sodom and early offerings by the South American thrash and proto-black scenes such as Sarcofago, Chakal, Vulcano etc. The riff that starts “Immortalis Impietas” is immense, a real road drill metaphor as the blasting snare and cymbal work come across as hit everything and it’ll be fine, but it works, well it does for me anyway. This is continued on the title track where the buzzing bass and chainsaw guitar riffing gouge chunks of charred flesh as you’re thrown into that blistering inferno via the songs unrelenting ferocious ugliness.
If you think early Sodom is over produced and South American 1980s extreme metal is wimpy then this album is for you, you need look no further for that unholy grail of aural repugnance as it is here in the form of US band Abysmal Lord.
(8/10 (Martin Harris)