It is often frowned upon to be a genre Nazi. I can understand why, after all it is a bit like being lectured if you happen to fall prey to such a creature. I myself am a genre Nazi however, not so much in the pointlessly commenting on social media sense but rather in terms of conversation, reviewing etc. Why am I a genre Nazi? Well because if you can understand genres better then it becomes easier to talk and learn more about music. Terms like Extreme Metal, Viking Metal, Pirate Metal and so forth are either so broad, non-existent or ever changing that they bare little meaning, it’s my job to make sure these terms become extinct, or at least used properly.
Breaking my own rules we come to speak of Extreme Metal today, or rather a branch of the more encapsulating term. Today we speak of perhaps the most grotesque twig from this tree, the trampled and fallen War Metal. The band in question is Abysmal Lord whom have gone from strength to strength receiving great praise for their 2015 modern classic Disciples Of Inferno. After a sort of silence however the band are back in 2019 with their sophomore effort the ever-bestial Exaltation Of The Infernal Cabal, which fittingly is released through the purveyors of such filth Hells Headbangers Records.
The ritualistic intro of The Exalted Killing rings in the swaths of pestilence as we wait diminished in the halls of hell from the oncoming slaughter. That barrage of blood soaked death comes in the form of the speedy Monolith Of Vengeance. A down trodden and melancholic War Metal crusher that is steeped in dissonant, reverberating Blackened vocals, blasting drumming and torrid riffs that amalgamate with the crumbling bass to form a cesspool of virulence. It isn’t all about speed however as the introduction to Races Of Jehovah’s Despair indicates through its sluggish monotone riffs that cut through the grit of the muddy mix. The track ends with an oozing drone that it most befitting to this style of destructive War Metal.
Next comes the soaring riffs and spewing vocals of Scythe Of Damnation, the former being reminiscent of bombs dropping upon the battlefield, a fantastic bullet hailed touch. Thundering forth the same ideals are upheld consistently with Preparing The Throne and Scars Of Heresy bolstering the later portion of the album with their aggressive cavernous tones. The climax comes through closing track Scourge Of Christ, its orthodox chanted opening sets the scene perfectly and gives us a bit of breathing room between the sonic bludgeons. At its heart however the track is a massive amalgamation of the bands sound, a perfect projection of their all out bestial hellfire.
I have to confess I only very recently got into War Metal properly, perhaps in the last couple of years or so. This has since seen me go on to become obsessed with the likes of Conqueror, Bestial Warlust and Diocletian to name but a few. Equally it has meant that this brand of Blackened Death Metal is my go to when describing the blanket term of Extreme Metal, for at least in my mind there is nothing more extreme. Abysmal Lord prove this point in their dusty and mould covered version of the genre that feels at points old school and at the same time unique and true.
(8/10 George Caley)