Very few branches of death metal are as ubiquitous as Swedish death metal for reasons that anyone even slightly into death metal in general will be able to recognize for the sound has been cultivated into a specifically intoxicating, chugging, and undeniable breed of a sound that always has so much packed inside it for maximum effect. It seems as though virtually every other act that comes out of Sweden with their own take on death metal has something massive to add or, at the very least, deliver to listeners in such a form that cannot be ignored for one reason or another. On their sophomore album, Abscession didn’t stray from that path, but, rather, took it a slight step forward.
Many of us have been able to sink our teeth into and really enjoy Swedeath in some of its purest and most basic forms for years now with literal hundreds, if not thousands, of bands delivering the sound with undeniable success from one record to the next as the decades have slowly piled on for all that the sound can bring to the table, and it’s even today that such an approach can be wildly entertaining in the right hands. It’s in that regard which Abscenssion nails right out of the gate with tracks like “Rat King Crawl” showing us just how well these guys understand this style right to its very core as they’re more than adept at crafting a sound that’s right up the alley for any fan of this particular brand of death metal and all that it can provide the ears. Yet, it’s clear when listening to the whole of their new record, “Rot of Ages”, and all that it offers that Abscession wasn’t nearly content to leave these ten tracks at just that. Whether it be the inclusion of clean vocals that are a perfect contrast to the brutality that we see throughout the virtual entirety of “Rot of Ages”, a gorgeous piano that adds much more effect to an already deadly concoction of riffs and raw power, or a beautiful, calculated synth-driven work that is unlike anything I’ve heard throughout a large swathe of Swedish death metal, Abscession has a lot more to offer to listeners than just some riffs and a decent understanding of what it takes to succeed in this style. The infusion of such stark diversity gives this album life and energy that is entirely its own with very few being able to bring forth anything that can be likened with what Abscession has crafted to bring “Rot of Ages” to life, and that makes this work all the more impressive.
There is nothing wrong with an album that simply brings forth some quality chugs and riffs with not much more but simple devastation to be had which we absolutely get in part from Abscession without any shame or hesitation in the overall execution, but to take it a step further to make a diverse work that isn’t even slightly ashamed to stray from the typical path for what all Swedish death metal can be and succeed is to provide an experience like few others in the style. Without a doubt, “Rot of Ages” achieves a special status for all that it accomplishes, and it makes the capability of Abscession all the more fascinating when we consider what all they can bring forward.
“Rot of Ages” releases on November 19th via Transcending Obscurity Records!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “Rot of Ages” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Abscession on Facebook here.