Review by Jason Guest
Rich in near-tangible atmospherics, dense textures, and first class musicianship, one-man band Abomnium’s second album, Coffinships, is a violent thrash-laced death / black metal album that is as melodic and melancholic as it is punishing and blackly majestic. Rising from the flames of emptiness, ‘Taint’ is nothing short of powerful, a concentrated cluster of extreme metal fervour wrapped in an iron fist. The drums are, simply put, pummelling and the trem-picked riffs and Sapient’s vocals are maniacal. The densely layered epic ‘Hymn To The Tombs’ is a barrage of brutality, Sapient’s harsh reptilian scorn snaking its way through the opaque intensity of the first half of the track, the doomed second half evolving from tormented choral chants into a progressive section where Sapient’s skills in dynamic control come to the fore. Combining malicious riffs with harmonised guitar melodies, demented lead work, and fiendish vocals, the unyielding momentum of the tracks is nothing less than astounding. With two killer tracks as openers, they could easily overshadow the rest of the album was it not that the remainder of Coffinships is so damned good.
A mass of huge chugging riffs and punishing drums, the death metal of ‘Black Canyons Of The Living Dead’ is driven by its dark, dirty, and dragging groove. The black metal side of Abomnium is unleashed in all its filthy glory with the title track, the frantic battery flooding forth into ‘Conclave’, its gnarled lead break and vicious melodies matching Sapient’s vocals in their vitriolic rage. Deeply atmospheric, the ambient opening to ‘Horde’ offers a blessed but brief respite from the savagery before the thrash-contaminated blackened barrage returns to engulf the listener that continues unabated into ‘Epoch’. ‘Cast Down’ drags the tempo and feel down for a fairly simply structured track that takes its time to indulge in the sonic bombardment and dynamic divergence that such a minimalist approach affords. While the melody that opens closing track ‘Sunfire’ is tortured and tantalising in its harmonised magnificence, the storm that follows is merciless. With the black dawn of 2013 upon us, with its remarkable production, remarkable musicianship and remarkable song-craft, the uncompromising and unyielding offensive that is Coffinships is a necessity.
8.5 out of 10
- Buy it directly from UKEM Records here
- Visit Abomnium on Facebook here
- Read the story behind each track here and the lyrics can be found here
- Hymn To The Tombs
- Black Canyons Of The Living Dead
- Cast Down