Abomnium – Solace For The Condemned


Review by Jason Guest

UKEM Records

Release date: 4 July 2014

An album that drew upon mainman Sapient’s black, death, and thrash influences, Abomnium’s 2011 debut album, Rites Like Chains, was a mixed bag. Though good, it didn’t have quite the impact it could have. 2013 and Coffinships (reviewed here) arrived and Abomnium had become something much more focussed, more defined, more its own. The album’s concept and its music marked a significant development over the two years between the two albums and Sapient’s vision had come sharply into focus. Eighteen months later and he has returned with album number three, Solace For The Condemned, and Abomnium have become something incredible.

Opener ‘Condemned’ kicks things off with a brutal black metal assault laced with darkly melodic guitar work and a simultaneously ominous and expansive atmosphere, the intensity and heft of the track remaining with us for the duration of the album. With death and occasional thrash elements emerging throughout the album, Sapient’s mastery of each style and his ability to utilise them for the purpose of the track becomes increasingly apparent. While ‘Yad al Jauza’ and ‘Witchlight’ plot interesting and unpredictable arcs, ‘Crown of Feathers’ and ‘The Paths Of The Dead’ are both towering edifices of death metal brutality fuelled by black metal ire. Each track brings something new, whether structurally, dynamically, musically, or atmospherically, and each track stands alone as well as part of the album. And Sapient’s dark vocal is still laced with the same vitriolic rage that was found on Coffins but here it sits more comfortably with the merciless and majestic compositions. Dark and punishing and subtly tinted with many a shade and hue, Solace For The Condemned is an accomplished piece of work. Buy it and give it the time it deserves. A lot of it.

Abomnium – Solace For The Condemned9 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Condemned
  2. Yad al Jauza
  3. Crown Of Feathers
  4. The Walking Man
  5. Witchlight
  6. The Paths Of The Dead
  7. Purpose Of The Flesh
  8. Solace