Ok, first off let’s say that this really looks like a complete release from every corner. It has relatively strong elements in music, packaging, layout, production and lyrics. They really could not resist adding a shaded fill to the logo but that’s the way with US-style brutal bands I guess. I have been out of the scene for an year and when I’m back I feel so damn ignorant, as I have never heard of this band before and everybody’s bragging about how good they are. It’s the first band I hear from Malta except for the band that starts with B, Ktinodia and the great Stench of Necropsy. I thought a nation barely twice the size of my city could hardly breed one metal band, but I was wrong, metal is definitely everywhere. The cover art is a cute detailed painting of a landscape covered with rotting, screaming corpses and what could be two zombies walking in the wasteland, imagery clearly inspired by the lyrics of the title track… good artwork which is very cleverly embedded into the layout, I like the idea of adding some corpses in the band pic.
Musically this is a massacre, as foreseen. Maybe not very obscure but fast and with a double thick vocal attack which sometimes shift into a long “ree”. Abysmal Torment plays Brutal Death Metal, with lots of consistent tempo changes, crazy super-technical drumming, and a clear American direction, however compared to say, Pyaemia or Disgorge, I think they’re definitely more straightforward. The good thing is that they have very little or no pure slam parts, but compared to a fast-only band like Deeds of Flesh or Liturgy thay struggle a few inches back. Even if they are real good I feel like something is missing… The mixing is maybe not perfect as I had probably liked the vocals a bit higher (and maybe more guttural, at times it seems the vocals are just distorted by holding the mic down the throat) and the drums recorded a bit lower… but I like the metal pipe sound of the snare drums, and the drummer here is really doing wicked things, with proficient use of cymbals and shit, this really a good musician; I think with a slightly fuller sound and a more compact sound engineering the whole product would have been much heavier.
One special good note goes to the lyrics: they’re damn well written. might be their English domination until the sixties left a good mark, but apart from a couple of typos (one of which made its way up to the back cover (“lutrid”?), they’re really elluring stories which you can read without having the music in the background (a bit like Broken Hope’s but a bit less varied). They’re long and with rather long periods, I haven’t seen this long lyrics that I remember of since Malevolent Creation‘s first 2 albums… while all centered on gore topics, they all have individuality, one is about the end of the world, one is about rape, one about mental sickness… they’re real good indeed. The final song, “Gratification Through Castration”, a song about mass ritual nighttime castration, is obviously a silent tribute to Cannibal Corpse’s song “Gutted” from their masterpiece “Butchered at Birth”.