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Abeyance – Portraits of Mankind

Portraits of Mankind
by Santiago Puyol at 06 January 2020, 10:43 PM

Italian Melodic Death Metal band ABEYANCE has released its debut EP, "Portraits of Mankind," a riveting, five-track, 28-minute musical journey through Progressive-tinged, compelling compositions. Although rooted in traditional Melodic Death Metal, the band injects some new blood and a modern edge with subtle Symphonic and Alternative elements.

The title track serves as the opener, almost a prologue being the shortest song on the EP. "Portrait of Mankind" is one of the most modern-sounding tracks here with a tight rhythm section and subtle synthesizer flourishes. A tasteful, richly melodic yet complex guitar solo by Gianluca Fraschini caps off the song, bringing everything home.

"In Falsehood Dominion" comes next with its borderline Power Metal approach to riffing, particularly on the verses. This track presents some creative songwriting bits, one of my favorite being Michele Adami’s bass emulating the vocal lines on the chorus, adding depth and power to it and making it more memorable. A brief atmospheric break feels like a necessary respite, before climaxing with skillful guitar tapping towards the end.

Affecting piano and symphonic embellishments make "Mine Are Sorrow and Redemption" the most progressive track on the EP. It certainly feels like the centerpiece of the release. The vulnerable counterpoint of the piano to the aggressive riffs infuse a sense of sorrow. Subtle electronic textures and effects add depth. Fraschini delivers more stylish soloing. Redemption seems to come on the powerful and almost hopeful finale, a truly wonderful surprise.

"Innerscape" highlights Adami’s work behind the kit, as dynamic as it is brutal. Jazzier undertones cut through blast beats. Fraschini and Andrea Mantelli trade some catchy and syncopated riffing on a complex track. The time signature shifts on the chorus give the track more power.

More progressive influences come into play with "Secretly I Joined Dark Horizons." Although it brings back the intricate piano playing and synth strings from "Mine Are Sorrow and Redemption," things simply do not work that well here. The track feels overly long and repetitive in comparison to previous tracks. It simply does not take off as well, making for a flat and weak closer, one that does not pay off to the momentum built previously.

Overall, Abeyance has released a solid debut EP with "Portraits of Mankind" that promises more to come. Production values could improve and fully embracing their progressive tendencies could deliver stronger work on the future.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Portrait of Mankind
2. In Falsehood Dominion
3. Mine Are Sorrow and Redemption
4. Innerscape
5. Secretly I Joined Dark Horizons
Jacopo Marinelli – Vocals
Michele Adami – Drums & Bass
Gianluca Fraschini – Guitars
Andrea Mantelli – Guitars
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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