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Abscession – Rot Of Ages

Rot Of Ages
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 25 October 2021, 6:33 AM

ABSCESSION  is a Swedish death metal band who formed in 2009. "Rot of Ages" is their second full length album. In 2010, they released a demo album. Few can do death metal like Sweden seems to pump out so easily—and "Rot Of Ages," not only continues that trend but helps elevate the entire scene. Groove oriented songs brought to life with HM-2 riffs and a daring use of melody are the elements found within the 10 track, 39 minute run time. I am impressed at how vicious the songs on this album are yet also how well they use melody to fill them out. When it comes to death metal, a lot of bands either go full extreme or stay on a more melodic side.

ABSCESSION can do both styles without sacrificing the potency of either. They can be pure filth yet have infectious melodic moments. This approach works as a whole,  although this can lead to some out of place moments. For example, the title track barrels through with a focus on extreme finesse but suddenly stops on a dime for a passage that contains both clean keys and clean vocals. I'm not saying it doesn't sound good—-I think it is actually an interesting moment but it still feels random and out of place.

The final track, “Età della putrefazione,” is an instrumental that eschews the extremity of their music and focuses on spacey keys and synths. I don't think it is a bad instrumental at all but, again, it doesn't seem to fit within context of the album. Quibbles aside, "Rot Of Ages" hits all the right spots. With its shorter song lengths, groovy riffs and death growls that are monstrous yet understandable, this album reminds me a lot of BLOODBATH's "Nightmares Made Flesh." Thomas’ vocals go a long way in helping forge this sound—he is vicious as hell.

"Rat King Crawl" opens the album with riffs that hook in deep and a rhythm section that just doesn't quit. Starting at the 2:43 mark, the lead guitar injects a dose of melody that seeps into the destruction with ease and elevates the song to even higher standards. The infectious melody of "Dead Man's Hate," compliments the heavier portion of the songs such as the speedy section that comes in abundance a minute later.  At the halfway point, the song slows down, bringing in thick riffs and venomous vocals.

"The Final Furnace," is one of the album's best tracks. It is just straight up death metal with rousing energy and a keen ear on simple but effective songwriting.  Slow groove and melody mix in around the halfway point before the song gets a renewed focus on speed with a short but sweet solo that buried itself behind the riffs as it changes to a nice counter harmony as thunderous double bass ripples the undercurrent.

The chains come off for "Prometheus Unbound," a song that flows freely from one movement to the next without missing a beat.  After a striking start, the drums and vocals double down and ramp up the intensity in seconds. The guitars and bass feed off the moment and grab some ear catching melody to plaster over the riffs. The searing guitar that comes after opens the door for the bass which, in turn, brings the song back to its melodic moment.

ABSCESSION's "Rot Of Ages," is a prime example of the power of well constructed death metal that doesn't need to reinvent the wheel because its comfortable in its own skin.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Rat King Crawl
2. Theater of Pain
3. Dead Man's Hate
4. Rains of Death
5. Rot of Ages
6. The Final Furnace
7. When the Guillotine Falls
8. War Machine
9. Prometheus Unbound
10. Età della putrefazione
Thomas Clifford - Vocals (lead and backing)
Skaldir - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals (backing)
Markus Porsklev – Drums
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity Records


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