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Absentation – Antimatter Rites Award winner

Antimatter Rites
by James Brizuela at 05 May 2020, 5:34 AM

ABSENTATION hails from the land of Syria. Originally forming in 2003, they have had a storied career in releasing punishing death metal for more than 15 years. Now they return with their next brutal offering, “Antimatter Rites”. The fact that this tech-death insanity is released by one man is astonishing. The quality of the death metal that ABSENTATION releases would never lend to the idea that it is a solo musician’s output, but it is. “Antimatter Rites” is a complete ripper of an album. The guitar riffing and unrelenting drumming smacks you right in the face, and never lets up on its punishing sound.

“Quantum nothingness” begins with a shear attack of death metal destruction. Complete with some proggy guitar work and fierceness. The higher-pitched backing vocals are a nice touch to add underneath the already brutal guttural growls. The tempo of the track goes from a tech-death style, to thrashy, and even covers some melodic styling. There is a good deal of stylistic changes withing the death metal sound of ABSENTATION. It does not have to all speed, all the time, for you to still get hit with the crunchy sound. “Cosmological self Initiaion” is one such song that takes the tonality of the music and slows it down. The track is still plenty brutal but has a definite less crazy sound. It leans more into the prog-like style that pops up in the album. The sound is slower and techy, but still packs a punch. I love the extra nuances of sounds that pop up in the album as well. They just give the sound an extra element to appreciate.

Dark matter requiem” starts off with an industrial styled chainsaw sound. Which kind of lends its hand in describing the overall tone of the track. It’s very repetitious in an industrial type of way. The guitar work in the track is superb, and there is a wailing guitar solo to prove that. You must give it up to a solo artist who is able to achieve this level of stylistic death metal, especially when the quality of the death metal is not boring. There are a ton of unique elements woven into the fabric of “Antimatter Rites”. When you want to just sit back and appreciate the pure musicianship of ABSENTATION, just look to “A cosmological curse of a dying verse”. The track is a face melting journey of instrumental dominance. A welcomed break to just be able to take in all that you have heard so far in the album, and appreciate it that much more.

“Antimatter Rites” is a fantastic death metal album. It stands on its own as a death metal sounding album, but with the addition of prog, thrash, and tech death styles, it succeeds on impressing from start to finish. There is so much to unpack in every track that you can return to it time and time again to catch all the missed musical nuances. ABSENTATION has had a great career, and it only gets better with this new album. Bang your heads.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Quantum nothingness
2. Echoes of distant astronomical giants
3. Cosmological self Initiation
4. Dark matter requiem
5. The velocity of relativity talisman
6. Antimatter rites
7. A cosmological curse of a dying verse
8. Gravitational singularity 
Salah Alghalayeeni – Vocals, All instruments
Record Label: Independent


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