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Abyssal Ascendant – Chronicles of the Doomed Worlds - Part II: Deacons of Abhorrence Award winner

Abyssal Ascendant
Chronicles of the Doomed Worlds - Part II: Deacons of Abhorrence
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 01 December 2020, 1:41 AM

ABYSSAL ASCENDANT is a death metal band from France.  They formed in 2012; “Chronicles of the Doomed Worlds – Part II: Deacons of Abhorrence” is their second full length album; they have also released an EP. The band’s lyrics and style is definitely HP Lovecraft/cosmic horror inspired.  Indeed, their brutal brand of death metal certainly has an otherworldly feel but it isn’t too spacey or derivative.  At times they remind me of NILE, especially when the death growls move along a certain cadence and spit out the lyrics on a very venomous rhythm.

The most impressive aspect of “Chronicles..” is it knows exactly what elements to use, when to use, and how often or little to present them again.  For example, the album contains symphonic elements but they are used very sparingly.  These flavorful touches are used to flesh out the songs and heighten the tension rather than to take over the entire sound or approach. Often times, these dashes of darkened flair also include more ambient approaches, which really show off both the seriousness and bleakness of their style and lyrical content.

The first track, “Offering Flesh To The Stars,” encompasses both these aspect.  The song’s beginning is an ominous tone that leads into light symphonic textures.  At the fifty second mark,  deep death growls pierce the cosmic growl while the band rams through like a freight train.  Florent’s death growls are pretty damn good—very intelligible lows with a lot of power in them and scathing highs.  The last quarter of the song brings back that cold, cosmic void ambiance before all hell breaks loose once more.

This is yet another aspect that I love about this album. The way the band brings in the more brutal elements of the genre after some space horror infused moments really lends the heavier parts to come off as even more of a battering ram but also makes the ambient/symphonic sections all the more important as they bridge pieces of the songs together. The album’s flow is also warrant of appraisal and consideration.  All nine tracks fit together perfectly in this horror infused puzzle—every thing is just so well connected to what comes before and sets up the next moment effortlessly.  The songs themselves also contain this same uncanny sense of spacial arrangement.  Not one moment is wasted and there isn’t any lulls—each song is part of something bigger but still a harrowing journey unto itself.

Florent and Lucien’s guitars often times ride the line between meaty riffs and more melodic passages, such as in “The Dweller Awakens.”  Fanny commands a strong presence, especially during the tempo change about a minute into the song.  She brings a pummeling low end while forging the song with a razor sharp determination. The song slows down around the 2:55 mark for the all three to  showcase how death metal can really use a slower speed to bring out the heaviest of hammers to smash faces.

March of the Wind Walker,” confidently places more introspective moments in between all out fury, such as in the song’s mild portion.  The song’s beginning is tight rhythmic control riding upon a sea of double bass.  The riffs backing the guitar solo are just plain nasty, old school filth in the best way. The band isn’t afraid to take a more straight forward approach either, as evident in “Martyrs of Mordiggian,” a song that is high speed no frills death metal. Every riff is deadly, as if the song was designed to murder your face as it gets more intense as the seconds pass by.

The final track, “Coven of Agony,” is an audio trial of torture and immensity. The snare cracks like a whip and the bass is so controlled in its density the song feels like it is constantly on the verge of exploding—all action, all rise.  The pay off is the mid section that is a searing head banging fest that hits hard and cuts even deeper.  True to the band’s nature, they seamlessly bring in other elements such as chants, spacey sounds, and ethereal keys to close the song out without missing a beat.

As this was the first album I’ve heard from them, ABYSSAL ASCENDANT have surprised me their willingness, and talent, to blend cut throat death metal with out of this world story telling and atmosphere.  Highly recommended.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Offering Flesh To The Stars
2. Dissolved Into The Great Hive of Shaggai’s Progeny
3. The Dweller Awakens
4. March of the Wind-Walker
5. NILGH’RI VULGT’MAH EH’YEOG UH’EOG
6. Martyrs of Mordiggian
7. Wombs of Torment
8. The Church of Free-Will
9. Coven of Agony
Lineup:
Fanny – Bass, Backing Vocals
Florent – Vocals, Guitars
Lucien – Guitars
Record Label: Dolorem Records
     


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Edited 29 November 2021
 

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