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Assumption – Absconditus Award winner

by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 29 April 2018, 1:56 PM

Absconditus,” is a special album for a special segment of Doom Metal fans. Even within the realm of the most slow, dark, and heavy Doom, this album still stands out as being even further away from the mainstream.  If you are a huge Doom fan, such as myself, and really like everything the genre has to offer then this special blend of Doom, Death, and Psychedelic, will become your new favorite album.  If you are a casual Doom fan or only like certain styles of the surprisingly broad sub-genre, then you might want to stay away or give yourself some time to acquire what is surely a rewarding pill to swallow. With just three tracks, it is still a full-length release and clocks in at 40 minutes or so; the first and last tracks are over 15 minutes in length and sandwich the middle track, which is shorter at just over six minutes in length.

Much like the band CONVOCATION, the overall atmosphere is crushing despair contained within long songs that, while slow to burn, do ignite into a forsaken Doom sound. Whereas CONVOCATION have a blackened edge with a crushing Funeral Doom atmosphere, ASSUMPTION feature long last sparse filled clean guitar, flutes, and some strange keys/synth that bring about a second heavy layer on top of the crushing guitars and vocals. Simply put, “Absconditus,” is ridiculously dark and heavy.  Even the cleaner, more psychedelic parts are as dense as an imploded star. G.’s deep Death Metal vocals are harrowing; his slow, menacing growl could suck the light out of a room.

The first track, “Liberation,” immediately begins with the psychedelic part of the band’s sound. A brooding bass line and clever cymbal work back up clean guitar parts. Throughout the first few minutes, the clean parts drop in and out, leaving the bass as the one, heavy constant that never lets up or allows the atmosphere to stagnant. The music here is simple but extremely effective at grabbing my attention; this goes on for almost four minutes but never once was I bored. In fact, during these beginning stages of the song, I received a phone call that interrupted the song and I was extremely annoyed. I wanted to hear what was coming around the corner. Like a shadow covering up a sunny part of the yard, the Doom riffs show their hand. Moving extremely slow, they push the song onward like a bulldozer among wreckage. Around the 5:50 mark, yet another monster rears its head—the rumbling, earth shaking double bass from D. just rattles the senses and gives the song yet another layer to its blanket of despair.

That is, in essence, what makes ASSUMPTION and this album so special. Every note, no matter how minor it may seem at first, just goes on to build upon another part that in turns grows into something else. This type of music isn’t played by musicians who want to be famous, rich, or on the cover of a mainstream music magazine. These sounds contained within these three tracks are only played by those who have a true love for their craft; there is no other reason to do this. As such, the attention to detail and love for Doom shines through every crack and crevice on these tracks like a dim light coming through broken blinds in the early hours of a cold morning.

The 11:10 mark of the track sees the band returning to mess with my mind: cleaner musical parts over the distortion and some weird ass keyboards that draw attention to their gloom, rather than take away.  For those who are patient, this song offers a journey that contains constant surprises. The next track, “Resurgence,” starts as a wall of sound consisting of flutes and keys interrupted by brief periods of silence.  It is wholly effective way to begin the track and my mind could only picture a train speeding towards me, the light growing bigger as it approaches but that light bringing only death, not salvation.  These parts that are interspersed throughout the album, the ones that bring out a different side of what Doom is capable of, are as dense as an imploded star.

When the riffs kick in, you realize the track’s name is rather perfect. Whereas the other two tracks are a build up to a towering inferno, this one ignites almost immediately. D.’s performance on this track really blows me away; I don’t know how he makes his double bass so ear shattering heavy.  He has such tight control over his kit because of his ability to hammer out some Doom drums that also compliment the rest of the song. Finally, we get to the last track which is actually a two-part song called “Beholder of the Asteroid Oceans.” As the title would suggest, the band reaches into the stars for this one.  The first three and a half minutes are an acid trip to the cosmos. A sense of manifest destiny coupled with the unknown, and unseen, terrors of space reside here. The riffs around the five-minute mark are a devastating showcase of Doom’s ability to sometimes get out of its own way and give us some raucous headbanging. The alien sounds from the keys continue to strike appropriately.  Coupled with the Death vocals, the song takes you to some place you know you shouldn’t be, yet you still want to continue the journey, both excited and fearful of what you may find.

 What we do find next is another quiet moment filled with more atmosphere in this one section than most bands take an entire album to do.  Rather than being another trip around the sun, it’s more like a stroll through the underbelly of a black hole. The drumming and guitar wander off the beaten path, but it doesn’t pull you away…it grabs you along for the ride. Just when it may be safe to come out, the Death Metal portion of their Doom comes jumping out like a beast for the kill. The next two minutes or so are as intense as any Death metal release this year. ASSUMPTION is a beast with a growl that will scare but it’s bite will definitely kill you. This album has safely joined the ranks of other bands like CONVOCATION and SOLSTICE for making one of the best Doom albums I’ve heard this year, or for some time before.  If you like this style, or a fan of DISEMBOWELMENT, ESOTERIC, or SWALLOW THE SUN’s third part of “Songs from The North”, then this will blow your mind.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Liberation
2. Resurgence
3. Beholder of the Asteroid Oceans (Part 1 & 2)
D. - Drums
G. - Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Keyboards, Flute
Record Label: Sentient Ruin Laboritories


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