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Dryad – The Abyssal Plain

The Abyssal Plain
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 February 2023, 6:49 AM

Black/Death Metal trio DRYAD were formed in 2017 in the United States. “The Abyssal Plain” is their first full-length album, and has 13 songs. “Counterillumination” is the first. It’s a short and somber intro, leading to “Bottomfeeder,” a deep and dark mash of Black and Death Metal. The guttural vocals are almost indiscernible. “Brine Pool Aberration” has a less chaotic riff but the sound is still pretty full. I don’t particularly like the drums in the mix…they are a bit loud. “Trenches” is another bruiser, with brutal and punishing leanings. The drums begin to roll, and a powerful riff enters, complete with raw Black Metal vocals. The background is filled pretty well with supportive elements.

The next two songs are very short…the first dirty and the second fairly clean. “Pompeii Worm” begins with clean, sober tones but the crash of cymbals and instruments that follow fill the air with hate and anger. This band isn’t messing around. “Chimera Monstrosa” is a two-minute song consisting of charming but dangerous piano notes and some harrowing riffs. The band does a solid job of imparting a frightening feeling to the music. The title track opens with more scary sounds, almost like you are entering an old house overfilled with spirits. The music is rich and chaotic, and the vocals can make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. “Black Smoke” is a slower grind, accentuating the beast by unleashing his chains. The havoc it reeks on the world hasn’t been seen in centuries.

“Raptures of the Deep” is a short two-minutes, with Dungeon Synth sounds. I like the variation that the band features on the album. It segues nicely into “Eutrophication,” which is another chaotic offering that doesn’t sleep from start to finish. “A Nagging Thought” closes the album, with more Dungeon Synth tones and a healthy helping of creepy tones. Overall, this was a solid album from start to finish, and with a good deal of variation. Although the more chaotic tracks didn’t necessarily offer anything new, the creepy and eerie songs in between did. The album also kept you on your toes, and looking over your shoulder, for the figure of Death, who was hiding in the shadows, awaiting his moment of glory.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Counterillumination
2. Bottomfeeder
3. Brine Pool Aberration
4. Trenches
5. Loki’s Castle
6. Hadal
7. Pompeii Worm
8. Chimera Monstrosa
9. The Abyssal Plain
10. Black Smoke
11. Raptures of the Deep
12. Eutrophication
13. A Nagging Thought
Oli – Drums
Claw – Guitar, Vocals
Grimmtooth – Guitars 
Record Label: Prosthetic Records


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