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Mordant Rapture - The Abnegation Award winner

Mordant Rapture
The Abnegation
by Kayla Hutton at 14 August 2018, 10:03 AM

Founded in 2013 from San Jose, California comes the newest up and coming technical symphonic death metal band MORDANT RAPTURE. Having released their debut E.P. "The Abnegation" on July 13th 2018 via The Artisan Era. "The Abnegation" is an actual story line, being caught by the cult attempting to leave, and the inner workings and effects this scenario would have on that type of society.

Not only is the story well constructed the delivery is astounding. "Unsightly Beast" is the starting point. An elegant piano piece is played in the key of "chest gripping." It becomes theatrically overpowered by a strong wind. Once the debris has cleared you are then handed your ass through your throat. Technical guitar riffs, complicated drumming, and a subtle symphonic background that sets the actual mood. Making it sound like a very desperate and trying moment. I honestly felt empathy towards someone else's inner conflict. Pounding away and picking as fast as you can while a guy gives his best "ooooooooohhh" growl can be "brutal", however, taking that brutality and actually instilling it in a human as an emotion is by far more powerful and impressive than anything.  I don't need to be told how it feels when flesh rips, I want to feel that portrayal. MORDANT RAPTURE not only tells a story, they paint a picture that you are actually a part of.

"Withered" is just as impressive, if not more so. The playing is so fast and so advanced that I can't even keep up. I'm merely sitting here staring at my guitar saying "I could make you do that?" The vocal tone isn't guttural but it is lower pitched and while not yelled in key, some of the words are audible. The drums are being played by an octopus I want to say. With only 4 limbs a human has to play with, the combinations I hear would require at least 1 extra arm and some triggers. The keys have a somewhat digital dark orchestration.

The amount and the levels are dead on. As an accenting instrument, there is nothing wrong with being subtle. MORDANT RAPTURE seems to have a great grasp on that. The leads that are played do showcase some educated ability while not taking away from the song in a show-off session. The kick tones have enough low end to feel and enough high end to hear. The snare is not a high pitched pop overpowering the mix rather carries a tone that is in key with the unison instruments it is paired with. "Natal Trophies" features a light dramatic toned keyboard entrance. One sway of strings playing an emphasized tone as another sways in between taking the lead. The guitar scales to what feels like watching a scientist try his entire life to solve a mathmatical equation that has an infinite answer.

Musically this is E.P. is technically impressive. Its impact on the senses delivers the same way doom metal does but only on an extreme death metal level. If you want to sway back and forth to grinding guitars, a blast beat and leads you cant hear in the mix, go somewhere else. Here is where everything amazing about MORDANT RAPTURE could possibly hold them down. There are bands that are "musician" bands. Only other musicians enjoy it. Rather than senselessly raising horns to the sky and pushing each other around the audience will be made up of new players who stand up front with their jaw hanging wide open and seasoned veterans who stand with their arms crossed and occasionally snicker to a friend, "I can do that better,” knowing damn well they can't. This kind of music is so far over the heads of most to appreciate it for what it is. To the non musicians it is usually the type of music that puts there brain into overload. Look at DREAM THEATER, it's bitter-sweet.

If you really think you can handle it, "The Abnegation" will blow you straight into the innards of your chair and possibly into the drywall behind you while you are scratching your head amazed by what happened but perplexed as you wouldn't know how to describe it. As always I will end this with my evaluation on the audio quality. This is a debut. And It's prime rib. I only had to decrease the mids in the car to make it perfect. On PC speakers, shockingly I heard and felt bass in a pair of 3' tweeters. Everything has been mixed properly and nothing is overpowering. Could have used a slight bump in volume during mastering, but how many people are going to notice that?

If you would like to hear MORDANT RAPTURES early potential go to Reverb Nation and check out "Public Blowjob." These guys came out of the gate as instantly bad ass.

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

5 Star Rating

1. Unsightly Beast
2. Withered
3 .A Plea Above Ashes
4. Quell the Voiceless
5. Natal Trophies
Rodrigo Rocha - Vocals
Ben Wilkinson - Guitar
Kent Congdon - Guitar
Josh Miller - Drums
Record Label: The Artisan Era


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Edited 03 February 2023

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