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The Abbey – Word of Sin

The Abbey
Word of Sin
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 February 2023, 9:37 AM

From their EPK, Ranta states “my music is the channel where I can be as true and authentic as possible. It is also a somewhat safe way to explore and express the dark side of myself and the collective consciousness. “Word of Sin” may seem like a tremendously dark piece as a Rock album, but it’s pretty lightweight for a Doom Metal album. The material proved so strong that it was obvious that it wasn’t going to be another side project. I think using the means of improvisation made the music sound more like its creator instead of it being forced to be this or that — and that seemed to work really well for us.” The debut has nine songs.

“Rat King” is the first. It’s an interesting sound for Doom Metal. The vocal harmonies are very melodic and pleasing, and the bed under is cold, dark, and heavy. A sort of BLUE OYSTER CULT meets KATATONIA if you will. Around the half-way mark, it picks up with haste, and finishes on a word of warning. “A Thousand Dead Witches” takes the vocal harmonies to another level completely. The music is dark, and brooding, but those harmonies shine over a plane of a weighted occult sound. “Cyrstallion” has a bit of a more mysterious sound, but segues into the light in the chorus. It’s a slower grind with more depressive features.

“Starless” has a more expansive and melancholy sound. The vocals are ethereal and emotive, and the music is very supportive of both. As the song moves forward, heavier tones seep through the cracks, until an ambient die down after the half-way mark. The final guitar solo and closing sounds are emotionally impactful. “Desert Temple” is a stalwart and heavier song with a hastier pace and sound, until an ambient and charming drop-off near the half-way mark. Doomy tones abound in this song. The hasty sounds return towards the end, with a climbing melody. “Widow’s Will” begins with sad, melancholy tones, as the title suggests. From there, the melodies are simple but pleasingly effective. You feel like a widow, however, and all the pain that comes with that.

“Queen of Pain” has a funky little riff that plays in the sandbox with the music with all of the affection of a toddler and a snake. The strange combination of sounds just works so well. The pain draws out like a dull headache. “Old Ones: Prequel” is a short, two-minute intro for the lengthy closer of the same title. Ambient, harrowing elements develop with clean vocals. They lament long in the air. The closing song begins with a slow, melancholy pace of doom and gloom. Once the main riff is established, more layers are added. As the song drags on, you feel any sense of hope leaving out the window. It dies to organ notes and distant thunder at the half-way mark. The sound returns at the end, but alas, your hope has permanently left.

This was a very interesting and unique take on an amalgam of a Heavy Rock/Doom album. The first few songs were very original sounding, but the album began a transition afterwards to more straight up Doom sounds. Had they kept on that original sound, the album could have been outstanding. As it is taken as a whole, it is still an excellent release that listeners will find a good deal of surprises in, and a fresh, original take on the genre.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Rat King
2. A Thousand Dead Witches
3. Crystallion
4. Starless
5. Desert Temple
6. Widow’s Will
7. Queen of Pain
8. Old Ones: Prequel
9. Old Ones
Henri Arvola – Bass
Jesse Heikkinen – Guitar, keyboard, percussions, vocals
Natalie Koskinen – Vocals
Janne Markus – Guitar
Vesa Ranta – Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist Records


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