ABYSSIC – Brought Forth In Iniquity
- by ER
- Posted on 24-02-2023
RELEASE YEAR: 2022
BAND URL: https://osmoseproductions.bandcamp.com/album/brought-forth-in-iniquity
As much as I count death/doom as one of my favorite genres, I am not a big fan of huge symphonic minimalistic funeral doom/death, bands such as Sceptiscism or Evoken only recently catching my attention precisely because they expanded and thus got more interesting. This is why I find the third offering from the Norwegian quintet Abyssic, “Brought Forth In Iniquity” such a curious little dish. I use the word “little” with respect to funeral doom/death consciously mindful of the average lenght usually exceeding 60 minutes while this album is merely 50:44 minutes, howbeit, with also merely 5 tracks, the longest at a whopping 18:33 minutes. There’s something about it that makes me ignorant of the length and, instead, eager to experience it again and again. Perhaps it’s the profoundly cinematic nature of the compositions, with start and stop moments ushering unexpected changes of pace and mood, something I usually treasure regular death/doom for, or perhaps it is the wonderful mournful melodies which recall the best of Mournful Congregation, Descend Into Despair, My Dying Bride, Swallow The Sun, Mar De Grises or even Dark Tranquillity (that last one mostly for the cinematic keyboard arrangments as on “Atoma”).
Whatever it is, it makes sense that this band has been around since 1997 although until 2012 as Abyssic Dreams, and that, since the name shortening to just Abyssic, it has released 2 full lenghts, “A Winter’s Tale”²⁰¹⁶ and “Hight The Memory”²⁰¹⁹ before this one. Led by presently apparently the only founding member left Håkon “Memnoch” Didriksen (vocals, bass, contrabass, formerly of Susperia and Old Man’s Child), Gromth’s André Aaslie (2012-keyboards, orchestrations), Susperia’s guitarist Christian “Elvorn” Hagen (2013-present), former Sirenia female vocalist Henriette “Makhashanah” Bordvik (2016-bass, additional vocals) and Gromth and Susperia’s drummer Ian Kenneth “Tjodalv” Åkesson (2017-present), the ensemble has been well positioned to release something as emotionally shattering as “Brought For Iniquity” so we shouldn’t be surprised by the end product. But we are.
Why, you may ask? Because Abyssic seems to be doing whatever they want without any allegiance to the funeral doom/death genre. I mean, they are of course firmly within the genre practically all the time, be it the gargantuan title dirge – with its huge repetitive but slow comeback roars “MAS-TER!” in between the frequent genuinely beautiful acoustic and piano and synth passages, seemingly a nod to Metallica’s title track off of their third and most metalhead beloved album, something so obviously tragic and fatalistic that even My Dying Bride and Descend Into Despair would recoil from it for the blatant lack of hope they are also known for interweaving with the gloom and doom – or be it the favorite Swallow The Sun-tinged melodies of “Chronicle Of The Dead” – this is funeral death/doom per excellence until, that is, that pesky little hateful bird called “Djevelens Lys” (Devil’s Light) that is positively, or should I say negatively, black metallic while still copiously within the doom/death genre, something really vicious and extremely bipolar, which reminds me of Dimmu Borgir’s “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” or the recent Sceptiscism, actually.
Too bad not all the tracks are as engaging as the aforementioned 3 or it could have been at least a 5.5 album. The two tracks in question, “Mirror Of Sorrow” and “Cold As Winter Storm” are good but they pale a little in comparison with the rest, although they do contain melodies and the appealing flow which does not detract from the listening pleasure. Clearly we see what needs to happen on the 4th album and I don’t think I have to spell it out.