ABSCESSION - Grave Offerings (FINAL GATE CD 2014)
Abscession are basically nothing else, but straight up Swedish sounding death metal band (hailing from Germania though haha!). And yeah, I know that many of you will immediately start yawning from boredom when hearing great number of the same sounding bands, with the same influences, style, etc. Yeah, I can understand that, but on the other hand I am so deeply infected with Swedish death metal style that my tolerance for this music is very big. And I am not really bothered if band X sounds unoriginal and brings nothing new and if band Y sounds exactly the same as band X. It just doesn’t matter, as long as the music is good, then everything is fine. Obviously such bands and such albums will most likely perish unnoticed and will never get a status of “classics” or something “timeless”. But diehard collectors will be always coming back to them, I guess. How’s that related to “Grave Offerings”? Well, as mentioned before, this is not an album, which would bring anything new or extraordinary. It is not an album, which will get a wide recognition. Finally, it surely it not an album, which goes above the average quality of current new wave of old school death metal. As such, it is solid, but actually pretty mediocre. Which doesn’t mean it’s bad or something.
Starting with what I like the most about “Grave Offerings”, it would surely be the catchiness of this album. Damn, it is very memorable and easily listenable. Already since the first spin you will know some of these riffs or melodies and they’ll come back to you fast. The album plays smoothly, it’s so damn easy to listen to that you almost doesn’t realize when it’s over and you wanna play it again. Obviously there are some very strong riffs, some great moments… and well, I surely like those more aggressive ones the most (with songs like “Where Sleeping Gods Dwell”, “Gargoyle” and “Freshly Dug Graves”). Abscession digs the tomb of Swedish death metal and brings sometimes quite worn out, clichéd riffs and arrangements, but I like it anyway and listen to this CD with a pleasure. But yeah, it’s double edged sword and for many listeners this will be the case “oh, I heard it way too many times before, too many times in better performance”, etc. I agree. But the whole performance of Abscession on “Grave Offerings” is as solid as it can be from a debuting underground band and I see no reason why fans of (Swedish) death metal should not like this. This album has many hooks, many nice melodic pieces, some great aggressive parts, and it’s simply good.
I need to point out that two songs come quite different from the rest of the material. First, the closing song “Downfall pt 1” is kind of ten minutes long monster, which you can divide into two parts. First one is pretty standard Swedish death metal but the second goes into very doomy, epic sounding style that may remind you some slower Hypocrisy songs mixed with a bit of Edge of Sanity, with piano and even clean vocals used. I even enjoyed it, but to be honest I was not so much convinced about all these pianos and clean vocals.
Another of the two songs and one, which I prefer more, is “In My Coffin”, which is very doomy, but at the same time it’s so damn heavy and vicious. And in this case I’m not even bothered about the clean vocals that appear in this song haha! No, this is very, very good song. I can compare it to Bloodbath a lot, they used to have quite few similar songs on their early albums!
So, all in all, a decent debut from Abscession. It’s already been almost two years since “Grave Offerings” and it looks like it didn’t get that much recognition, what can prove me right that it’s solid album, but also “one of many”. I enjoyed it, some more fans of Swedish death metal will also do. Everybody else, who is more of a moaning type of listeners, should get something else and not waste their time.
Standout tracks: “Where Sleeping Gods Dwell”, “Gargoyle”, “In My Coffin”, “Freshly Dug Graves”
Final rate: 70/100