ABHORRENCE - Megalohydrothalassophobic (SVART Records - LP 2018)
This is for me completely unexpected exhumation of the Finnish death metal corpse called Abhorrence. I knew that Tomi Koivusaari with Jukka Kolehmainen, Jussi "Juice" Ahlroth and Kalle Mattsson played some gigs few years ago, but I had no idea they would go anywhere further with their old band. First a live LP "Totally Vulgar: Live at Tuska Open Air 2013" was released a while ago. And then some new songs were recorded and here they are! One day I found a digi promo of "Megalohydrothalassophobic" EP in my e-mail box and I have to say I quickly downloaded the file and started listening session. And well, I feel quite glad Abhorrence are back.
But let's be honest, only fools will tell that they expect Abhorrence to continue exactly the same style from "Vulgar Necrolatry" demo. Even bigger fools will expect them to keep the old harsh sound. Come on, do you really believe that these guys would still want to sound the same as nearly 30 years ago?? Of corpse then the matter is if there’s any point to still call this band Abhorrence. But if the line-up is 4/5 the same and the music is still death metal, then why the hell not?! Besides, I personally feel like there's still a bit of the old Abhorrence left in "Megalohydrothalassophobic". Maybe even more of the old Amorphis could be found in these new songs. Yes, definitely there are still some of these characteristic riffs here, especially these fantastic melodies, which for me are the strongest aspect of "Megalohydrothalassophobic". Generally, these songs are very good. Great riffs, killer melodies, nice groove... All in the vein of the old Amorphis, Swedish death metal scene and Carcass. "The Four Billion Year Dream" is my favourite part of "Megalohydrothalassophobic for sure, it's a real highlight of the EP, with quality, which for matches "The Karelian Isthmus". Fans of the old death metal should love it also! On the other hand "The End Has Already Happened" will bring a lot of controversy, I feel, as it takes a bit different road speaking of the style of death metal, with more groove, a bit more experimental guitar notes here and there and just very unusual sound. It's still death metal track, but not the typical old school stuff anymore. I wonder what comments will this song get. It's obviously also miles away from the obscure, rotten grinding death metal of old Abhorrence.
The production of "Megalohydrothalassophobic" is more up-to-date, so do not expect Abhorrence to have garage sound quality here! But it's good production, it's heavy and powerful, quite alike to bands such Entrails for instance. And let me also say that Jukka Kolehmainen can still fuckin growl! He sounds very much like 30 years ago, you could recognize him immediately, which was a very good surprise for me. Good job from this old man, who I think didn't growl for many, many years (he only did some guest vocals for Stench of Decay's cover of "Vulgar Necrolatry" few years ago). Still a beast! Sooo... think what you want about this return, I like this EP a lot and I'm sure I will get a copy when the vinyl is released.
Standout track: "The Four Billion Year Dream"