Abysmal Torment: Omnicide

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Abysmal Torment: Omnicide
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Abysmal Torment: Omnicide
Brutal Death Metal, Grindcore
Brutal Bands
April 24th, 2011
Release length: 45:02
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Malta-based Brutal Death Metal/Grindcore act Abysmal Torment formed back in 2000, but since then has not really issued many releases. Back in 2004, the band released their debut EP, Incised Wound Suicide themselves, and it caught enough positive attention from fans of the style, and eventually led to the band being signed to Brutal Bands. Shortly after, the group issued their first full-length album in 2006, entitled Epoch of Methodic Carnage. Three years later, for 2009, the band issued their follow-up full-length effort, Omnicide, which showed a tighter, more consistant band. But, while consistent, does that mean the band has grown for the better as well?

Omnicide is actually a rather simple album that takes plenty of generic Grindcore concepts, and mashes them up with some Brutal Death Metal. While the combination of the two styles works out well on this recording, what it suffers from is just being a general sounding album. Many of the songs on here have a heavy sound that has a little Brutal Death Metal atmosphere to it, but is mostly comprised of Grindcore-related blastbeats and breakdowns that are consistent to the music, but suffer from the same general hollow sound as the rest of the music on the album due the production on it being a higher pitch instead of a deeper one that would have greatly benefitted the album, giving it a more brutal, crushing sound, which this recording honestly would have sounded fantastic with. Instead, everything sounds higher pitched, and actually rather abnormal, as well as irritatingly loud. The vocals also suffer, coming off more muffled then anything, but still have some great force and energy behind them, though the back of the throat squeel-type vocals are obnoxiously annoying due to high insanely high pitched and shrill they sound on this recording. And no, the volume you’re listening to it at has nothing to do with it, or can help it out at all, especially the back of the throat gurgling sounds that are made, which are so high pitched due to the recording that it sounds like an ear piercing scream from a woman about to killed layered over a really loud frog croaking right in your ear, despite how loud the music is being played.

Another thing that fails to impress with the recording is the bass. Due to the quality of the recording, the bass is pretty hard to discern through much of it, but the bass drops are right there, and without the right speakers, it will cause the whole song to drop right out until it’s done. While this is an effective tool and just generally sounds cool, it really just doesn’t sounds that good on this release, and, in the case of “Supreme Tyrant in Putrescence”, it’s simply abused beyond belief and loses it’s impact very quickly. This isn’t the only track to use them, as “Nefast Omen” has bass drops in it as well, though the band doesn’t abuse them like that in the track, and “Embalmet” has one that essentially acts as the bridge into a breakdown, but it honestly just sounds like a muffled gunshot that was recorded from far in the distance, which is awakward since the next bass drop in the song actually sounds more impressive from it being deeper, clearer, and even louder. This track also seems to slowly fade out mid song for some reason as the music stops except for the drums, which sound like a drum solo is to kick in for some weird reason, then kicks back in at full volume again.

But, despite the many negative issues with the release, the music itself isn’t too bad, and the vocals are alright until the gurgling kicks in to make your ears bleed in a very unpleasant manner. The music has some good complexity going on, and it shifts between a general Brutal Death style and general Grindcore style in each song, many times with good transitions that keep the flow of the song going without feeling like you’re being thrown from one directly to another suddenly. “Omega” makes for a good track that showcases the bands abilities well, and also isn’t too affected by the higher pitched production issues. “Gestation of Malevolence” also doesn’t seem too plagued by the production, even for the gurgling vocals which seem to be performed a little lower to begin with, though still a bit shrill. This track shows a little more technicality in the music, as well as some very effective transitions. The same can be said for “Recursive Hatred”, though the song has a really odd sudden shift near the end, which to me sounded like a corrupt MP3 file, which could have been from the digital promo supplied from the label, but if not, then it’s one hell of an error that no one apparently spotted. In addition to that sidenote, the closing track “A Glimpse in the Cesspit” features a breakdown about halfway through that takes a little getting adjusted to due to how the drumming clashes against the slower chugging guitar progressions.

When you break everything down, Omnicide is not a bad CD, but it has a lot of faults holding it back from being the album it could be. Had the production level been a lot deeper instead of it’s higher pitch, the album could have sounded very menacing and brutal, which would have made the band’s musical style work well for them. Instead, much of the bite that is carried in the Brutal Death Metal field is removed, and really is only saved by the band’s ability to compose great songs, and perform them. There is plenty of fluid change ups in each track, and some great technical musicianship throughout, and a great vocal range that keeps it from feeling stale. It’s a bit disappointing to see so many faults with this release, but after a while you should be able to look past them to enjoy the album for what it is.

01. Nefast Omen – 2:31
02. Omega – 3:28
03. Colony of Maggots – 4:29
04. Supreme Tyrant in Putrescence – 4:22
05. Scorhced Beneath Flaming Wings – 3:48
06. Embalment – 4:38
07. Gestation of Malevolence – 4:04
08. Chronicles of Gouged Eyes – 4:04
09. Recursive Hatred – 4:34
10. Rinsed in Shred – 4:59
11. A Glimpse in the Cesspit – 4:06
Overall Score: 5.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Brutal Bands.