Corpsessed: Abysmal Thresholds

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Corpsessed: Abysmal Thresholds
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Corpsessed: Abysmal Thresholds
Death Metal
Dark Descent Records
February 4th, 2014
Release length: 48:27
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Corpsessed may have formed back in 2007, but after a few years of honing their craft found themselves signed to Dark Descent Records. In 2011, the group issued their first studio effort, The Dagger & The Chalice, followed by a two song self-titled effort a year later. It’s now 2014, and the five-piece from Finland is back to give us their long overdue debut full-length recording. Is it anywhere near the level that the previous offerings built it to be, or was the wait and anticipating simply not worth it?

Much like their previous outings, Abysmal Threshold is another raw album that carries an ominous sense to some tracks, while others sound more like echoes in an expansive set of catacombs. Which one you get seems to rely largely on how rich the performance itself is. The “Intro” track announces the latter sensation with some growls or throat singing against a tribal drum beat that feels as though you are slave in the days of ancient Egypt, or in the off-level pits of hell. This is carried into “Of Desolation” thanks to the slower paced music, echoed vocals, and deeper chords that blend into the background a little outside of when the speed increases, allowing the drums to really be pulled to the forefront, as well as during the slam towards the end that finds the held notes coming through a lot louder, punishing you as the song creeps to a halt with a little feedback and the distant chirping of an insect.

“Necrosophic Channeling” picks up on that vibe as well. The layered vocals make it seem like various voices bouncing around the same walls and pathways you’re trapped in, while the music acts as a better score to reflect the tension of just what those voices happen to be coming from. It’s as if being caught in the labyrinth of some kind of Lovecraftian spawn of the ancients with no escape. There are times the music does sound a full, such as around two minutes and fifty seconds in, This stays even when slowed to the catchy mid-tempo groove that follows the distant church bell effect, adding a nice hint of variety that works with the song to hold your interest and prevent the music from growing stagnant. In the last minute, you can pick up on an odd sound, as if a faint beeping for brief moments as the performance comes to a close. While not damaging, it’s something familiar at that point, and an element that greatly hurts one of the strongest tracks Abysmal Threshold has to offer.

“Sovereign” has plenty of catchy riffs that will immediately have you banging your head along, as well as a great deal of enthusiasm to the drums and vocals This song also has some of the highest wails you’ll hear, though they do seem to have a bit of distortion on them in order to reach the sharp level it does near the three and a half minute area. While this is easily one of the most addicting songs and uses the keyboards well to add a hint of chaos, it also has a obnoxious blip that appears in many spots. I can’t pin point what it is exactly, but it seems more like an effect from a guitar as evidenced by the shift in pitch prior to the five minute mark. Whatever it is ends up rather loud in the mix, as well as incredible distraction, pulling your attention away from the music and commanding you to pay attention to it and only it until the end.

Of course there’s more to this than haunting catacombs laced with the ancient ones and madness. “Trepanation” finds some rich riffs hammering away at a much faster speed, and a rattling low tuned bass. The tighter guitar work helps make the deeper audio in all the stringed instruments become burdening, but can sometimes drown out the vocals. The performance just feels ominous, as if a great threat were upon the horizon, and the slower chunks are the same way due to that stronger bass guitar presence that sounds more like gurgling around the two minute mark. “Demonical Subjugation” kind of falls between the two atmospheres, but has plenty of sections that do cater more to the burdening sensation “Trepanation” and a few others have. The same for the trudging “Transcend Beyond Human,” which sounds like a richer expanded version of the “Intro” with passages that jump between the two worlds, shifting between sounding like a haunting metamorphosis into something horrifying, and the crushing sensation of a nightmarish ritual you’re the sacrifice for.

Abysmal Threshold is a solid album of raw, crushing Death Metal. The only fault aside the odd blips that creep in once in a while, especially during “Sovereign,” is that the atmosphere isn’t consistent, and some instrument levels seem to change enough to notice from time to time, leading to varied experiences per song. Aside those faults, Corpsessed have put together an uncompromising album that drags you right back down to the depths of the ancient catacombs, where necromantic sorcery and ancient beings exist and give chase. If you enjoyed the band’s previous outing, or just love the sound of Death Metal at its roughest, Abysmal Threshold is a trip through madness that isn’t too memorable, but will find you comin back to gaze again and again.

01. Intro – 1:14
02. Of Desolation – 4:49
03. Trepanation – 4:37
04. Sovereign – 5:54
05. Necrosophic Channeling – 7:09
06. Ravening Tides – 4:48
07. Apotheosis – 4:46
08. Demoniacal Subjugation – 3:17
09. Transcend Beyond Human – 4:21
10. The Threshold – 7:32
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Corpsessed
Corpsessed

Digital review copy of this release provided by Dark Descent Records via Clawhammer PR.