Abstracter “Cinereous Incarnate” album review

Abstracter "Cinereous Incarnate" album review

They call the end of times. They sing about it. In the utmost cold and lifeless manner, relentlessly bringing the end of times throughout, descending into the nine circles of hell.

From the opening song, Abstracter build an atmosphere that capitalizes on their trademark manner drenched in coldness and raw noise.

Cinereous is a colour, meaning ashy grey in appearance. It is derived from the Latin cinereous, from cinis (ashes). So this album is basically evoking the embodiment of a shade.

One great thing about “Cinereous Incarnate” is that all the songs are somehow connected so that the album presents as a continuously flowing work that starts with thick metal riff and transform into more atmospheric tunes, all of it with a strong psychedelic touch. Bass is used densely and  add atmospheric nuance to the grinding music.

For a long time, I couldn’t fully appreciate the true and bizarre nature of this record. Right from the first few notes of “Cinereous Incarnate”, you can tell this won’t be an average Abstracter album and you could see how infectious and possessing these sounds are.

A massive and unrelenting blackened-sludge record from a great band from Oakland, this album starts strong and rarely lets up throughout the whole time. The listener is taken past the threshold of this world and into the next.

The songs often rely on almost similar riffing patterns, which serve to make this sound like a unified work, very clean but heavy and dismay, with little melodic changes in-between to make them interesting and propulsive. The drumwork is an onslaught of heavy pounding and the vocals vary between  harsh and rugged shout adding magnitude to the sound. With emphatic pounding martial drums and brilliant atmosphere that demand your full attention, “Nether” might well become an anthem in years to come. After this track which crush all resistance, the album takes an unexpected turn into eve more aggressive attitude, full with  uncompromising rhythm that never let you come into your senses but insists on full-bore absorption of them. On “Cinereous” and “Ashen Reign” the ambience is still alien and otherworldly thanks to swirling guitar riffs.

The fetid guitar tone combined with the ethereal atmosphere remind me of some sort of sludge vibe and it seems to arise out of the combination of the instruments.This album reminds you of the massive guitar tones you’ve ever heard, but the music is not designed with that as the focal point.

With a formula that seems to be a mix of the previous albums all mashed together, there is sort of a balance achieved in every song that really stands out.

“Wings of Annihilation” is a standout track as well, almost continuing the sinister vibe from “Ashen Reign”, while adding a more bizarre tone and the strange time signature changes Abstracter are known for. By this point a pattern is arising – that being the fact that the instrumentation on this record is phenomenal. The riffs are huge, the vocals are grandiose and ferocious. The drums lead the track with a war-like sound that gives way to a triumphant tone that really evokes everything that this band is about; epic soundscapes of mythical proportions.

On the whole this album is very strong while Abstracter love their crushing-raw metal sound, they also know that their sound and riffs deserve the very best songwriting skills and production.

The result is a recording full of brilliant songs that just seem to stick to your mind for a long time. The album is put together so well that it really feels like descending in those nine circles of hell and each song shows evidence of imagination, thought and craft.

While I can always respect a band for taking a daring innovation with their sound, Abstracter seem to follow the crushing atmosphere, transcending their own sound into something that critics can appreciate as “groundbreaking”.


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