(Vendetta Records / Sentient Ruin Laboratories, 2015)
Oakland-based Abstracter have been active since 2010, releasing two full-lengths of which this is the latest. The band started out as a Noise-outfit, before morphing into delivering more Post-Metallic and Crusty Sludgy Doom, still keeping their Noise background evident. I am not surprised to find music like this coming especially from Oakland, which seems to be a very fruitful breeding ground for all kinds of Punk, Hardcore, Noise, Death and Black Metal and Doom (among others) -influenced DIY-mentality.
The album consists of four long tracks (all 9 mins to 11 mins in length) of flowing and growing Doom. The songs take their time before peaking (if peaking), being very hypnotic in nature, making time lose it’s meaning, when swimming in these deep dystopian dark waters.
The music often uses the sounds of the guitars and basses in an Noisy Ambient-like manner, with little or no melodies, backed up by a minimal beating of the drums, or emotional Stoned yet intense jamming full of tasty details. The guitars shred away in either in a Doomy and Sludgy way, reminding of both Eyehategod and Electric Wizard’s “Dopethrone”, or in a bit more damping rhythmic and technical way, but never too complex to take away the music from the Doom-realm. Sometimes tremolo-melodies can be heard, bringing some Black Metal feeling to the music. The basses pound away extremely low in the background, acting as an even more massive shadow behind the already quite massive guitars. The vocals are mostly low shouting in that Post-Metal way, growing a bit higher at more intense parts. All elements of the music are performed mostly without great surprises, yet steady and with demanded skill and style. None of the four songs stick out as being considerably different from the others (except perhaps the final track with it’s cool choir-like clear vocals), but there are virtually no boring parts in the music, making this a solid and safe release in a very positive way.
Recorded and mixed by Greg Wilkinson (responsible for the sound of bands like Sleep and Noothgrush) and mastered by Brad Boatright (who has worked with Wolves In The Throne Room, Nails and Sunn O))) among others), the album has a very authentic (considering the music style in question) and upscale, soft and deep yet harsh and Noisy sound, full of warm and low textures in that Doom-way. Still, the music brings visions of ruins or bombed apocalyptic cities in black-and-white, in certain Black Metal and Crust traditions.
The album has been released in Digital- and Vinyl-formats by Vendetta Records (as well as 7Degrees Records, Shove Records and Fragile Branch Recordings), in CD-format by COF Records, and in Digital- and Tape-formats by Sentient Ruin Laboratories (featuring artwork by the highly talented Kevin Gan Yuen of Sutekh Hexen). Recommended for all fans of thoughtful Blackened Crusty Sludge and Doom.