Blackened death metal, how I love thee! There is something to be said about the genre as a whole. Sure, it’s two main features haven’t developed a great detail over the past years but take note to just how well the formula works. Abomnium is the child of a one-manned diabolical metal force that not only cherishes the days of old but reinforces the modern twists that occur within the genre at an almost daily rate. ‘Coffinships’ is a Teutonic death/black hybrid that brings forth the staples within the genre and turns them into something identifiable as Abomnium. Frankly, this is a straight-forward record, with little in the ways of frills and flamboyancy. Not to mention that this is the sole enterprise of one, Sapient who handles everything from top to bottom.
At its core, ‘Coffinships’ is a furious rendition hinting at Mayhem like darkness and Bathory’s twisting intensity. Everything comes in a neat little package for this almost fifty-three minute onslaught of blackened/death greatness, and ultimately, Abomnium proves his place in the genre is not unfounded. Take a moment to delve deeper into the music. There is an atmosphere that dances underthe guitar riffs and blast-beats, it’s only after taking a second or two to discover just what is going on the listener can understand the subtle complexity of Sapient. Shrieking and wailing guitar lines echo behind the riffs, and the background layers build into crescendo before taking the pressure off again. Abomnium’s studio effort is a tight, well-honed display of musical awareness. This could have easily been one of those stagnant blast-beat and screeching affair, thankfully ‘Coffinships’ is anything but.
We are lucky that Coffinships is such a soul ripping, end-of-the-world thinking album. Abomnium nails the grandeur assosiated with monlithic themes without becoming overbearing or simply missing the mark. Instead, Abomnium maintains a furious landscape peppered with melodic tid-bits and the occasional guitar solo. That’s right, as well as handling the everyday instrumentation of this act, Sapient can also solo, mix, master and produce a record that is completely his. For the most part, manifesting in this darkened atmosphere lies a musical ingenuity that is harder and harder to find in modern metal, that’s not to say it’s void, rather Sapient proves otherwise. Throughout the record’s nine tracks a number of standouts including “Conclave” which is worthy of a mention as it culminates the album’s intensity in one track while still providing enough to keep the listener wanting more. But this is merely one great track in a sea of many. As a whole, Abomnium’s Coffinships is a swirling vortex of asymmetrical blasting and well-placed riffs, layered under some demonic black metal vocals.
If you’re still have enough evil to get through the albums first half, the second half is a turn. “Horde”, “Epoch” and “Sunfire” all take a more melancholic and oppressive view, adding extra depth to this metal onslaught. Closer, “Sunfire” rounds the album off with a climax in quality showing that Sapient has left the best til last. The effect works, and the album is simply over before you want it to. Abomnium prove there is still life to be found in death with his second studio release and the general impression left on the listener is one of steam, building in pressure in order to better on the next release. This is not an easy listening record, clean vocal lines are scarce, but it’s not the inaccessible raw, recorded in a tin shed black metal record either. ‘Coffinships sits squarely in the middle making the most of its internal complexities and atmosphere.
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