Abominant – Onward to Annihilation (Deathgasm)

Sunday, 15th September 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

What’s a death metal band from Kentucky to do? Release ten albums since 1993, that’s what. Abominant have long flown under the death metal radar, possibly due to their geographical locale, although that’s not really a big deal – Nile are from South Carolina, remember? So it could be said the band has been steadfast in being death metal workhorses, never quite willing to stray from the path, but honing in on the extreme fluctuations of similar-sounding bands ala Morbid Angel, Sinister, and Hate Eternal. That’s how Onward to Annihilation gets down, essentially.

As privy to those furious blast portions as they are grueling mid-tempo riff sections, Abominant’s maelstrom might breed an overriding degree of familiarity in spots, but you’re going to get some brutality from it regardless. Off the top, it’s easy to engage with the seven minutes and counting frenzy that is “Conquerors of Dust,” the band pulling essentially every trick from the bag, from those aforementioned blistering blasts, to meaty riffing. Aside from that, it’s in the atomic “Battlescarred” and “Beside the Dying Flame” that have the most variation and interesting riff ideas, particularly the latter, which rolls into some black metal-styled gangbusting around the 1:30 mark.

Best suited for those who prefer their American death metal to stay within the lines, Onward to Annihilation isn’t emblematic of any one era of extreme metal, so it serves up a lot of what folks like (uh, heaviness), and is palatable enough for a thumbs-up. Amazing these guys are at ten albums, though. Talk about dedication.

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