Abyssian – Godly (Revalve Records)Wednesday, 10th March 2021
Always up for exploration in diverse metal genres, Italian act Abyssian started in black/doom territory as a one-man band in 2010, developing into a four-piece today that possesses more of a gothic/doom blend on their second full-length Godly. Lyrically basing material on Sumerian poetics, ancient aliens, and settings of an Atlantean matrix, the music also matches another dimension or parallel – infusing drum programming against natural percussion movements, segments that pulsate with melancholy and alternative energy. These eight songs embrace a wide array of influences to push/pull at your grasp of both genres, alluring and intoxicating the listener through each successive pass.
The vocals can be submerged in underwater-oriented effects during the verses of “Soul Colonnades” only to be enhanced through clean, low-range melodies that weave seamlessly against the circular layers of guitars and slower, steady drum backbeat that contains hints of Novembers Doom. On the other hand, the nine-minute plus “Nigra Lux” features tribal moments and calmer ancient melodies, along with a progressive bass theme penetrating the arrangement and dynamic 80’s keyboard/ acoustic guitar pieces during its conclusion. You never know what to truly expect, and that’s the best compliment for Abyssian and its musical outlook – the element of surprise, even when going for a crushing Candlemass-ish riff during “As the Sun” delivers, you’ll enjoy the branching off the guitars take in counterpoint gothic cascading mannerisms while the singing has a dry, cosmic quality. Brooding aspects channel thoughts of Tiamat to Type O Negative to The Gathering during the epic title track, at 11:31 the longest cut that at one moment can be quite heavy, then turn on a dime in tranquil bliss featuring cello embellishment and more hypnotic vocal harmonization in all the proper context. With almost an hour of songs to process, Abyssian never makes the listener feel drained, but rather enchanted and alive through its doom and gothic angles.
Probably a tough sell for many who want a straightforward band, those who look for the hidden gems in the rough that aren’t content to check off a specific ‘category’ of metal, Godly could be your ideal record in these uncertain times to devour.