Icelandic terrors Abominor treat you to terrifying journey to hell on debut ‘Opus: Decay’

AbominorIt isn’t every day that you see album art that totally conveys what’s contained on the record you’re holding. I’m not saying a crazed painting or wild beast on a cover doesn’t properly get across the band’s point. That idea works, too. But I mean an image that you see it and go, “Yeah. That’s exactly how I felt listening to the music.”

Take a quick look at Abominor’s debut mini-album “Opus: Decay” and know for sure that tackling their music is going to feel the same way. It’s like looking down into a long voided tunnel, with winds whipping back at you, and your destination totally unknown. The journey feels claustrophobic, dizzying, and something over which you have no control. That long tunnel you see on the cover perfectly encapsulated these two lengthy epics, and it probably will make you feel like you never, ever will claw your way out. I’m not sure if this was what the Reykjavík, Iceland-based band—Alfreð Þór on bass and vocals, Óskar Þór on guitars and vocals, Kristinn Rafn on guitars, Þórir Hólm on drums—had in mind when they chose the artwork, but well done nonetheless. It’s also a perfect portrait into this stunning, churning release, the first official document (they also have a demo) from a band that’s been kicking around since 2008 obviously perfecting their craft and getting you read for madness.

Abominor coverWe begin with the 12:36-long “474,” an eerie burst of noise filled with mean gasps, mysteriousness, and eventually some pointed riffs that really get the soup boiling. The track breaks out into full launch, as immersive melodies surround you and batter your senses, and monstrous vocals tear their way through your soul. A cloud cover later sets in, making it tough to see through the thickness, and cold air arrives that leaves your vulnerable body in a chill. That later passes as the song gets smothering again, with fires raging anew, and that spills into a calculated pace, where the frost returns. But alas, there are even more convulsions ahead, as the band starts demolishing again, with animalistic vocals throwing up blood, the band pounding heavily, and a trance-inducing final bend mixing with abject horror.

The title cut finishes off the record, an 8:54-long piece that’s introduced with crazed guitars, drums being mauled, and a delirious pace causing your head to spin. That halts quickly, as the song heads into the fog and melodies bring the ice back to your blood stream. The band goes tornadic out of that, causing dust and mud to fly, and then they begin mauling harder than ever, with the vocals adding the extra damage needed. Everything crashes down savagely, leaving you no room to run and at the point in the tunnel where it’s far too late to turn around. The growls remain creaky and agitating, while the band delivers pain on all cylinders, bringing the track to a devastating end.

Despite being together for seven years now, this really is just the beginning for Abominor. And what a start it is. This two-track journey is dangerous and exciting, despite the fact you might not survive, and it provides even more hope for the future of black metal. I’m excited to hear this band tackle a full-length release, and here’s betting that thing is even more suffocating than this killer EP.

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