Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: Abaddon Incarnate – The Wretched Sermon

Label: Transcending Obscurity Records

Date: August 5th, 2022

There was never any real chance that a band called Abaddon Incarnate will be neglected when it comes to reviews in Abaddon Magazine. I mean, this introduction basically writes itself. Then again, there is a whole lot of bands with Abaddon in their moniker, so what’s so special about these Irish blokes (and a girl)? Well, they’ve (or rather their label did) sent out a promo for their brand new record. The sixth of their almost three decades long career, by the way. Eight years in the making, as well. Who knew it takes that long for a grinding death metal band to publish a new record? But we’re all still hoping for a new Repulsion album, aren’t we? Look how long that takes…

Anyway, Abaddon Incarnate is on the menu today. I’ve talked about this many times, but I came to dread listening to any new grindcore records for a long while now. The genre is probably the most corrupted of them all by a multitude of talentless freaks who take it as senseless noise. Imagination dropped below zero, creativity is nonexistent and it all lies hiding behind the production even the pioneers of second wave black metal would be ashamed of. Hence, it is my belief that the older a grind band is, the better it is. And no, it’s not a close-minded, old school, “good music evaporated at the turn of the century” type of thing.

And the Irish deliver exactly what grindcore should be all about. One might complain that “The Wretched Sermon” is too “by the book” album. It is, no question about it, but it is also a record that offers fresh ideas, even if they lay on the ancient foundations. Most of all, the drums and guitars dominate in those terms. For instance, take “Hyperchaos” with glorious riffing and imaginative drum pattern. And I’m talking about the eleventh song on the album, so not quite the first option for a single. I took this one because it played in the background as I wrote the lines, but the truth is that most of the others pack a similar punch. Like the opener, “Rising of the Lights”, which starts the record with a drumroll only to be taken away by the maelstrom of all the instruments involved.

“Isolation and Decay” is next to last on the album. And it lasts almost seven minutes. Quite long for a grindcore track, isn’t it? Well, in reality, it is not a grindcore track. It’s a sluggish death metal thunder which brings out the best of all the elements of Abaddon Incarnate. Every member gets to “play around” within it. Still, it retains the heaviness of “The Wretched Sermon” and fits well among its shorter neighbors.

Now, I’m the first to admit I didn’t have a chance to check out Abaddon Incarnate before this record fell into my lap. Even if their previous ones came out on respectful labels and their name came up before my eyes numerous times. Should there be anyone else among Abaddon Magazine readership who made the same mistake, here’s a short explanation of what to expect, genre-wise, on “The Wretched Sermon”. Basically, I’ve mentioned Repulsion above, and with good reason. This Irish band reminded me of them, first and foremost. Though it is noticeable that the grindcore performed by Abaddon Incarnate owes a lot to old Swedish death metal. Perhaps even more than its US counterpart.

Of course, with the “quirks” mentioned above, one must say that this quartet has much more to offer than just a sum of its influences. Separating them from what is nowadays (wrongly) dubbed grind is their ability to not just pulverize by the sheer speed, ferocity and brutality, but also digress from the obvious solutions for the genre. In short, creative thinking. These thirteen tracks are all moving, dynamic, imaginative, just as they are sharp, edgy and absolutely killer!