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Abraham - Débris De Mondes Perdus review

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Band: Abraham
Album: Débris De Mondes Perdus
Release date: February 2022

01. Verminvisible
02. Blood Moon, New Alliance
03. Maudissements
04. Ravenous Is The Night
05. Our Words Born In Fire
06. Fear Overthrown
07. A Celestial Funeral
08. Black Breath [feat. Emilie Zoé]

Debris from lost worlds: a name like that conjures to mind thoughts of alien and unpleasant entities. Débris De Mondes Perdus has the music to match.

Abraham made a big statement with their previous album, and ‘big’ is very apt when referring to Look, Here Comes The Dark! Clocking in at just under 2 hours, this gargantuan 4-act depiction of the Anthropocene extinction and post-apocalyptic Earth (no wonder they’re on the same label as The Ocean) wasn’t an easy listen, but it was a rewarding one, and one that earned a deserved nomination in the 2018 Metal Storm Awards. In the intervening years, there has been a revamp of the Swiss group’s line-up; the departure of founding vocalist Renzo Especial and guitarist Matostab Axwielder initially led to the group considering continuing as a power trio, with drummer Dave Schlagmeister (interesting stage names) taking on vocal duties. Steven Margo Ditadoro subsequently joined as a second guitarist, and this newlook Abraham introduces itself to the world with Débris De Mondes Perdus.

As a post-metal band on Pelagic Records with a colossal 2-hour album under its belt, you’re probably bracing yourself for me describing Abraham as ‘crushing’; honestly though, it’s not really the overriding sentiment that I get from Débris De Mondes Perdus. There’s certainly heaviness on the album, and bleakness, but the defining characteristic of the sound on Débris De Mondes Perdus is probably the consistent presence of dissonance in the mix. A lot of the album has an offputting dissonant eeriness to it (which I’m sure having two guitarists helps bring fully to fruition), in a way that reminds me on more than one occasion of Nero Di Marte. Additionally, although Abraham are on the surface a sludgy post-metal band, they have a aggressive hardcore punk vein running through them, as well as what seem to be sizeable influences from noise rock and even potentially post-punk bands. The end result is quite captivating, albeit also at times frustrating.

To tackle those frustrations first, I do find Débris De Mondes Perdus sags a bit in the middle. I find the most compelling moments on the record to be those that are either dense and hefty (end of “Blood Moon, New Alliance”) or groovy (second half of “Fear Overthrown”), which is why the stretch of music encompassing “Maudissements”, “Ravenous Is The Night” and “Our Worlds Born In Fire”, which lacks much of either, loses some of my attention. Those noise rock/post-punk vibes come through on “Maudissements” in particular, which has a prolonged semi-spoken word section early on during which Schlagmeister meanders over a soft-yet-sinister backdrop, but I can’t say I’m really taken by the vocals here, particularly given how long it lasts. Additionally, while the song subsequently throws itself into pounding hardcore and the next song opens with some nasty heaviness, “Ravenous Is The Night” ultimately moves into a similarly protracted ‘subdued but ominous’ second half, and “Our Words Born In Fire” is a nice noise rock-esque build that lacks the climax that it promises.

However, either side of these tracks, the record comes to life. Whatever hesitations I have about Schlagmeister’s vocals, there’s no denying his quality as a drummer, which is frequently the most exhilarating component in the Abraham equation, whether it’s big pounding beats (“Verminvisible”, “Fear Overthrown”), cymbal onslaughts (“Blood Moon, New Alliance”) or a tom workout (“Black Breath”). When combined with the rest of the band, some quality music is brought to life. “Blood Moon, New Alliance” transitions from a frenetic blasting introduction through intricately built semi-melodic guitar progressions to a quite disgusting climax. “Fear Overthrown”, my pick of the bunch here, similarly opens with full-pelt blasting hardcore, before being taken over in the second half by a sumptuous bass-driven post-metal build, with the record’s strongest atmosphere conjured during these minutes.

The quality continues into the final duo of tracks; “A Celestial Funeral” follows that emphatic build with an insidious introduction (probably the most Nero Di Marte-esque section of the record) that creeps and crawls towards a powerful climax, one that merges that aforementioned dissonance with subtle hints of melody. Ending the album in style, “Black Breath” is a continuation of the collaboration between Abraham and fellow Swiss musician Emilie Zoé, with whom they released a couple of tracks in 2021; here, she acts as a peripheral but important element in the mix, as pounding toms drive the track forward relentlessly while Zoé and Schlagmeister trade vocal refrains.

Débris De Mondes Perdus can make you suffer for its rewards at times; those mid-record tracks I highlighted do affect my patience for the album on each playthrough. However, the emphatic quality of the other songs on this record more than outweigh those pitfalls, and their locations at either end of the album do ensure that Abraham ultimately leave a positive lasting impression upon listeners.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written on 25.02.2022 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 1   Visited by: 17 users
02.03.2022 - 19:40
Rating: 5
A Nice Guy
I've tried getting into this album, but in the end I just find it too dull, and dreary

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