The Abbey - Word Of Sin review
|Album:||Word Of Sin|
|Release date:||February 2023|
01. Rat King
02. A Thousand Dead Witches
05. Desert Temple
06. Widow’s Will
07. Queen of Pain
08. Old Ones: Prequel
09. Old Ones
Omne, I hear you ask, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck?
Well, let me start by explaining that one of the biggest gripes of the modern music industry is that the internet has ruined what once was due to the ease and availability of music, lacking the necessity to purchase physical copies. There is a positive to be found here, however, as, for example, there is a chance I would not have stumbled across The Abbey and their debut album Word Of Sin had it not been for the fact I could pick a name off a list at random and give them a listen. This group of Finnish doom mongers ensured that this stroke of serendipity was one to be remembered, with the ensuing album turning out to be a solid collection of doom, with tinges of gothic flavour to add to the experience.
It's rare that a band with multiple vocalists are able to form an identity, but Word Of Sin balances the varied voices with ease, shifting between vocalists as needed to enhance a track. "A Thousand Dead Witches" (Matthew Hopkins would be proud and makes Aldo Raine look restrained) sees the interplay between the contrasting vocals make for an interesting listen, whereas "Old Ones Prequel" makes this the hook for the track as a whole.
Not content to boxed in to one corner of the doom sound, The Abbey spread their wings far and wide, from the slow, crunching "Crystallion" to "Desert Temple", a powerful and cutting affair, with crunchy guitars early on giving way to more mellow and sedate passages, before then again building up and raging towards its conclusion. "Starless" is memorable for the morose and mournful atmosphere conjured up, which is complemented perfectly by the wistful vocals of Koskinen; her haunting refrains stand in contrast to the forceful guitars and crescendo towards the end of the track and make it a compelling listen, perhaps the best track on the album next to opener "Rat King".
While the group describe themselves as progressive doom, they restrain themselves from straying too far from the central core of a song, which, depending on what you want from your progressive music, is either a boon or a bust. Words Of Sin does have its moments where passages and songs ebb and flow, but they feel more like natural extensions of the track rather than adventurous meanderings from the individuals involved.
Words Of Sin is not the complete article, though few debut albums are, serving instead as a strong starting point that lends a group a head start up the learning curve. What the band could do better next time is in producing stronger moments that will stick in listeners' minds; for as much as I enjoyed the album, I can remember the outline of a track but not an individual element, such as a guitar line or vocal hook, to take away from the album.
The Abbey may not have been a band I ever expected to cross paths with, but it is one that was a fortunate encounter. I will plan to keep an eye on the band going forward and likely give Words Of Sin a fair few spins over the year.
||Written on 25.02.2023 by|
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