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Album Reviews : Abramelin – Transgressing the Afterlife (The Complete Recordings)

By on February 8, 2014

(The short review)

October 2013 saw Century Media release a three CD anthology of one of Australia’s premier Death Metal bands, the infamous Abramelin. Transgressing the Afterlife is a culmination of their entire recorded works spanning their 14 year career (1988-2002). This 46 track behemoth comprises their two studio albums, three ep’s, one demo and a shitload of rare live and rehearsal recordings.

Also included is a 30 page booklet consisting of an in depth interview with Simon Dower (vocals) and Tim Aldridge (guitars) by Andrew Haug. With rare photographs and album cover art as well as lyrics for Abramelin and Deadspeak. Whether your an old fan or new, this album is definitely a “must have” of anyone who likes classic Death Metal.

(The long review)

Transgressions from  Archeron  Ep (1994)
The opening track Human Abattoir begins with a perfectly chosen intro (the theme to John Carpenters The Thing). The suspense builds to a gruesome sounding climax giving way to muddy, down-tuned, old school Death Metal. The opening verse is catchy and grooves with the rest of the band and despite the “bongo” sounding snare this version is definitely my favourite. The slow paced Dearly Beloved is also a highlight and will appeal to fans of Obituary. The production is  pretty good for an Ep and the vibe of the vocals are captured well (something I think is lacking on the later recorded version of Humble Abode).

Promo ’92 (as Archeron ) Ep (1992)
The combination of a poor mix and better versions of Relish the Blood and Human Abattoir found on Transgressions From Archeron make this Ep easy to skip past. Malicious Genocide is the strongest of the tracks and its a shame it wasn’t given a makeover on a later recording.
Deprived of Afterlife 7″ (as Archeron) (1991)
Not including the intro of spooky, layered chanting this Ep has only two tracks, but yet again the Ep’s version of Deprived of Afterlife has a cool vibe that just wasn’t captured on the album. The solos are very Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel) sounding and its a little sloppy at times but still a great example of Abramelin‘s “heavy as fuck” style.

Eternal Suffering demo (as Archeron) (1990)
This demo is definitely unique in that the band sounds completely different than on any of their other recordings. Simon Dowers vocals are less guttural and sound a lot more like Altars of Madness era Morbid Angel or early Nihilist. The songs are more thrashy and the sound is rough (similar to Napalm Death‘s scum).

Abramelin (1995)
Abramelin‘s self-titled debut shows that after eight years and several line-up changes they’ve become tighter than a nuns (cough). Their signature sound of thick, down-tuned guitars has been perfected, and the technicality of the solos are noticeably better than any of their previous work. The production of the album is a lot sharper and apart from the drums sounding a bit shit from time to time the album as a whole is well received. The songs are mixed with different speeds and are a great example of Death Metal at it’s finest.  Abramelin don’t stray too far from the classic Death Metal blueprint and the fingerstyle acoustic with the kind of flamenco solo at the end of Stargazer (The Summoning) is an unexpected ending to an awesome song. Tim Aldridge’s talents of writing these little solo guitar pieces is displayed with the addition of two previously unheard instrumentals (Exothermia and Nycto Mortis). There’s also an interesting cover of Dead Can Dance‘s Cantara finishing the album (it’s a bit weird but defiantly worth a listen).

Simon Dowers lyrics are juicier than a cum-filled corpse, and a brief squiz at the lyric sheet would make even the most sick and depraved feel slightly uneased (or was it aroused?). At least that was the concern before their debut was banned from stores in Western Australia (and apparently other markets). His vocal delivery is a very raw, growling guttural bark (similar to Frank Mullen of Suffocation) to a somewhat Maniacal scream.

Deadspeak (2000)
Originally recorded back in 1998 and scrapped due to unforeseen circumstances. Deadspeak was released as a last ditch effort of Dower and Aldridge with the aid of a drum machine (programmed by Aldridge).The album has a slightly more polished sound than it’s predecessor, and the drum machine isn’t that noticeable (and no shit snare!). The lyrics are as sick as before but Dower variates his growl and scream a lot more to good effect. Aldridge’s riffs are catchy and the intro to Casualty quickly becomes a favourite. Germ Factory brings a touch of the technical side while Plague is another meld of crushing brutality and soft delicate guitars. All in all Deadspeak is a solid effort but falls just below the benchmark set by their first album.

Band: Abramelin
Album: Transgressing the Afterlife
Year: 2013
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Century Media
Origin: Melbourne, Australia

Track list:

CD1
1. Human Abattoir
2. Humble Abode
3. Dearly Beloved
4. Relish The Blood
5. Cannibal Apocalypse
6. Final Biopsy
7. Malicious Genocide
8. Relish The Blood
9. Human Abbatoir
10. Intro
11. Deprived Of Afterlife
12. Death Of Millions
13. Eternal Suffering
14. Morbid Love
15. Cold Blood
16. Penetrate The Hymen

CD2
1. Misfortune
2. Grave Ideals (Nekromaniak)
3. Spiritual Justice
4. Humble Abode
5. Stargazer (The Summoning)
6. Stargazing (Stargazer II)
7. Deprived Of Afterlife
8. Invocation
9. Cantara (Dead Can Dance cover)
10. Exothermia (instrumental)
11. Give And Take (rehearsal)
12. Stargazer (rehearsal)
13. Dearly Beloved (rehearsal)
14. Human Abattoir (rehearsal)
15. Final Biopsy (rehearsal)

CD3
1. Pleasures
2. Your Casualty
3. Waste
4. Bleeding Hearts
5. The Germ Factory
6. Flesh Furnace
7. Plague
8. Nycto Mortis (instrumental)
9. Misfortune (live)
10. Spiritual Justice (live)
11. Loves Me Not (Bleeding Hearts) (live)
12. Grave Ideals (Nekromaniak) (live)
13. The Germ Factory (live)
14. Humble Abode (live)
15. Human Abattoir (live)

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