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This album is obviously not as raw as the very awesome "Rumpus of the Undead" demo, instead it's much more concise and dare I say "matured." I don't mean mature as a way of saying that Abhorer decided to start furiously masturbating to the uber-technical death metal albums that were being churned out or that they decided to mimic Coroner on "Grin," but the structure of the music was definitely better and provided some memorability to the chaos captured on "Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt."
While the song titles are all completely bombastic, the music itself is pretty simple. The riffs range from razor sharp death metal tremolo bursts that are incredibly fast (Although, a lot of that speed comes from the intense drumming) which is made apparent as soon as the intro track is over and "Concubinal Celibatic Myrmidonian Whores" shreds through the speakers, to crushing midpaced riffs that would bring down the Wall of China (Get it? Because they're from Asia) most specifically on the song "Dom Abaddoniel Abysstic Demonolatry." There's also some melodic sections, but they're downright evil and are guaranteed to leave goosebumps. "Hymeneal Altar of Messianic Salicitation" meshes together the sinister melody with Crucifier's morbid vocals flawlessly for a dark atmosphere that isn't unwelcome at all.
That is pretty much the whole story on "Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt," and aside from the one doomy riff in "Dom Abaddoniel Abysstic Demonolatry," most of the music here follows the same sound. This is definitely a standout album of the black/death genre, mainly due to it not being as extreme as bands like Bestial Warlust and Blasphemy, but just for being all around brilliant and adding to Asia's extreme metal scene.
"Concubinal Celibatic Mymidonian Whores"
"Phlegethonic Sybartical Demimonde"
"Dom abaddoniel Abysstic Demonolatry"
Originally written for Nightmare Reality Webzine.
Abhorer are a cult Singaporean black/death band who started in 1987. They finally got around to recording their legendary Rumpus of the Undead demo in 1989 and unleashed it upon the unsuspecting underground later that year. This groundbreaking demo explored territory they very few bands at this point had. Rumpus of the Undead displayed a mixture of black and death metal in a then unheard of manner that really took extremity to a whole new level.
It was not until five years later they released anything new (the split with Necrophile just contained their demo, not any new stuff). 1994’s Upheaval of Blasphemy 7” was a fantastic EP and shows how much the band had progressed since their excellent demo. The musicianship had gotten much tighter and the music had gotten more complex, but the same amount of fury and aggression seen on the demo was still there, just more refined and ultimately more effective. Then, two years later, they picked up where the EP had left off and released one of the greatest black/death metal albums of all time, Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt. This album is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, and from this point on, no albums has ever been able to top it, and I think a good amount of people would agree with that statement. Like the EP, Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt showed how much the band has progressed in terms of musicianship and song arrangements.
Over time, Abhorer had developed a more technical and death metal oriented sound, but still kept their savage black metal roots in check, creating an absolutely flawless permutation of the two. And when I say technical, I’m not talking Gorguts technical, I just mean less primitive then the preceding material. Part of this more developed and death newfound death metal sound really came out in the song structures, which were fairly complex and much more intricate. The change in the riffing came from the use of a lot of quickly flowing, individually picked notes. But instead of tuning down to where a lot of death metal bands would tune to, Abhorer utilized higher notes, giving these more complex riffs more a black metal feel. The drumming had also gotten significantly tighter and more complex, and altogether more fitting for this new sound. He does a good amount of blasting, using the bass/hi-hat/snare alternation whenever necessary, but this is not an all-out Bestial Warlust blastfest. He uses a variety of different rhythms for the tempo changes, which there are a lot of. One area of clear improvement is the use of double bass drums (that or he uses one bass drum with a double pedal). He has gotten much more precise then before, which ultimately makes the sections that call for it that much more effective and powerful. The vocals have, for the most part, stayed the same in terms of pitch and strength, which is good considering how possessed he sounds on the demo, but starting with the EP, the delivery had changed a bit, and for the better too. His new form of delivery is now much more versatile and rhythmic, and usually syncs up with the drums, changing from section to section. He can go from staccato growls for a fast part to a drawn out, longer growl for a slower section flawlessly, and always carries the same amount of power no matter what style is being used.
Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt is an impeccable black/death masterpiece, and is often considered as such by fans of this genre. It is unfortunate that this was Abhorer’s last recording, but they left off on a good note, and forever made their mark on the black/death metal scene.
It's completely bizarre how much this album is overlooked by so-called extreme Metal fans. Abhorer's full-length is nothing short of a Black Metal magnum opus, and for me personally, undeniably up there with other gems such as "The Oath of Black Blood", "Worship Him", "Fallen Angel of Doom", "Tol Cormpt Norz Norz Norz", "Wicca" etc.
The first thing that seized my attention were the song titles- Satanic and occult related BUT original, and far from racial pride, nature, politics and other such "cultivated" traits found in most of the supposed “Black” metal bands existing nowadays. There’s a divergent "Altars"-era Trey Azagthoth sense to the riffing, and the vox are reminiscent of Black Winds’. Add to that some insane deaththrash-blasts (which could've been a little louder in the mix) and we have a fucking ESSENTIAL CULT piece of Black Metal history.
Buy... and Invoke Nana Sahib…