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I must confess to having ignored this talented Australian old school death band since 1997. They formed in 1994, have had many, many line up problems, and only ex-Destroyer 666 member Chris Volcano remains from the beginning. I picked up their split album with Mornaland, for the Mornaland half I must confess again, and found Abominator to be rather pedestrian, with all songs very similar. I remember all their subsequent releases but never bothered with them and probably would not have gotten this one either if it was not sent to me.
This band has been described as black death thrash and as Aussie war metal, in my opinion they are more of an 80’s death band, with the black metal influences minimal. The pace is full speed, guitar dominated chaos, and “the most brutal yet.” “Black Flames of Expulsion” and the final song, “The Ultimate Ordinance of Obliteration,” stand out from the rest slightly, though all songs are of similar quality. This is a fine release that plants Abominator squarely in the middle of the pack of their contemporaries and well worth possessing if you are a fan of the style. It was a nice change from what I usually listen to, but in all honesty, I have several much better brutal death albums I turn to when I need that fix.
Originally written for http://teethofthedivine.com
Back in 1994, I remember being at a Fear Factory warm-up gig in some over-crowded Melbourne car-park when a seriously inebriated metal heathen came rushing up to me and my mates, screaming ‘Abominator!! Abominator!!’ With further investigation, it turned out that said heathen was Chris Volcano and Abominator was going to be his new black/death metal act. Nine years later, Chris and his satanic war metal cronies are still with us – having signed a new deal with French label Osmose Productions, Nuctemeron Descent is album number three for the band.
Abominator have been through some hellish times since 1994 – the Barbarian War Worship Demo in 95 and gaining Damon Bloodstorm (from Bestial Warlust) on vocals for their 99 debut Damnations Prophecy which was released on the (then) mighty underground US label Necropolis records. Unfortunately, as the band was writing for the second album Subversives For Lucifer, Abominator left Necropolis and then to make matter just a little more dicey, Damon Bloodstorm left the band. Damon would perform session vocals for the album, but as for live gigs, they were left without a frontman. These problems were short-lived - Osmose Productions offered them a three album deal starting with the Subversives disc, and they then added Max Krieg on vokills and Valak Exhumer on bass. Australian tour support for Mayhem, Incantation and Nunslaughter established their standing in the extreme local underground even further.
Abominator is an extreme metal act punters. They are very well suited to the Osmose roster in the fact that they pursue that extremely violent warp speed war metal sound that so encapsulated the likes of Angel Corpse and Arkhon Infaustus etc. But therein lies the main problem with Abominator – a severe lack of originality and individualism in an overcrowded scene. There are a ton of other Aussie acts doing this same sort of thing and while Abominator have the extremity factor all sown up quite nicely in their sound, there is simply nothing else on ND that makes me believe they are any better than anyone else. As for some sort of impact they might make on the world stage, Abominator are no threat – sure, they are highly proficient at what they do, but in the end it’s all so derivative and generic.
ND is a ferocious war metal affair – a rather generous production does indeed raise the profile of this album a little, but musically there is a serious lack of ideas to be found throughout. ND is such a whirlwind of outright speed and blasting that all nine tracks basically blend into each other. Drop the needle (if you’ve got vinyl) anywhere on this and you’d be hard pressed to distinguish what you hear from any other moments on the album. Other than the title track and some speed metal style riffage on Hymn to Baphomet, I could detect no other variation in Abominator’s music. For me, that just doesn’t work. Angel Corpse were the masters of this intense War Metal shit – the ability to create a whirlwind of extremity and still be smart and interesting with their riffs were their main strength. Abominator has a ways to go in this respect.
Unfortunately for me, Abominator’s music doesn’t have any staying power. There is simply a lack of memorable songs on this. Sure, the whole thing rages like Satan on drugs from start to finish, but in the end, that alone isn’t good enough for this hack. As a result, I can only recommend ND for serious black/death/war metal fans that are easily pleased.
After emerging from the ashes of Australia's original war metal lunatics Bestial Warlust, Abominator has steadily been building up strength from the inception of their cult Barbarian War Worship demo, from a primal blast of pure speed much in the same style as BW, into the fire-breathing monstrosity which has now unleashed their third full-length assault of psychotic metal. After numerous lineup changes leaving drummer Chris Volcano as the only original member, this heathen war machine is now primed for complete global annihilation. Nuctemeron Descent takes the foundation of extreme speed and spiked-club brutality of Abominator's previous album Subversives For Lucifer and wraps it in a stellar production which provides much needed emphasis on the guitar riffs (something the previous album lacked) and gives the entire soundscape a slightly cleaner edge without sacrificing any primal rawness.
Overall, one can't help but be reminded of old Morbid Angel and Angel Corpse here. The blasting, ferocious drumming, snarled vocals, and classic old school death metal riffs pierced by the occasional tormented lead break all smack of both bands' ability to seamlessly merge sheer violence with thrashing power and a good dose of chaotic melody where needed.
Of the 9 songs on this disc, the most impressive have to be the completely unhinged "Necrosexual Thrust" (which is riddled with piercing high-end tremolo riffing amidst the downtuned mayhem), the steamrolling "Scourge Immortalised" and the final 7-minute battery of "The Ultimate Ordinance Of Obliteration". That said, there's not one weak moment here. Every track maintains the same standard of extreme speed and chaotic power... so much that the album becomes somewhat samey, but that's hardly a disadvantage. You'll never catch me complaining about repetition - on the contrary, I have a perverse fondness for albums that stick to the same formula the whole way through, rather than becoming bogged down in unnecessary experimentation or failed attempts at diversity. So, rather than worrying about such trivial matters, i'll just highly recommend this disc to anyone with a taste for well played, extremely fast blackened death metal. Horns up!