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A bit more effective than Abruptum's first demo, this one nevertheless remains somewhat pointless.
Continuing their attempts at combing the intensity of grindcore with the immersion of ambient music, Abruptum release a demo that actually does provide some tangible effect. The first is OK for the length of time it's playing, and does create a certain mood in that time, but doesn't leave one with any real impressions once it's over. Here, Abruptum improve their technique marginally, but still enough to rectify that issue with their music.
Key to this is a lowered emphasis on riffing; whereas riffs were everywhere in the first demo, despite being completely disconnected and thus causing a sense that they were hardly there at all, here they become far less common. This allows the ambient element of the music to become even stronger than before, while also allowing for more elements of noise to appear without becoming completely overpowering. Additionally, the riffs become more indiscernible; whether it's more reverb, a lower mix, or what have you, the end result is that the various notes and chords tend to merge into each other until they become a singular semi-hypnotic mess.
In strengthening their approach and narrowing their focus, Abruptum improves on their first release. In spite of that, the very nature of this music prevents from achieving anything more than being merely interesting. And that it is.
If we are going to call this music, I may force myself and say that it is low-tempo and extremely banal. But there is no need to exhaust myself to write a review of lies by trying to see this as music. If Hakansson had stuck the microphone up his ass and recorded Those Of the Unlight that way, believe me it still would have been better than this (and he would have had another positive aspect to replace All). The sound would have been better, the various stomach fluids would have sounded more creepy and his intestinal gurgling would have done a much better work than the vocalist here.
Abruptum is famous with putting everything related to Black Metal (the pose, the make-up, the music etc.) in a pile of cowshit and serving it as Evil Metal. Good appettite to you, I'll have some standard hamburger, please.
There is nothing evil about this. It is full of elements we see everyday in many extreme metal acts: growling, shitty production, absence of riffs and most of all plain idiotry. There is a constant drum rhythm (except the beginning of the last track), consisting of only bass drum kick and the snare hit and so fast (!) that absolutely a second passes between these two; and some meaningless guitar sound that isn't going everywhere like if it was not played but laid on the lap and tapped on at various spots. Sometimes the drum just quits the sound they make, where probably the drummer gets out to take a pee or smoke a cigarette. They fill this gap with guitar scratching and some uninteresting effects. When the drummer returns, the main torture is resumed.
If you record the sounds as you rape a child, torture your mother and slice somebody's cock and balls and release it as Evil Metal, everyone can say that you have a point, but Abruptum's supposed-to-be-existing material is only vomit. Believe my word and don't try to have a listen, or there will be not one monkey ass left in which you haven't been pushed in and pulled out in the whole wide world during the 18 minute playing time. And don't fear that people will accuse you of "lack of comprehension" because Abruptum clearly ain't a matter open to discussion on being "a supreme kind of creation that only the geniuses can perceive".
"Abruptum is the audial essence of pure black evil."
A slowed down, echoed, reverbed voice played backwards slowly dies away and leads into the explosion of bass signal distortion and loud echoed drums. So begins Abruptum's second demo and my favourite of their releases. It is very similar in production to Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me (lots of reverb, echoing and feedback on almost everything) and identical in instrumentation (a couple of guitars, a bass, a keyboard and a drummer). However, there is one main difference between demo era Abruptum and album era Abruptum: the vocals. There is only one vocalist, and instead of what appears to be random, painful screaming, as on following album releases, there is a low guttural Black/Death Metal style voice, grunting what appear to be lyrics, although they are completely indecipherable of course.
There is another slight difference, namely that of the guitars, yet I don't think that it is through deliberate design. Rather, it occurs because of the way the songs were conceived in the heads of It and All. The songs (I guess you could call them that, since this release is made of short two to five minute long tracks and not half hour torture sessions of spontaneity) are shorter and seem to have a template which It and All worked around instead of simply improvising everything. Because of this, the guitars, while still having sections of random noise, signal distortion and feedback, also have things that could be closely acquainted with riffs. This gives the demo a more focused sound, which I personally like better than the overlong improvisation of Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me and In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo, In Aeternum In Triumpho Tenebraum. Indeed, there were some good passages on those releases, yet at times they did outstay their welcome and get a bit boring.
The tinkling keyboards, featured in future releases, are there in the background. Occasionally being brought to the forefront, adding a malevolent, bizarre, ethereal feeling to the proceedings. There is also something that sounds like a trumpet or saxophone and some deep bell sound, similar to that of like a wind chime.
A popular misconception about Noise artists is that there is no skill involved and that they simply bang away on the drums, strum randomly a guitar or press the sound effect button marked "explosion" to create a complete cacophony and label this with some sort of emotion or atmosphere to justify the noise they've just released. This is completely misinformed. The mixing and writing of "riffs" (I use this word purely because I know of no better one) is key to create whatever emotion, feeling or atmosphere they desire to capture. On this and every other release Abruptum have recorded, they constantly alter the volume and the panning of the instruments and vocals e.g. when they want to create a feeling of total panic or fear they have a keyboard "riff" that will slowly work its way up through the oppressive guitar and slowly pounding drums to eventually smother them for a couple of seconds before the vocals, drumming and guitars eventually begin to get near the volume of the keyboards. The keyboards are then dragged down in the mix with everything else soon following suit to return to the "normal" volume of the demo. This leads into the next section of the song and repeats itself until the end of the song nears, whereupon the song either fades away or ends with an explosion crescendo of noise. This may sound fairly formulaic, yet all I am is describing here is the mixing. This can be repeated in an almost infinite number of ways with different music and can create something that is entirely unique and not likely to bore on each occasion.
I can't really recommend this release or offer any conclusion because different people will draw different feelings from the sound. On the other hand, I will say that if you like other earlier Abruptum releases and Black Noise in general, then you will probably like this. If not, it will probably be shit to your ears and not worth the somewhat considerable effort to find.