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With bands like Xasthur, Leviathan, Crimson Moon, Draugar, and Lurker of Chalice, California has proven to be the number one spot in America for worthless black metal acts for a good while now. Well, Abyssmal Nocturne is not an exception to this current epidemic.
The production is a really weak attempt at getting that grim and epic atmosphere, but they just cannot do this because of the sound of the keyboard. One thing that hurts this album a whole lot is that even though the keyboards are rather low in the mix, they almost manage to hide the guitars, which are already abnormally quiet. The drums do not help. They sound in between a human drummer and programmed drums, and they are, like the other instruments, very weak and quiet.
Lyrics usually do not bother most fans. But, if a band is willing to publish it’s lyrics, then it becomes mandatory for them not to embarrass themselves in that department, but Abyssmal Nocturne do just that. Really no creativity or originality at all. The fact that the word “summon” shows up in the lyric book about 50 times doesn’t help.
I don’t know what it is with California. I’ll give it Ashdautas and Nosvrolok. Those bands actually have something to offer. But those bands mentioned above, along with Abyssmal Nocturne and others, all sound the same, have nothing to offer, and are just jumping at the chance to work the system that’s been set in place and make a quick buck at the expense of the current trendy US black metal scene. It’s all really sad what kind of reputation we have here, and it’s because of bands like this that give us the bad rap.
Pay no attention to the affiliation they have with other bands. Pay no attention to the album artwork or the album title, as tempting as it may be for the black metal fans on the trendy side. Pay no attention to the image. This is not good black metal and should be avoided.
Abyssmal Nocturne is one of the shining examples of how most black metal bands these days have no originality. There are a lot of Darkthrone copies roaming around the black metal underground, but at least a majority of them are trying. Abyssmal Nocturne might as well change their name to Crimson Moon. Everything about this album is a clone of Crimson Moon, even their official band picture bears an uncanny resemblance.
The typical structure of all of the songs on this album follow the exact same structure that Crimson Moon uses. The guitars come in with a mid-paced riff in every song. Several of the riffs resemble the riffs on Crimson Moon’s “To Embrace the Vampyric Blood.” The only difference is the bass. They either did not want to or weren’t talented enough to mimic Scorpios’ bass lines.
The most obvious aspect of unoriginality is the slow, melodic breaks in between the faster riffs. There was not a single moment in these parts where I didn’t hear a familiar riff. Even the vocals would cease to scream, and they would speak in a deep tone…much like Crimson Moon.
If you're a fan of the kind of black metal that Crimson Moon made, then by all means give this a listen. However, if you're looking for originality, don't bother.