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Coming just a few months after The Sign of the Pentagram, Severe Abomination is the band's final release as Treblinka. One might expect this material to sound quite close to the songs presented on Sumerian Cry, but this is actually much harsher. Released in July 1989, this 7" E.P. offers another wicked dose of old school black metal. With two demos under their belts, it is interesting to see which songs were chosen to represent this once-unholy cult.
Musically, the title track takes things to a whole new level of viciousness. The guitars seem to possess a sharper sound, cutting through you like a fresh razor. Even Hellslaughter's vocals come across as more venomous and threatening. Both songs exhibit a good deal of variety in tempo, though there are a lot of fast-paced riffs. The lead solos are characterized by a haunting, almost serpentine quality, while the overall onslaught leaves the listener in a weakened state. This is very hideous and pretty far removed from the more melodic black metal compositions that would arise a few years later. The production is completely horrid and underground. The primitive sound matches the barbaric musical approach, and everything comes together to create something truly ugly and violent. The sound is much more treble-oriented, rather than the more bass-heavy sound of the demos. It may seem odd that "Earwigs In Your Veins" was the second song chosen to round out this E.P. The title track from Crawling in Vomits would have seemed like a more obvious choice, for example.
It is a shame that this band did not continue on playing black metal, as it suited them much more. Unfortunately, many in the Swedish underground were turning toward death metal during the late '80s. At any rate, any fan of Treblinka or early Tiamat should seek out Severe Abomination, in whatever manner possible.
Written for http://ritesoftheblackmoon.tripod.com
Nine and a half minutes? How much can you really get done? Tiamat's predecessor Treblinka's only non-demo release Severe Abominations is examined in absurd detail:
Nine and a half minutes of old school black/ death metal bliss and near-epitome. Throaty growls from a man who would later take to wearing eyeliner and singing about how we should all "vote for love", razoring tight riffs and the only kind of solo appropriate for this type of thing - meandering, directionless, rapid and fairly extraneous while still being thoroughly enjoyable. The drums are cacophonous with loads of bass and hissing snare, and like everything else mixed to perfection - admirable clarity here.
'Earwigs in Your Veins' (what a song title) starts with groovy, bending riffs before spilling into the rattling verse with its fiery riffs and guttural, cigarette-scoured vocals. The tempo changes and sheer amount of inspiration in this 3:44 song is awesome; the evil tread of the mid-section blows up into a Mustaine-like guitar solo that scatters notes every which way. The ominous thunder of Tiamat's early days and songs like 'Ancient Entity' was only glimpsed at by this EP, which has a less thick guitar tone and all-round faster pacing.
The second track is by far the best with its explosions into machine-gun death metal with guitars that sound like a swarm of bees. After the spooky distorted rambling that ends 'Earwigs', a lead-in and opening break very much like Grave sees cocky guitar riffs over rumbling, rolling drums and eventually the explosion into death metal riffing that Nirvana 2002 would adopt with such class later on. The chorus is oddly catchy, definitely hummable with a refrain that sounds like something Sabbat might have done a few years later.
An essential find for those who love Tiamat's early, early days and want to trace even further back, as well as lovers of old school death metal and black metal in general, and also for people who just don't really like having albums with any colour on the cover. These days of Treblinka/ Tiamat are pretty much gone, unless you want to sacrifice some quality and listen to Mr. Death. Johan Edlund didn't even show for the release of that lovely Swedish Death Metal book, the miserable bastard!