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Roaring thunder from down under - 80%

RedRiverFox, March 19th, 2012

The Australians have always managed to put interesting spins on already existing heavy metal genres, perhaps some of the best examples include Disembowelment's "Transcend the Peripheral" which made everyone stop and rethink how the genre of death/doom could possibly be done. Not sure exactly what was going on down there during the 1990's, but that band was not alone in finding ways to tinker with an established formula for extreme music.

Enter stage left, Abramelin. Named after the Egyptian mage who appeared in a book by the same name (this was back when bands didn't need complex names, they just picked something that sounded pretty cool,) these Aussies laid forth a chunk of brutal death metal in 1995. Around that time, the established sound of the Florida scene and even in other areas such as Sweden had begun to morph into something else as bands attempted to prevent stagnation. One such new avenue of creativity was to simply get heavier, louder, and more punishing, and by those standards Abramelin's self-titled debut delivers on every level.

Don't get me wrong, this is not an album that is easy to like early on, as goes with alot of recordings of its kind. The compositions have a tendency to go in unorthodox directions at times, a little unncessary drumming here or maybe some unexpected twist there. Parts of this album can be downright ugly, thus making it even harder for the average fan to absorb. This all said, songs like "Spiritual Justice" and "Misfortune" deliver the goods with straight forward pummeling that is akin to have brain surgery performed on you with a jackhammer and no anathesia. Elsewhere, the band shows a bit of ambition, such as the two "Stargazer" songs, but even then this rarely leaves the realm of unapologetic brutal death.

Sadly for these guys, it would be the only album of theirs that got much attention at all, and even then it wasn't much. They only released one album after this, the inferior "Deadspeak" before collapsing sometime in 2002 or so, never to be heard from again. Some members formed The Beserker, a band I've never been particularly fond of. So, as it stands, Abramelin gave us one album to revel in, even its hardly an easy listen the first couple of times through.