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Absum > Purgatoire 2007-2009 > Reviews
Absum - Purgatoire 2007-2009

And what the hell is that on the cover? Ebola? - 18%

MutantClannfear, December 1st, 2014
Written based on this version: 2010, Cassette, Crep├║sculo Negro (Limited edition)

My introduction to this tape makes the fact that it sucks all the worse. I pay a Discogs seller $25 for a decent, relatively rare tape. A month passes and the tape never shows up. I let the seller know, and he's totally understanding, gives me the option to pick out another tape for free. Not wanting to be difficult or drop more money, I decide to blindly choose the only remaining item in his inventory which costs exactly $25: Absum's Purgatoire 2007-2009. While this is also a rare tape, I'd like to think that the reason this one is rare is because some humanitarian group has spent good money rounding all of these up and destroying them so that nobody ever has to hear them. This is bad.

I'm usually all over stuff associated with either of the two members of Rhinocervs, but I'm pretty certain I can officially count this as one of the exceptions. Absum play funeral doom, but only superficially rather than atmospherically - I guess you could say it's funeral doom that doesn't seem to understand what exactly it is that funeral doom is supposed to do. Tell me, reader, do you like bedroom funeral doom? Do you think that funeral doom is the kind of genre that lends itself well to production qualities that immediately bring to mind the homeliest of all recording studios? No, of course not, because you're not a complete idiot. Everybody knows this, everybody is in on the joke at this point. Except for Absum, who are making bedroom funeral doom.

This is quite possibly some of the noisiest funeral doom I've ever heard. It's not pleasant noise, either, and I say this as someone who digs pure harsh noise by itself every once in a while. No, the songs on Purgatoire 2007-2009 are noisy in that there is an unshifting cluster of mid-range junk noise which sits in the middle of the music and obscures a lot of what's going on. The production is a mess, too - I like to think that one of the goals of funeral doom should be creating vast, expansive atmospheres, and believe it or not, this is kind of hard to do when every single instrument track is smashed together in the middle of the mix like they're all huddling together for warmth. I mean, I know that early Crep├║sculo Negro tapes aren't known for their legendary fidelity and professional studio mixing, but this here is just kind of ridiculous. It borders on being literally painful to listen to.

Still, from what you can hear, it's pretty obvious that you're not missing out on an awful lot. Oftentimes the only particularly audible element of Absum's music is the mournful and howling lead guitars, typical of funeral doom, which basically play whole notes that ascend up and down typical funeral doom scales. Perhaps they'd be somewhat more potent if there were rhythm guitars with which they could audibly harmonize, but alas, anything vaguely resembling low end on this tape has mostly been converted to fuzzy static devoid of texture or nuance. A slow, simplistic, and muddy drum machine keeps the music in time with itself, and cavernous (if unremarkable) growls sometimes join in amidst the mess, but I don't feel like the tape is redeemed whatsoever by the mere presence of these bare necessities.

Funeral doom is supposed to be big, and when your mixing and guitar tone fail to provide the groundwork needed for that, there's no point in even focusing on songwriting - your airplane is doomed to explode the second it takes off. I haven't said a lot about this purely because it doesn't meet the benchmark of quality one would need to discuss its atmosphere, its pacing, its melodic progressions, or indeed anything else one comes to expect as a given when discussing funeral doom. The biggest bright side to this entire release is that the songs are all between four and six minutes long, which I would usually consider to be a downside for any respectable funeral doom band, but in Absum's case it just means that the torture is mercifully brief by genre standards. I'd tell you to avoid this, but thankfully it's obscure enough that it'll actually avoid you as long as you allow it to do so.