Published Jun 19, 2019To call Abyssal's return to the world unorthodox would be a gross understatement. Drawing on unnatural wells of inspiration, A Beacon in the Husk feels like a fleshed-out magnum opus of dismal chaos contained within the guise of a single album.
That the album is divided into three main parts further legitimizes a feeling of narrative progression. Each part (in turn made up of several tracks) feels distinct, with "I - Recollection" being a straight-up funeral doom monolith, the more enticing having been preceded by the immediate and crushing opener, "Dialogue." "II - Discernment" consisting of three tracks, explodes out of the desolation of its predecessor, a barbaric vomiting of death metal as savage as it is weird.
Abyssal's down-tuned instruments, along with haunting vocal rumblings, are comparable to Portal's Vexovoid in sounding submerged in tar. The band continuously shirk all expectation by interspersing moments of intense speed and technicality with the surprisingly simple, yet superbly powerful, most notably in the drum performance.
"II - Discernment" and "III - Descent" are less overtly different from each other, and could be grouped together musically, but that doesn't take anything away from the merit each track possesses. Abyssal work with a dual-pronged attack of heaviness and atmosphere, and rarely does one give way to the other.
Like counterparts Tchornobog or Mitochondrion, Abyssal exhibit some of the best features of modern death metal in all its bizarre glory. Boundaries do not exist, and the only limits are illusory. In this way, A Beacon in the Husk is surely not an easy listen, and demands time and attention to properly excavate the many waiting layers. (Profound Lore)