Abstracter - Tomb of Feathers (The Path Less Travelled Records)
By: David E. Gehlke
[8/10] Oakland, California. Home of the Raiders, A’s, and Neurosis, who for many, is the starting point when it comes to experimental, post-sludge metal. Blistering has lost count the number of times it has named-dropped Scott Kelly and company when referencing bands that bear any similarity whatsoever to the movements heard on Through Silver and Blood, but not so fast with Abstracter, who as expected, are from Oakland. (Machine Head are also from Oakland, but surely they’re the last reference point for Abstractor.)
Entirely self-funded and produced by the band (that alone deserves some major kudos), Tomb of Feathers is a three-song journey into the belly of monolithic metal beast. Simply by avoiding general crust metal conventions (i.e. lengthy soft instrumental bits, spare electronics, etc.), Abstracter are able to carve out their own sound across the album’s 43 minutes and change running time. It has the suitable girth and dynamics to bridge the gap between angular, but meaty riffs, and vocalist Mattia is capable of volleying between frothy throat yelps and a creepy, understated clean vocal angle that serves as “Ash’s” high point, along with a rumbling bass bit.
Fundamentally sound in terms of knowing when the exit from long riff cycles (see: “Walls that Breathe”), Abstracter have clearly done their homework when putting together Tomb of Feathers. They’ve not only eluded the sometimes good/sometimes bad Neuro-Isis tag, they’ve built the DIY foundation that independent labels crave, which should hopefully give these guys the push to get up to Neurot Recordings or Translation Loss. A definite find in the apocalyptical metal realm.
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