Abyssic – High the Memory

Band: Abyssic
Title: High the Memory
Label: Osmose Productions
Release date: 22 February 2019
Country: Norway
Format reviewed: Digital Mp3

ABYSSIC is labeled as: “Orchestral Doom Death” with black and prog influences. “High the Memory” is their second album following their 2016 debut “A Winter`s Tale”. However, the band has traced back to 1997 when they released a 2-track demo under the name ABYSSIC DREAMS, members at the time where Memnock (SUSPERIA, SEVEN SINS, OLD MAN`S CHILD) and Athera (SUSPERIA, BORKNAGAR, CHROME DIVISION). The band was in hibernation until Memnock decided to resurrect the band in 2012 and changing the name to ABYSSIC. Athera was not part of the band when it resurfaced, and there has been more changes in the line-up since A Winter`s Tale. The band is now:

          – Memnock (founder and vocalist, contrabass)
          – Elvorn (guitars, SUSPERIA, SEVEN SINS, VANAHEIM)
          – Andre Aaslie (Keys, Orchestration)
          – Makhashanah (Bass, Additional Vocals)
          – Tjodalv (Drums, DIMMU BORGIR, SUSPERIA, GROMTH)

“High the Memory” is 80! minutes of doom death divided into no more than 5 tracks. That gives plenty of time to paint with a broad-brush adding layer after layer. And they do, using rather unconventional instrumentation, adding Mellotron, Minimoog and Upright Bass to the core of drums, guitars, bass and of course keyboard. My first introduction to this band was a unique experience at the now defunct Blastfest festival in 2016. The hypnotic show did impress the audience, and after the surprise had faded, I saw them again 6 months later and they made another epic impression on me. Since then “A Winter`s Tale” has gotten a lot of spins, and anticipation was great upon this release. Being that ABBYSIC is such a great live band and is consisting of such amazing musicians, does this album do justice to their “short” legacy? Not quite. It is an impressive album, but 5 tracks that for the most part is around 15 – 20 minutes makes it challenging for the listener to keep the attention at a high level. I am not the one to say that it should have been shorter when I`m in the right “Doom” mood, I play this from start to finish without missing a beat. But when I`m not quite in that mood I play the 3rd track “Transition Consent”, 12,5 minutes of their Orchestral Doom Death where it just all fall into place in a shorter (in ABYSSIC terms) song. If one is eager to go the full-on version of ABYSSIC, the 4th track “Where My Pain” Lies is my favorite, 20+ minutes of glorious Doom. That being said, I do think this album deserves to be played in full, Memnock`s vocals set them apart from the rest of the scene, and the drumming of the legendary Tjodalv is as always intriguing to experience. The massive sound and perfect production give every instrument place and time to shine. In conclusion, I can`t pin down anything wrong with this album, it just misses that one part that you just can’t put your finger on, that makes it perfect. 8/10 Harald

 

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8/10 To Greatness and Glory
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