Abstracter: Tomb of Feathers

This is a really cool album title, but unfortunately Tomb of Feathers is only an almost cool album.  That sounds a lot more harsh than it actually was to us, so please, continue to read.  Don’t stop now, it is your destiny.  Abstracter is a progressive black metal band from out of California.  With all of this ‘post’ being thrown around, it’s good to hear some of the old ‘prog’ instead, which largely is the same thing but not as bearded-hip.  Lose the beards, please, or at least that’s what the really cool people say, and prefer saving their ‘post’ for discussions on cereal.  It thus would have been awesome if this was a really cool album, but unfortunately it is really only an almost cool album, so let us reiterate right there.  Abstracter has the mindset to create the perfect darkness, that bleak emptiness we all enjoy with enough extra elements to draw in a wider following.  But still, to get where they want to go there’s an element of fine-tuning that needs to be considered before the end is achieved because recording in analog does not equal greatness, though it’s still a great idea.  The awesome, Francis Bacon-styled artwork is the musical step they need to make, but currently, in Tomb of Feathers, it’s a bit of a limp.


That being said, please, don’t take offense anyone out there, and most of all the band.  Because the first two tracks of Tomb of Feathers tear the shit out of it all.  “Walls that Breathe” and “To Vomit Crows” have some absolutely killer riff action brought out of experimentation and sludge psychedelia.  Dark, bleak, with just the right amount of harsh, lo-fi grain the best of the underground requires to keep the bearded-hip at bay.  To Hell with beards, this is a real man’s black metal.  Abstracter use a fine mix of styles in the first two selections with elements of crust, hardcore, all that grimy stuff.  Recordings of thunder and lighting opens it up, and then it slowly bleeds into atmospheric bass sludge with clean-tone, echoed calls leading into heavy grinding with roars.  The roars could use a bit more beef, but regardless, Abstracter’s command of more than one genre and their seamless shifts are quite evident.  And when they go beast, they go best.  The bass and guitars catch perfect groove in the first two tracks, tearing at the right moments, and catching memorable lines among the incredibly dense, psychedelic fuzz that makes up a good portion of Tomb of Feathers.  It’s all over you, all the time, and you don’t regret a second of it.


And then the last song.  “Ash” is fitting, because this needs put into an urn and placed into a vault no one will ever visit, or quickly blown into the wind.  It’s amazing said track was even recorded using the same equipment, because it sounds like the grit of the previous two is gone, and especially the bass, it may even be possible it was recorded when they were tired of playing but should have taken a damn break.  Again, no offense intended here, but it seems the potential of failure was made too easy, because one slip in overall groove and it was all going to go.  And sadly, it basically does.  “Ash” carries an incredibly infantile main guitar line that sounds like the worst of garage stoner written by 12-year-olds.  How in the Hell this got in here is confusing, because Abstracter have clear skill, the major beast riff in the second track just destroys, but this, how did this even make it by anyone else’s attention?  Is it merely a matter of our opinion and this prepubescent riff striking some sort of forgotten memory our mind refuses to vomit forth, merely content with irritating us without its pure presence?  It’s tough to say, it could just be us, but even if it is, there’s no doubt Tomb of Feathers rests entirely on the first two tracks.  The third has very little redeemable about it, but luckily the rest is well worth a listen and probably a purchase, and it more than proves that if this is just the debut we can expect much more later.  They’re finishing a new one soon, and we’ll definitely expect it to be much better, we kind of have that intuition.


Abstracter Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Abstracter: Tomb of Feathers
The Path Less Traveled Records (CD Version)
3.5 / 5