Abjection Ritual – Soul of Ruin, Body of Filth (Industrial of Blah)

 

This is one of those releases I give multiple listens to, because once or even thrice is simply not enough. Not because I'm so below it, I simply need to allow my mind time to decide whether or not it deserves 'canon' status. Answer: this does not. Usually when I start like that it means a fire is a' comin', but in this case I was rather dejected it had to be so, so I'm going to turn my angst into thanks. I get so few releases like this that even deserve more than a sample listen, so on that alone I'm going to like something about it. At first I even convinced myself I should release it on cassette, because this album kills if you're not used to death industrial, or, like me, if it's been months since you've heard any that was any good, though I had to ask do we need to have Jef Whitehead doing every goddamn cover for anything that's so dark? I'll let it go, for now, because that flaming face angel thing is cool. And Pennsylvania's Abjection Ritual does the genre a favor, mostly, but it's very easy to explain why this album is lacking. So easy I know I've said it before, somewhere, but you probably don't remember anyway. I know I don't. Malignant Records is behind this current release, and that guy's rusted my brain more than once, so I was excited to say hello again, though this is not a nice hello, it's rather empty.

  

Soul of Ruin, Body of Filth is Abjection Ritual's latest work, and clearly the best if you listen to previous work. It has that self-loathing and disgust for humanity that makes this genre succeed, but with an important structural element to note that leads into my primary complaint. It opens with delicate chanting, and the next track rises from this and builds, then cuts abruptly, leaving the rest of the work as separate tracks. Separate tracks is not unusual, of course, but breaks what could have been a remarkable evolution in sound. Perhaps it was my vast experience with this kind of music, but when I felt the transition from the first to the second track, I was expecting this to be the overall direction as some grand, thematic masterpiece of tetanus metal. It sure felt like that the first time around, or I wasn't listening carefully enough, for I found when I focused that Abjection Ritual falls into the usual grind and smash without a clear plan. Some songs, therefore, are much stronger than others with moments where all the elements meld together perfectly, such as "Body of Filth" at the 2:23 mark until the end; slathering, wasted bass, subdued drums plodding over bones, and then an overlayed, modulating flutter of noise. Great. Unfortunately this is but one moment out of otherwise typical development. Further, this album is extremely strong on the front end. By the final tracks it's gasping for air from overexertion, except it didn't exert itself as much it thinks it did. Abjection Ritual is great, I could dig practically any band like this because I get so few submissions of this type and even fewer that have some substance to them, which this does, but this kind of music absolutely needs more purpose to really terrify. I've heard enough of the creep samples, random static, sludge passages, wails, moans, and whatever else they're getting out of twisting knobs and tap dancing on pedals. Give me an opus.

 

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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Abjection Ritual – Soul of Ruin, Body of Filth
Malignant Records
3.9 / 5