Though Swiss post-metal/atmosludge quintet Abraham spend a full two hours waxing poetic across four scenes depicting the end of all life on ‘Look, Here Comes the Dark!’, the listening experience feels more like an autobiography for the typically tumultuous human lives we struggle through in the present day. A full range of dark emotions only occasionally rest in fits of resignation as vocalist Renzo Especial shouts, growls and hurls himself through the rise and fall of each of the four main movements. Deconstructionist and made to sound even more modern with it’s length, post-apocalyptic concept, and adventurous atmospheric sludge sound this great undertaking succeeds despite the overall limited expressive range of it’s core stylistic influences.
Initially an anxious sludge-core group with some resemblance to Burst and ‘Kollapse’ era Breach, Abraham would find greater confidence within atmospheric sludge metal (see: Mouth of the Architect) style on their 2012 album ‘The Serpent, the Prophet & the Whore’. Each release since has chilled out on pace and reached for the greater dynamic tension of the greats of the genre a la Neurosis and Cult of Luna. Where they’ve differentiated from most bands in the cluttered genre is retaining their own Hopesfall-ish post-hardcore personality in tact, with varying results. I could venture a guess that some additional guidance from producer and ally Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna) as the overall approach hasn’t changed a great deal since ‘The Serpent, the Prophet & the Whore’ which he also oversaw.
Abraham have quite the heavy story to tell and in taking a full two hours to tell it they’ve explored more than they’ve impressed. As admirable as this extended four part post-apocalyptic series is it is too ambitiously long to do more than mystify and the majority of it is forgettable. The tribal lurch of it’s slow-moving bulk is only made entertaining thanks to some adept keyboard/synth work and ethereal vocal arrangements the gild transitions and introductions throughout. These moments were my favorite throughout and reminded me of similar work from Sanford Parker (Minsk, Nachtmystium) Otherwise the album is bloated with moderately interesting ideas that rely on a gorgeously full production to inspire at all. Though I love the atmosphere when it comes time to riff, jangle, or truly let loose it seems Abraham are working with a a talent for ‘builds’ but limited palette in terms of ‘release’.
‘Look, Here Comes the Dark!’ has such daunting length paired with it’s ambitious soundtrack-esque verve that it feels too much like a two hour date with someone who talks about themselves too much. Sure, I’m listening and trying to follow but it makes for better background noise than focused listening. This isn’t a bad thing and I think some particularly amazing music is created intentionally so. Greater density of ideas or meaningful movements would have kept me engaged but taken as it is I found Abraham‘s latest hard to follow and slightly less redeeming than expected. It actually sat on my iTunes from March until June and across many listens I ultimately couldn’t be entirely won over despite waiting for the right mood to strike. I doubt devotees of Isis and more recent Cult of Luna efforts will be disappointed, though I’d be surprised if it survived functionally in many collections beyond background music for getting stoned.
|Released||May 11, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Pelagic Records’ Bandcamp!||Follow Abraham on Facebook|
Atmospheric Sludge Metal,
Panic. Exhaustion. Purging. Desolation. 3.0/5.0
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