DESECRESY – Unveil in the Abyss (2022)REVIEW

The abysmal wheel continues to turn, ever aiming downward with its slow crush upon the fading horizons available to devolving mankind. Sapped of resources and more mentally deranged with each forced-alive generation, their bones offer less and less resistance to the wheel’s mushing of feigned fortitudes, making a mealy crusted mash of skulls ‘ready filled with internalized rot upon birth. The abyss does not gaze back, a clear sign that you are made of nothing and that the only redemptive meditation available to the doomed is the mind-flaying hadean grinding of Finnish death metal solo act Desecresy and their seven pillar’d conquer of transcendental signature and die-hard station in an unwelcomed sea of primitive, prawn-like skittering fools. ‘Unveil in the Abyss‘ delivers exactly what the discerning ear foams at its ridges for with humbling fervor, a return to the indefatigable hollowness of the artist’s vision, a peering beyond the edge of unknowable depths unto the skeletal-crowned visage of deified death. The realization sinks in slow as the wheel closes in, that our feigned purpose and the living curse of sentience was little more than senselessly churning matter — Stare upon death, eye to eye, and come to terms with doom.

Since I’d gone into some depth of discography and comparison in reviews for the last two releases, the major summary is essentially that Finnish musician Tommi Grönqvist‘s post-Slugathor tribute to Finnish death metal (and 90’s death metal in general) quickly mutated into its own beast beyond their formation in 2010. A monstrosity that cannot be lumped into ‘old school’ retro trendiness or any sort of dumbed down fare — His work developed its own voice, a niche carved of subterranean cragginess lit by severely claustrophobic atmosphere in musing upon the cold void of death. Beyond 2015’s ‘Stoic Death‘ Grönqvist has been the sole credit for all elements of Desecresy including instrumentation, vocals, lyrics, sound engineering, artwork, layout design and this isn’t stated on my part for the sake of being impressed, though I am, but to emphasize the uncanny consistency of theme and voice upheld by the project as it has developed over the course of seven full-lengths. Though it felt like a major lean into the lo-fi aspect of their chasmic sound at the time the transition into ‘The Mortal Horizon‘ (2017) only becomes a more profound point of development for Desecresy as grinding his guitar work unto a more downtuned angle and incorporating more variation in tempo changes and time signature modulation opened up possibilities to chaos, brutality, and eerie harmonization. This might’ve been somewhat outshined by the somewhat different range exercised on that vocal debut and the (again) lo-fi production values yet hindsight allows that record to shin as a moment of singularity for the project.

There are few death metal bands as distinct and honestly set to tape as Desecresy are today and well, the requisite mentions of Demigod, Bolt Thrower, Rottrevore, and Abhorrence (Finland) are still the clearest way to communicate the greater realm built here in conjuring the sonic skeleton of Grönqvist‘s ideal form, which I’d say is equally loved as favorite groups like Krypts and Dead Congregation on my part. It’ll be hard to find anything particularly new to say about ‘Unveil in the Abyss‘ that I’d not already stated in review of their 2019 record ‘Towards Nebulae‘ beyond some obscure and/or nuanced details, some tuning of the instrumental render and comments on pacing. They are two very different albums produced within a vacuum of the artists own creation and without some precedence provided by the artist’s work from 1999 through 2019 it will of course read in direct succession with the rest of his greater discography, that’d likely be the point as the artist emphasizes consistency whenever addressing the subject of his work. The one major note to make on my part is that the previous album focused on some appreciably vexing dual-guitar interplay, using various delayed harmonization techniques and perhaps even a few contrapuntal rhythmic motions to create a thick atmospheric sense of chaotic action, anxietous and cold works set within a sort of cosmic horror headspace. By contrast this follow-up eases the technical whirring of the machine and provides some natural space for the wiles of the lead guitars to direct its flow, emphasizing sinister grooves and create staring-at-the-wall worthy headiness that is uncluttered and comparatively clean in its final mastered state.

Riffs still drive the experience and the brutally dank aura of the Desecresy experience is fully intact as an underground death metal fixture but it is worth suggesting that this is perhaps the most keen entry point for folks who’d petulantly used homespun production values as a reason to ignore past works. Opener “Rivers of the Nether Realm” is particularly schooling in the realm of the riff, reinforcing this idea that where Bolt Thrower dropped off Grönqvist ground in with his own Finndeath grit, an argument I’ve long lobbed in praise of this artists work. This is not the only dimensional affect of his guitar work, as we see extreme doom metal influenced pace modulation arisen as another shade of the project’s effective signature in “Echo Beyond Time”, odd-timed lunges and 90’s Incantation-deep vocal hurling makes it hard to zone out or pull away from the ever-active spectacle of this entirely representative piece, a sort of yanking open of the arsenal door for what Desecresy does best. Each piece beyond hits with some considerable heft when studied or simply enjoyed and arguably more often than some previous works, I’d venture a guess that these songs were selected from quite a few demoed pieces and could easily run track-by-track in praise of their finer details. “Cult of Troglodytes” bores into the mind with is riff-hugging melody and matures upon repeat listens, “Staring of the Infinity” builds itself around a doom metal influenced riff which ripens as it is harmonized and dissolved… and that is only the first half or so of the experience.

A strong sense of déjà vu is unavoidable from an objective point of view unless the value of a musician’s wheeling through the myriad possibilities provided by their long-developed signature can potentially outweigh familiar transport of the listener. I found ‘Unveil in the Abyss‘ avoided the feeling of an already over-treaded realm by presenting a ~40 minute record without any jarring breaks in form or straying from the brilliant tunnel vision of Desecresy‘s gig, the motion of the full listen is unconditionally immersive and plays incredibly well on repeat. The second half of the album uses “Staring of the Infinity” as its hinge point into an exploration of greater contrast between distant-set atmosphere and brutal, doomed songs which (again) emphasize a sort of melodic yet groove-bound sense of movement best exemplified on “Cataclysmic Phenomena”, one of the longest pieces we’ve gotten from Grönqvist since the conclusion of the still-underrated ‘The Doom Skeptron‘ (2013) and perhaps the best argument for the fellow trying out more long-form pieces despite the well-represented strength of his economic approach otherwise. The slow-rolling machine gunned edge of those earlier releases hasn’t returned to its rigidity here but it is worth noting that there are still threads of the original conception still running strong within Desecresy‘s work, honed and off on its own tangent since but yet reinforced by a willfully upheld vision.

There isn’t a bad release under the Desecresy name, the fellow had earned me as a die-hard fan pretty early on despite the seemingly rough textural transition in passage to solo project status. The fact that ‘Unveil in the Abyss‘ doesn’t register as just another run through the ole chasm has been surprising, not only because it’d been a few years between and with little extreme change served, but for the sake of this record being more professionally balanced, easily read in terms of render. Though it was the music itself that’d gotten me on board and familiarity the shove I’d needed it remains to be said (or, restated) that this is a band who’ve gone so far into their own realm that they’ve become somewhat untouchably unique within their angle upon familiar ‘old school’ death metal forms. Even if we never get anything vastly different from this seventh iteration of said form, the experience is still worth championing over and over again. A very high recommendation.

Very high recommendation. (95/100)

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Unveil in the Abyss
LABEL(S):Xtreem Music
RELEASE DATE:April 19th, 2022

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