Review
Abel is Dying
Gazing from the Abyss

Still Life (2006) Kevin Fitzpatrick

Abel is Dying – Gazing from the Abyss cover artwork
Abel is Dying – Gazing from the Abyss — Still Life, 2006

Lasagna. Pizza. Mario Bava. This is what I think of when I think of Italy. Oh, and the mafia. No wait - that's when I think of New Jersey.

We all have our little preconceived notions of regions or countries when it comes to music. Sure, there's hardcore to be found all over the world, but good hardcore? By now you're tired of this refrain, but good hardcore is hard to find. Milan's Abel is Dying is damn good hardcore. And Gazing from the Abyss is proof positive.

While only clocking in at around twenty minutes give or take - these paisans deal in quality, not quantity. Right out of the gate, Abel is Dying grabs you by the throat and doesn't let up for a second. I've never in my life used this phrase, but Abel Is Dying sound young and hungry. And with so much banality out there from bands that sound completely apathetic to the music they're making, it's nice to hear music that lets you know from the get-go that they're not fucking around. Oddly, the promo materials describe them as a breakdown-heavy, melodic death metal band, which isn't really accurate at all. Hardcore has become a blanket description and generic term for what's become a generic sound but these guys are the real deal. Note to band: don't gussy up your promos with stuff that doesn't apply. You're better than that. Embrace your sound. Own it.

I know dual vocals have become all the rage with the kids these days, but not everyone can pull it off. Here, Tommaso Pasi and Paolo Privitera belt it out with vicious conviction that can be a bit sloppy at times, but winds up all being part of the charm. Looking at the tour dates on the band's page, it would appear that Abel is Dying rarely, if ever leaves the confines of their homeland borders. This is criminal. Still Life Records and promoters from far and wide should get these guys on a decent bill and work the road as much as possible. More people in the English-speaking world need to know there's life beyond the Warped Tour and Sounds of the Underground. The group has taken a page from many well-known peers that frequent these tours, but thankfully manage to strip it down and not sound too derivative. Yes, Gazing from the Abyss is short, but it's also very, very sweet; it's unabashed rawness that's dirty to the -core.

Abel is Dying – Gazing from the Abyss cover artwork
Abel is Dying – Gazing from the Abyss — Still Life, 2006

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