Loads of bands that I follow or followed start out pretty heavy and during their career start to get (a bit more) mellow. Sometimes this evolution is only marginal, sometimes a band is almost unrecognisable after a few albums. Abstracter evolved as well over the course of their albums. Instead of mellowing down their sound, they have evolved in another direction. Things have gotten harsher over time.
Cinereous Incarnate is their third full length. On their debut Tomb Of Feathers and their second album Wound Empire Abstracter played roughly with the same influences as on Cinereous Incarnate: doom, sludge, death metal and black metal. To my ears the doom and sludge influences were in the lead on those first two albums. I liked them enough to follow the band, but I really only played them when I was looking for sludgy music that wasn't too harsh. In 2016 Abstracter released a split album with Dark Circles. I clearly remember listening to that split for the first time. Abstracter added a load of black - and death metal influences. The whole atmosphere of the music was changed to something really punishing. Partly because the added power in the vocals. Either they got a new singer (they didn't) or the guy ate some barb-wire. Instead of relaxed growl I heard a guy who regurgitates his brontosaurus steak, and what a difference this makes! But not only the vocals changed. Music-wise everything was darker and there was room for something that comes close to a black metal sound. I love that split record and was really hoping that Abstracter would not limit themselves to a one time experiment with a heavier sound. Fortunately for me, they didn't. In fact, it seems they upped the ante!
Cinereous Incarnate finds Abstracter playing music that is taking cues from black metal. These blackened influences are mainly to be found in the atmosphere of the album. That atmosphere can only be described as bleak, harsh and suffocating. Put this record on and the light seems to be a bit dimmer, everything is bleaker than it was a moment ago. And yes, that is a very positive description in my book.
There are four real songs on the album (plus two short, ambient interludes). This leaves the songs enough space to breathe and develop. Which they do. You never feel you are listening to ten minute songs. These songs twist and turn; the tempo changes from blast beats to slow, doomy and sludgy. This keeps everything interesting throughout the duration of the record.
Abstracter is at the top of their game on Cinereous Incarnate. This album is bound to end up high on my year list. I could ramble on and on about it. Instead, let me urge you to check it out as well!
9.0 / 10
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