Abstracter - Tomb of Feathers - (9/10)
Published on December 28, 2014
Finding their beginning in 2010 as a noise duo with no intent on playing live or recording material, Oakland, Califonia’s Abstracter merged and morphed into a blackened, doomy, sludge-laden, crust amalgamation. The band’s debut full length album, Tomb of Feathers, is gloomy, dystopian and dark, with waves of heavy riffs and punishing percussion amid a wall of extremely thick bass. Featuring only three tracks and nearly a forty minute run time, the songs are long yet crafted with a mature expertise that wouldn’t be expected from such a young band.
Each track on Tomb of Feathers is well over the ten minute mark, but rather than the aimless wandering of most long players, Abstracter crafts their tracks into a constant flow, covering each of the previously mentioned styles. “Walls That Breathe” features a pacing ebb and flow of slow paced sludginess with clean vocals and chaotic, thick riffing with frenetic screams. “To Vomit Crows” runs the gamut from tribal drumming and breathy chants into heavy, crusty riffing back by a solid double kick into a slowly climbing chord progression that peaks with a pummeling cascade of weighty power chords and screams. The closing track, “Ash”, which clocks in at over sixteen minutes, moves through similar elements, as the entire track is a slow building trek. Featuring prominent chord progressions hinting at some type of grandiose culmination, Abstracter don’t bring you to the peak until around thirteen minutes in, when the crusty yet melodic riffs just explode, riding out until the end of the album.
It’s pretty much a cop out, but this is one of those albums that must be heard to fully grasp. It’s complex and primal, brazen yet coy and extremely heavy despite its moments of quietude. Tomb of Feathers defies genre labeling, being one of those releases that touches a little bit of everything, yet never allowing itself to settle on something for very long. Despite the constantly changing tempo and alternating focus, this is an extremely succinct effort that has the ability to draw the listener in, refusing to let go until the last notes subside. Tomb of Feathers may be crusty, melodic, sludgy and doomy, but by touching all of these and refusing to fully commit to a single one, it oozes a life of its own. Recommended to fans of Nux Vomica, Agrimonia and Downfall of Gaia.