Q: Where are ABYSMAL TORMENT from?
A: They’re from Malta.
Q: Where the fuck is Malta?
A: It’s a Mediterranean island, due south of Italy.
Q: Which style of Metal do they play?
A: Brutal Death with some Grind.
Q: They released the “Incised Wound Suicide EP” back in 2004 and then reissued it in 2005. What’s their latest called? It’s a full-length, right?
A: Yeah, it’s a full-length. It’s called “Epoch Of Methodic Carnage,” and it’s a little over 41 minutes time-wise.
Q: Is it any good?
A: Oh for sure! A lot of the Brutal Death Metal I’ve listened to over the years – or, let me rephrase that, had to listen to – has been boring. Much of it is monotonous in the sense that a commonplace album will have 10 tracks in which the tempo is the exact same all the time and the band are given 40 or 50 minutes to belt out songs that are just way too long for their own good.
Q: How are ABYSMAL TORMENT any different?
A: They aren’t afraid to explore their options. Not only does the tempo vary, but the guitar riffs are meaty and upfront, the drum fills are refreshing because Vella doesn’t simply blast the whole time or clutch one certain rhythm and there’s well over a ton of grooves on the disc. For instance, one might think the title track is over by the 3:45 minute mark. However, following a brief soundclip, “Epoch Of Method Carnage” is resurrected by the sheer power and force of an excellent instrumental section.
Q: What about the vocals and production?
A: I guess you know what comes with Brutal Death territory. The vocals are unintelligible, as usual and the production could use some fine-tuning. I think the snare drum’s tone is too high and the kick drums resonate less than they should. All in all, though, the production values suffice for the style, plus I’ve run across 380293 albums that have worse production than this.
Q: Anything else you’d like to mention?
A: Yeah, the liberal use of guitar squeals in songs like “Lurid Iniquity” and others are refreshing. I like hearing a Brutal Death group shy away from the low-end side occasionally and ABYSMAL TORMENT’s ingenuity is what makes them fun to listen to. The cymbal work is nice. If anything, I think Vella would be capable of playing Tech Death, too, with minimal hang-ups. The soundclip at the very end of “Gratification Through Castration” is priceless. Do you want me to keep going?
Q: No, that’s okay. What should readers of "The Metal Observer" do now?
A: Give these dudes a chance, especially if this brand of Death Metal is your thang. (Online June 8, 2006)