The formation of ABATTOIR began in 2008 and by 2010 had their full line up. With a unique sound and full cast, the construction of a recording studio was built in Kyle’s (one of the guitarists) basement in North Side, California. With the studio's completion, ABATTOIR recorded their 2011 EP.
ABATTOIR is a group of talented musicians, yet the conclusion I am left with from their 2011 EP is ambiguous. Executed with confidence and precision, ABATTOIR’s 2011 EP reveals great potential, but a few glitches need to be worked out that hinder success. Their style can’t be defined under one genre, but rather a mixture of Technical Death Metal, Black Metal, Folk Metal, and seasoned with Progressive Metal. The combination of these genres creates intrigue with an upbeat tone that is melodic yet still heavy.
All the instruments are played in syncopation which is helpful in keeping a sense of togetherness, however the lack of vocal independence from the instrument, detracts from their technicality. With intricate soloing from the guitars, I would like to hear more from the other instruments. A hyper-focus on guitars and vocals leads to a disinterest in the other instruments and as terrific as the guitar work is, it would behoove the band if the focus went elsewhere every so often.
Anytime the vocals come in, all the instruments become over-simplified and the pace is slowed down in order to run parallel to the vocals, leading me to believe that the vocalist cannot pickup on instrumental cues and needs to be walked through timing and tone. Lacking diversity of range and sound, the monotone vocals don’t quite fit with the schematics of the instrumental complexities. I do feel the need to give Christie Hopkins credit considering the lack of females in the Metal scene. She makes a valiant effort and can growl better than most females that try, but like most other female vocalists, there is a lack of variety in tone and an inability to change tempo.
Certain elements of ABATTOIR remind of ARCH ENEMY; "Carry the Cross" comes to mind when listening to ABATTOIR’s "Burning Suffering" due to its repetition of lyrics and vocal quality, and the procession of fluttering, galloping, and chugging guitars is reminiscent of CHILDREN OF BODOM and IMPERANON. Yet it is in the way they combine the elements of a diverse number of bands that gives them their distinctive manner.
With such an intriguing sound and combination of genre, ABATTOIR’s 2011 EP is a worthwhile listen, but don’t set the bar too high, there are a few oddities that need to be worked out. It will be interesting to hear the progression of this band as they further develop themselves, and it's apparent that with the ambitious nature of ABATTOIR, their efforts will not fall short of greatness.
(Online September 23, 2011)