Saturday, September 19, 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Ectovoid "Dark Abstraction" (2015)

Birmingham, Alabama's Ectovoid return from the Other-realms to deliver another slab of demented Death Metal madness!

Ectovoid continue in the varicose vein of their previous LP and demo (they also have a live cassette), with heavier, crunchier guitar production and catchier drums with tighter songwriting. The lyrics continue to obsess over disembodiment, suspension of logic, and overall altered states of consciousness. I find that their lyrics remind me of the latter portion of William Hope Hodgson's 1908 novel, "The House on the Borderland." Fans of H.P. Lovecraft should check out this author, and of course, this band! No tentacle monsters, but plenty of weirdness and experiences beyond comprehension to humanity.

Musically, the band should please fans of Asphyx for their brutality, and guitar production; as well as Autopsy die-hards for their doomier elements and time signature changes. I find the drumming to be a mix of both bands' (Ectovoid has plenty of originality, which is why I like them, but I hear influences I share, which is also why I like them). Fans of Swedish and Finnish Death Metal bands of the late 80's/early 90's should be pleased as well.

The album is cohesive stylistically and all tracks satisfy, with opener "Obscene Altars" doing its job of introducing the album well, however two tracks really stand out, for me. These are "A Prisoner of Paradox" for menacing Autopsy vibes, judicious cymbal use, and HEAVY Sabbathian riff at its mid-point, not to mention a cool guitar solo. "Precipice Of Absolute Chaos" is another favorite and opens with some very slow riffs, conjuring images of someone tentatively approaching the eponymous chasm. This breaks to some ancient Death Metal stylings with an excellent cadaveric "UGH" and more apt cymbal punctuation. The main riff is quite catchy, the song has plenty of hooks, and also has a great closing guitar solo; short, twisted, and effective.

Let me make explicit that though this band can be compared to the aforementioned bands/styles, they are not clones and have their own style. I hear distinct development from Ectovoid's earlier releases, with a deadly Thrash edge creeping in to these songs, adding intensity to the compositions. If I had to use one phrase to sum up the band (and efficiently make several poorly-executed references at once), I'd say they are always reaching for one step beyond death, questing for the ultimate reality.

*Review and photos copyright The Samnambulist, 2015*

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