Tech Death Thursday: Abysmal Torment – The Misanthrope



But first, the news:

  • Sycarian put out a slick new tune a couple weeks ago that flew under the radar. Be sure to check this out if you like midpaced melodic stuff.
  • Speaking of melodic stuff, Beyond Creation just put out a studio playthrough video for “Entre Suffrage Et Mirage.” These guys are all a pleasure to watch in action, and the new album is lining up to be quite good.
  • In case you missed the Monday news, Gorod released the first single from their upcoming album Aethra. You can bet I’ll be talking about this one in the near future. Look for the new album on October 19th through Overpowered Records.
  • Revocation have put out one last single before their album release. Check out the review here, and brace for the arrival of The Outer Ones tomorrow.

I have it on good authority that a substantial portion of our readership enjoys big fat riffs with big fat tone, and our band for today should have all the bigness and fatness you could ask for. Abysmal Torment are peddlers of high-grade aural thickness, bringers of beefy brutality, and The Misanthrope is some of the most fun I’ve had with a brutal death album all year. Open up one of these songs and get ready to get squashed under its sheer girth.

If you know me, you know I like my brutal death metal to be smart, and that’s a big part of what makes this album so great. Abysmal Torment, for their fairly generic name and tough guy aesthetic, know how to put together a fucking hook. The band slings massive 8-string riffs at inhuman speeds, propelled by rapid fire tremolo picking and interspersed with wild sweeping fills. More complex segments break up the action and even out the pacing, spidery fretting hand dances that bring the best parts of Allegaeon’s Formshifter to mind. Oh, and this thing slams too; if that’s what you like from your brutal death metal, you’re not going to be left out.

The super slick post-production job is likely going to be a point of contention amongst BDM stalwarts, but I personally wouldn’t have it any other way for this album. The low tuning and clear tone are reminiscent of the first Rivers of Nihil album (albeit with way faster tunes), and they allow for the punchier sound of the bass to cut through as well. The drums, in a shocking move for brutal death metal, don’t sound like a series of trash cans upended on the floor, and the vocals generally stick to a crunchy midrange howl that keeps them from getting lost in the bottom end. It all sounds very clean, a far cry from the typical muddy mishmash of incomprehensible diminished arpeggios that plague the genre.

I’ve spoken much of The Misanthrope’s thickness, but the one place where it’s lean is in its run time. The whole nine song (plus intro track) affair clocks in at 30 minutes, and no one song breaks four minutes in length. This is a super easy album to just throw on and jam out to, and then run through again if you need more. Ultimately, I think it’s best to look at this album like a hammer. It really only does a couple of things, and it doesn’t do them much differently from all the other hammers out there, but its superior weight and balance let you swing harder and more accurately. You get your job done better and faster, but you can keep on swinging away if you need to.

The Misanthrope is out now through Willowtip Records. Just be wary of repeated use; continual ugly-face headbanging will make you look like the guy on the cover. Be sure to give Abysmal Torment a follow on Facebook as well. That’s all for now, so until next time,

Stay Tech

Is your band tech as heck? Got a juicy piece of news or an upcoming release to watch? Send it my way at and I’ll check it out. I might even talk about it.

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