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Abscess – Damned And Mumified


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As each successive Abscess record brings the band closer to just being Autopsy, the purchase of each record makes you wonder more and more why you didn't just get 'Mental Funeral' instead. By this, the band's fourth full-length album, the stick is starting to wear thin, both for the listener and apparently the band that more and more have to raid the Autopsy back catalogue for enough ideas to churn out another album. The problem, of course, is that Abscess isn't Autopsy, and attempts to turn it into such a thing just become more awkward with every passing album, and by 'Damned And Mummified', the music is significantly damaged by the band's lack of direction and inability to find an independent voice. Early Abscess sounded like the natural extension of 'Shitfun’, a nasty, raw fusion of death metal and spastic crossover which made for something darker than punk but more spirited and rocking than Autopsy. Now much of the punk has been lost, putting the band somewhere around 'Severed Survival' with some distinct rock and roll influence, and the combination only sporadically works; because Abscess never really broke out of their creative box, the riffs are becoming more convoluted and less interesting with every release. Early on, it was easy for Abscess to write enduring, brilliant tracks like 'Suicide Fuck', but now that every four chord combination possible has been used by them, they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel to get some tracks done. It's not without its moments: 'Twilight Bleeds' sounds like old school doom/death Autopsy at its best, and some of the up-tempo tracks are solid as well, but overall the album comes off as half-baked and kind of unmotivated. Most of this, like all Reifert material, is taken off old Celtic Frost records, but there's only so much you can do with that formula, so even over the course of just a single album, you're hearing the same melodic themes and structural ideas repeated endlessly by a band that simply doesn't know what else to do. More problematic still is how the band is attempting to straddle the line between dirge doom/death and the traditional Abscess style of death/crossover- the two doesn’t play very nicely for each other and the result of combining them is just weird and hard to listen to. For a while it seemed like Reifert wanted this to be the true successor to Autopsy, but with the reformation of that band recently I have a feeling that Abscess is going to fall by the wayside. It's kind of unfortunate because Abscess clearly does have some great ideas which could be used to massive effect by the right people, but as long as Reifert and company are completely unwilling to try anything new, they're just going to stagnate more and more from album to album until the band just disintegrates completely. This is not disintegration point, but it's on the horizon. Track listing: 1. Through The Trash Darkly 2. Empty Horizon 3. Swallow The Venom 4. Caverns Of Hades 5. The Dead Are Smiling At Me 6. Twilight Bleeds 7. Lust For The Grave 8. The Dream Is Dead 9. Damned And Mummified 10. Inferno Of Perverse Creation 11. Tattoo Collector 12. Tirade Of Hallucinations

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