The Concubine


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Aside from naming their sophomore effort after Venom's drummer (well, probably the Old Testament demon, actually), perhaps the most newsworthy quality of the Concubine's music is that it is 100-percent free of emo/screamo additives -- a rare feat within their Garden State milieu. Instead, typical Abaddon tracks such as "Amaranthine," "Shape Shifter" and "Regnum Cruoris," offer churning maelstroms of death metal brutality; their incessant time changes sometimes approach the intricacy of math metal, while their momentary descents into doom-like slow grooves provide much needed rest-stops for the musicians to stave off Carpal Tunnel syndrome. In addition, most every song, but especially "Millennia's Ghost" and "Oracle," also feature equally complicated but surprisingly melodic themes and solos snaking between their thorny branches. And vocally, frontman Dave Stahl favors a corrosive, Cookie Monster growl of the most guttural pitch with which to interpret the group's imaginative tales of apocalypse impending. Yes, at barely 30 minutes, the album is obviously a little too brief, but given the intricate nature of its songs, digesting more than that in one sitting would likely prove far too challenging for most young listeners, dying to get back to their video games. As such, many consumers are bound to consider Abaddon exactly what the doctor ordered.

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