Abscess

Dawn of Inhumanity

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Abscess circa 2010 are what Abscess have been since forming out of the ashes of Autopsy in the mid-'90s: a crude, hammering blend of thrash and punk, with occasional flashes of instrumental skill, particularly on the part of guitarists Clint Bower and Danny Coralles, but not so many that they get in the way of the overall concept. Dawn of Inhumanity is the band's longest album by nearly ten minutes, but there are no prog rock epics here -- the band slides back and forth between hyped-up, thrashing punk rock and sludgy doom reminiscent of Eyehategod, with less feedback and even more primitivism. Primary vocalist (and drummer) Chris Reifert has a hoarse, croaking style not unlike that of former Cannibal Corpse frontman Chris Barnes; it's well suited to the band's slower moments but he sometimes becomes breathless during the faster sections. In any case, his voice is heavily treated with echo and reverb. The drums have a similarly '80s sound, and the guitars veer into psychedelic territory quite a bit. It will be obvious to even a first-time Abscess listener that this is a band that likes what it's doing and sees no reason to change. Which is fine, if you're a total devotee of early-'90s extreme metal and ugly, misanthropic punk. If not, diminishing returns may set in pretty quickly.

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