Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 12/1/2006
Portrayal of the Grey Man
posted on 4/2007 By:
Don’t you just love death metal bands who have a singer that sounds like he changes into a demonic seal with a 5 word vocabulary, but all 5 words still sound like ‘Orr!Orr!orr-orr-orr!ORT!’ half of the time? Well, the Portrayal Of The Grey Man EP from New Jersey’s Abacinate will be a nice little appetizer in preparation for the full-length the band is currently working on for Epitomite Records. So grab yourself a bucket of smelt, make an angry face, and toss a few in the air and try and catch ‘em in your mouth while you listen to this, just to experience the full effect of it all.
Self-indulgent metaphors aside, Abacinate deliver some decent gory death metal that isn’t afraid to throw in some nice old-school New York and midwest styled melodies and riff arrangements throughout. But they’re one of those bands who never really stick to one tempo for very long, yet manage to keep from going entirely all over the place in a mess of unnecessary contrasts. There’s an occasional pinch harmonic situation going on that metalcore bands enjoy overusing lately, and vocalist Ian Neal belts out a higher rasp often and rare gruff power shouts that lean towards heavier hardcore, but for the most part this is rather inoffensive if the breakdown/blast bunch tend to drive you crazy (even though “The Lips That Never Smile“ is very much of that nature).
Abacinate don’t overdo the arpeggios or sweeps, but they aren’t afraid of composing unique leads and bridges when needed, their riff arrangements are fairly interesting but still somewhat recycled for the genre overall, but they perform the style well in comparison to their peers. There’s also quite a bit of no-frills death groove they like to throw in when their fingers and wrists need a break, musically reminding me a little bit of Jungle Rot when they slow down, and Fleshgrind when they accelerate. Simple, but still somewhat lively. Actually, the more straightforward moments sound a little odd with Mr. Possessed Sea Mammal grunting over the more direct sections, but it’s nothing to get too turned off over.
As far as production goes, Portrayal… is solid and doesn’t sound stiff or overly polished, but a tweaking of the drums to give them a thicker tone wouldn’t have hurt. Still, this EP does the job and offers clear insight as to what the band has to offer, but I think they have the potential to do more with their music, and push their creative limits further. Entirely average and well-performed, hopefully they’ll make an attempt to really stand out in the future, because they’re definitely not bad, but nothing to get excited over just yet.
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