Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation
posted on 3/2011 By:
Like a battered housewife, Adversarial has returned to its abuser. Hot on the heels of the unmitigated disaster that was All Idols Fall Before The Hammer, the Tina to my Ike Turner has released a new EP entitled Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation. Truth to tell, I am glad to have another crack at Adversarial, because I feel a little bad about how things went down last time around. I amused the shit out of myself with my review of All Idols, but in hindsight, I could not help but feel that I had pissed away some of my journalistic integrity, and worse, maybe some of Metal Review’s, as well. I stand by my score of the album, because, honestly, that shit was unlistenable, but I probably should have expressed my opinion more professionally. Happily, Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation presents me -- and perhaps Adversarial, as well -- with the prospect of redemption.
There is one snag in this potential reconciliation: Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation is composed of four demo tracks and three new tracks, two of which are covers, so there is really only one track by which to judge Adversarial’s original material with professional production. On the plus side, the demo tracks, three of which comprise the band’s previously released Thralls demo, despite the absence of bass guitar, still sound better than the material on All Idols Fall Before The Hammer. Furthermore, two of the tracks on Thralls also appeared on All Idols, and thus provide a glimpse of what the debut could have been without that infernal fucking snare sound.
Before my review of All Idols descended into a parade of pings and cuss words, I said that it sounded like Adversarial meant business, and Prophetic Plane reveals that to be true: Adversarial combines the sullen majesty of Immolation with the relentless, merciless, un-fucking-stoppable fury of the most vicious black metal. Guitarist/Vocalist, C. S. sends angular melodies careening in every direction, but a solid death metal framework keeps the chaos contained, barely. Drummer, E. K. plays like a man possessed, pounding the ever-loving shit out of the drums at every opportunity, and even during slower sections, one gets the sense that he is chomping at the bit to blast again. Even with a more tolerable snare sound, E. K.’s over-the-top performance can be a bit taxing on the ears, but one cannot help but admire the man’s unbridled enthusiasm for carpet-bombing the skins.
In truth, aside from the bass guitar performance, which predictably lends the new studio tracks some added heft, there is not a vast difference in quality between the demo and studio material. Each sound is raw enough to grant a gritty, live feel to the recordings, but polished enough to avoid any distracting sound quality deficiencies.
Being unfamiliar with Archgoat, I cannot comment on the faithfulness of Adversarial’s cover of “The Light-Devouring Darkness”, but the song seems to mesh well with Adversarial’s black/death style. The band’s cover of Incantation’s “A Once Holy Throne” proves Adversarial to be perfectly adept at straight-up death metal. I believe, however, that Adversarial would have been better served to round out Prophetic Plain with two more tracks of original material.
Despite its paucity of fresh original material, Prophetic Plane of Abyssal Revelation provides sufficient vindication for Adversarial. The EP reveals the band to be a formidable blackened death metal act with a bright future, so long as it steers clear of any further production debacles.
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