Svart Records, 10.02.17
In 1989, in an emerging Finnish extreme metal scene, Abhorrence was created. In February 1990 the young
men released their first demo, Vulgar Necrolatry, consisting of intro plus three songs. A total of 16 minutes of death
metal inspired by Autopsy, Obituary, Bolt Thrower and the like. Five months later, the 7" EP
was released, with another 13 minutes in the same alley. The four tracks as well as an instrumental intro therefrom was
also released as part of a CD Sampler from Seraphic Decay Records in 1991.
After the EP, Abhorrence was disbanded, and guitarist Tomi Koivusaari went on to
Amorphis, who was just getting starting at the time. In 2012, however, the guys came back together to play live.
The same year, the compilation Completely Vulgar was released. Clocking in at an hour, it contained both
official releases, as well as a bootleg live recordings and a rehearsal tape.
In 2013, Abhorrence played at Tuska Open Air. The concert was recorded and is finally ready for release. Totally Vulgar: Live at Tuska Open Air 2013 lasts for close to 35 minutes, and naturally contains all the
songs from the two releases, in addition to the song Adoration of Abscessed Cadavers that can be found both
as rehearsal and as live recording on Completely Vulgar. The men are pleased with finally releasing these
songs with a little more punch, and I agree that the energetic savagery that's created live suits the material. Material that
clearly has withstood the test of time, and that probably could have been part of the classic material of the early nineties
if the band had written more songs with killer hooks in line with Devourer of Souls, Caught in a
Vortex and in particular delightful Vulgar Necrolatry, and gotten around to release an album during
their brief heyday. The latter song should be familiar to fans of Amorphis, as their cover version was featured on
both The Karelian Isthmus, the two small releases that surrounded it, and the re-recordings of Magic & Mayhem.
Obligatory for anyone but existing fans? No, but undeniably fun for fans of good old death metal anyway.
It will be interesting to see whether Abhorrence ever bangs new material on the table. According
to vocalist Jukka Kolehmainen, they hereby commit the old material to the ground. “Then it's time
to face new, upcoming dark depths and see, what secrets lurk therein.” We keep our fingers crossed.
Debemur Morti Productions, 27.01.17
The first release of Au Champ Des Morts, the EP Le jour se lève was warmly received nine months
ago. The debut album of the Frenchmen, however, don't impress quite as much. The presence of atmospheric post-metal feels
much stronger this time around.
If I were to split post-metal into three subcategories, I'd say you've got idiosyncratic post-metal with strong
memorable tunes and hooks, such as Agalloch, introverted and bitter intense post-metal with close ties
to dsbm, such as Celeste, and finally generic post-metal. Dans La Joie unfortunately
don't fit entirely into the two first categories.
It must be said that the band borrows bits and pieces from both, and the intense offspring in particular, and that it sounds
saddened and fairly pretty. But nice and neat post-melancholy has a knack for sounding identical regardless of who's at the helm.
This album is far from the worst I've ever heard in a genre characterized by single-minded and at times whiny emo-metal, though.
On Dans La Joie, both coldness and atmosphere exist, preventing it from becoming one long 52-minute drag.
The song Le sang, la mort, la chute, the second best of the EP, is brought along this time as well. With
agreeable sadness and adequate punch and intensity, it's one of the better songs. The title track is fairly evocative, and
the same goes for subsequent L'Étoile du matin, the song that exhibits most distinctive character, even if
the song uses a few minutes to get going. Plus for the guitar that weeps tears of despair from 4:40. Closing La fin
du monde also stand out, but not necessarily in a positive sense. The melody is muted, melancholic and nice, albeit
repetitive, but the female vocals becomes too much world music and Enja on my part.
There are many other good sequences, but most are being dragged down in the undertow created by an overdose of somewhat
tearful monotony. Not that Dans La Joie is the most monotonous I've ever heard, but the oppressive atmosphere
of post-misery creates its own gravity which in turn causes implosion. Over 50 minutes just wear me out.
With Dans La Joie, Au Champ des Morts does generic post-metal a notch better than a good
number of peers, but that's nevertheless the pigeon-hole I decide best fit to describe their music. The sub-genre rarely
have anything to offer me. The moods such music gives me, is as when the protagonist in a soporific Nordic drama movie gaze
despondently out at the sea under dark grey clouds. It's not particularly original, but rather overly dramatising, whilst
slowing down time to near standstill of seemingly never-ending mediocre monotony. But of course I'm talking about the genre
in general now, and not Au Champ des Morts in particular.
This Impression is subjective. An objective answer does not exist. I am also being draconianly rigorous in this case.
Follow your own heart. But don't say I didn't warn you in the case of regret.