By Dr. Abner Mality

If death metal is going to have maximum impact, it needs to be rooted in some kind of human emotion. That emotion has to come through in the playing. That’s why even the most musically primitive death metal can be effective…you can hear the fury and the sheer humanity behind it. This is why technical death metal of the kind Abhorrent plays has never worked for me.

“Intransigence” has a smooth mechanized feel. Although there are some skull shattering riffs and the velocity is high throughout, it just doesn’t seem like human beings are playing the music. Now there are cases where this can achieve a desired mood, but I don’t feel any mood when listening to this. It is an exhibition of brutal musicianship with no feeling behind it.

It goes without saying that the playing here is beyond reproach.  The bass in particular is crazy agile and has the jazzy chops so prized by tech deathsters. But tunes like “Ifrit”, “Clarity of Will” and virtually any other track here are in one ear and out the other….nothing registers long term except the ability of the musicians. No emotion, even in the guttural vocals. Piano and off the wall dissonant moments put some variety into things but not the necessary memorability.

If you’re into stuff like Rings of Saturn, The Faceless and Obscura, then by all means partake. But by this time tomorrow Abhorrent will be very far in my rear view mirror.