ABYSS "Heretical Anatomy"

PSYCHOMANCER "Inject The Worms"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Two blasts of brutality from up and coming bands here. I don't know if Abyss considers "Heretical Anatomy" a full length, but I sure don't. This is definitely a mini-LP (or get the drift) lasting about 20 minutes. These guys use that time well. It's a full bore oldschool death metal assault with a stripped down, almost punky feel to it. Not quite Swedish death metal, not quite Florida death metal, this band works in short bursts of cavernous, roaring filth. No lengthy build-ups, samples, acoustics, keys or other frippery...they slice open the jugular with the title track and proceed in similar fashion through "Nightmares in Skin". Only "Thrall of the Elder Gods" exceeds three minutes. I think in the future Abyss may want to work a bit more in this vein because "Heretical Anatomy" is over in a flash. But that's the biggest drawback. A promising band.

Psychomancer are from Indiana and have been around for a while. "Inject The Worms" gives up a kind of schizophrenic band. Three of the six cuts here are pure American death metal of a kind we've heard many times before...pile-driving and slamming, but sounding like a lot of other bands. "In Shackles Insane", "Just Another Victim" and "Bastards Burn" fall in this vein...effective but kind of faceless. The other three cuts, though, show something a bit more thoughtful, although still mega-heavy. The title track is more atmospheric and not as frenzied while "Abhorrent Wings of Decay" opens with acoustics and seems to be an epic combination of black and death elements. The best is left for last, though, as "Chant of the War Demons" emerges as a super catchy death metal corker that sticks in your brain more than the other songs. Psychomancer is still finding its way, but methinks they have the tools.