“Dominion of the Wicked”

By Dr. Abner Mality

I remember being quite blown away by ABYTHIC’s first album “Beneath Ancient Portals” a couple of years back, but I missed out completely on their second effort. Now the Germans are back and they’ve changed their sound noticeably since the debut, although they remain immensely heavy. “Dominion of the Wicked” has much more of an epic doom metal feel mixed with death metal heaviness. So much so that I could see fans of CANDLEMASS and CRYPT SERMON enjoying this record.

The doom is pretty much present on every song and in fact, this ponderous mass basically sounds like one long track, as they run right into each other almost seamlessly. Only four tracks here, but “At The Threshold of Obscurity” lasts more than 14 monolithic minutes. That’s a big change right there. There’s traces of the English doom style favored by MY DYING BRIDE and PARADISE LOST, but a lot thicker and heavier, with roaring death vocals. The weepy lead guitars sound straight out of Yorkshire, though, and there are places where the songs become quite subdued and quiet. But they can also boast more of a death metal doom like you would hear on slower MORBID ANGEL and NILE tracks. 

It’s very well played and recorded and ABYTHIC has made a move here to be taken much more seriously than the usual brutal slammers. But do I think it’s better than “Beneath Ancient Portals”? I can’t honestly say so.