By Dr. Abner Mality

The debut of Danish act Rising, entitled "To Solemn Ash", was a welcome surprise in 2011 and promised great things to come in the future from these guys. Alas, this album marks the end of the current line-up...the band has fractured and is to reform with a greatly changed roster.

The name "Abominor" promises something uglier and more monstrous and that is the case. This album is rougher, uglier and more shambling all around...yet it cannot simply be lumped in with categories of death or sludge metal. It clearly belongs to neither category. The High On Fire influences have risen more to the fore and on the song "The Malice" it's present to an uncomfortable degree. But on the whole, Rising continue their mastery of rough, burly metal and there are some monster riffs, especially with the opening of "Vengeance Is Timeless", which is a killer track.

The vocals are a kind of phlegmmy, gravelly bellow that reminds me of Horn of the Rhino. They suit the music, but as the album thunders on, they start to get pretty monotonous. I'd say they were the biggest downfall of "Abominor". The more straightforward approach means the songs lack some of the proggy intrigue of the material on "To Solemn Ash", but if you prefer more of a fist to the face, that won't be much of an impediment.

I wouldn't put "Abominor" quite in the same league as "To Solemn Ash" but it's not a severe letdown. Let's wait to see what the "new" version of Rising comes up with next.