It really seems like Finland is the place today where some really interesting alchemical operations take place. The extreme metal scene of this country has a strong psychedelic influence in its core, resulting in a plethora of bands that tend towards the experimental side of the extreme metal spectrum. Oranssi Pazuzu, Dark Buddha Rising and Atomikyyla are just some of the bands that have been putting out such great albums. Abyssion are joining them in that respect, merging a more primal black metal sound with the trippy elements of psychedelia.
Label: Svart Records
Release Date: July 3rd, 2015
Luonnon Harmonia Ja Vihrea Liekki is the latest offering from this band from Tampere, and it comes with quite an interesting back story to it. The album itself was recorded and mixed in Wastement, the recording space of Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising, with the mastering for the album being done by Jack Control, whose also worked with Darkthrone and Poison Idea. Not only that, but their album is being released through a sub-division of Svart Records, named Secret Trees, which is run by Kvohst (Hexvessel, Grave Pleasures) and Marja Konttinen (Hexvessel). Just the above information alone is enough to get you hyped to listen to Abyssion, but these guys bring it seriously with their music.
The core of Abyssion’s sound resides in black metal, there is no question about that. The traditional black metal riffing of the opening song gives that away very soon, with its early ’90s aura overflowing. A similar approach is undertaken in “Vihrea Liekki,” making the track much darker and more obscure, where Abyssion achieve a ravaging sound in the second part of the song, really scorching with each passing moment. That similar aggression is further enhanced in the closing track of the album, “Pysahdin Kuuntelemaan Hiljaisuutta” as they are creating a spiralling maze of torment that haunts you in every turn the song takes. The dissonant leads in the closing track and in songs such “Kosmoksesta Tuli Hautani” radiates with the misanthropic vibe of the black metal spirit, and includes some cool Celtic Frost-ian death grunts from the vocals.
Even though black metal is strongly rooted within this album, the vibe of the songs holds some great twists. The opening song appears with a straightforward setting in terms of its rhythmic patterns and progression, giving an almost rock ‘n’ roll quality to the music. And that is when the band lets loose their other origin. The punk vibe is prevalent in more than a few moments of this album, with the opening track soon revealing that side of Abyssion when the vocals come in. The delivery of the vocals has a definite appreciation towards the punk genre, with the voice appearing quite extreme but at the same time clearly pronounced (although it is Finnish, so do not take my word on that.) The anger that transpires in “Ajatus Kirkastuu” is derived from the excellent, in-your-face vocal performance, with an added distortion to push things to the edge more decisively. There are even lead parts in “Vihrea Liekki” that give away the predisposition of Abyssion for the raw punk sound.
But then, the bigger part of their music is brought through their psychedelic tendencies. The lead guitars in the opening track create an illusionary domain from which there seems to be no escape, as the swirling effects take off, creating very smooth transitions, finally going completely insane in the last part of the song. There are moments where the psychedelia seems to be taking the music into other, unknown dimensions, as is the case with “Vihrea Liekki,” aided by the insane synths and the creative effects. The experimentation with feedback in moments such as “Ajatus Kirkastuu” and the opening track further showcase how the experimental mindset of the band influences their songs.
The manner in which Abyssion combine together their diverse influences is what makes Luonnon Harmonia Ja Vihrea Liekki such a great listen. From the destructive black metal paths, to the hardcore punk aggression by means of trippy psychedelia, they capture your interest from the get go.