Bernard Black: “Enjoy. It’s dreadful, but it’s quite short.”

That deadpan quip from Black Books’ misanthropic protagonist distills much of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it output of grindcore, metal’s premature ejaculator. Whereas genres like prog and doom resemble a padded-out epic novel, grindcore, with its malnourished running times, is akin to a haiku, leaving little room for complex song structures or virtuoso performances.

The blast-beat cries out

A Hyperactive discharge

At least it was brief

After producing a pair of demos, Abatuar have finally decided to unleash their debut, Perversiones De Muerte Putrefacta. Coming in at around 30 minutes and divided into 12 bite-sized morsels of death and grind, the album doesn’t stop to smell the roses. Whether this leaves us slavering for more or wiping our brow, thankful of the short affair, remains to be seen.

You may have gathered by the band name and album title that Abatuar bear Spanish heritage. If you also guessed that this is another in the long line of one-man death/black/grind projects then cheers, you’re on a roll. The sole proprietor goes by the cuddly stage name Cadaver. Thing is, Cadaver doesn’t hail from the Latin American countries that disgorge metal bands on a regular basis and instead we find that Panama is where Abatuar calls home. This was a surprising revelation as a cursory scan of other Panamanian bands at Metal-Archives reveals a paltry 70 listings, of which only half are currently active. It seems that Panama may be a tax haven, but it’s not a metal one.

Of unlikely origin Cadaver may be, but one cannot deny that rust screeches through his metal veins. Perversiones De Muerte Putrefacta is loud, intense and possessed of snarling opprobrium. Does it offer anything novel? Not particularly. Opening cut “Los Efectos de la Gangrena y Putrefacción” delivers a meaty helping of death/grind, breaking up the blast-beats with pockets of down-tempo chords. The sound is wet, loose and faintly chaotic, a trait carried throughout the entire album. It is also predictable and under-cooked, the track’s impact stymied by half-hearted composition. This persists across most of the songs on offer. Where Perversiones De Muerte Putrefacta shines is when it mixes things up, introducing some sneering hardcore riffs in tracks “Adoctrinamiento Colectivo Genocid” and “Deidades Sepultadas con Restos Hu” that reminded me of Poison Idea at times. Cadaver puts in a solid, if unremarkable, vocal performance, his incomprehensible shrieks, rasps and fetid belching making me think of Cryptopsy’s Lord Worm.

The production is shabby and denuded of the spit-and-polish of most modern recordings. This isn’t a criticism, however, as the viscous audio befits the primal music that crashes and tumbles out from one’s speakers. Perhaps it’s fitting that the mix is reminiscent of a hastily cobbled together demo as that is what Perversiones De Muerte Putrefacta resembles most strongly: a collection of well-meaning but under-developed tracks. There’s nothing here that is particularly egregious but neither does it offer a compelling reason to part with one’s precious cash.

It may seem I take a perverse pleasure in turning the screws on Abatuar but that’s not my intention. Perversiones De Muerte Putrefacta has its moments and I often found myself nodding my head in appreciation of a stray riff or some pummeling percussion but those moments were fleeting. When tracks are so short, a band needs to be firing on all cylinders to ensure every second counts. Abatuar make a commendable effort but by-and-large the songs struggle to reach escape velocity and end up plummeting back down to Earth.

Can any band spin straw into gold when tracks are so short? Laudable acts such as Nasum, Circle of Dead Children and Napalm Death sport such triumphs, but these outfits have accomplished such feats by excising every frivolous note in service of a tight, focused blast of primal intensity. Cadaver has some ways to go before he can count himself among such rarefied talent. While Abatuar’s debut was a welcome distraction, more work needs to be done before that name will be first on your lips as you itch for something quick ‘n’ dirty.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Dunkelheit Productions
Websites: bandcamp.com/album/perversiones-de-muerte-putrefacta | facebook.com/abatuar
Releases Worldwide: April 1st, 2017

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  • Drew Music

    That haiku may be the single greatest of its kind, or at least the most accurate.
    Also, looking at the band pic, can’t tell if Final Form J Mann or Cvlt Mode Anselmo.

    • Reese Burns

      Holy shit… that does actually look a lot like J Mann.

  • Reese Burns

    Not really related to the review… but is there gonna be a review for the upcoming Ghost Bath record? It’s define if my most anticipated albums of the year.

    • Drew Music

      I was just talking about them and looking for preorder options. Great minds, yo.

      • Reese Burns

        I’m pumped to get my copy. Between them and Suffocation, Nuclear Blast are gonna have quite a bit of my cash this year.

        • Drew Music

          Season of Mist has me in their clutches most frequently as of late, but Nuclear Blast are a strong label by and large. I used to have so many of their merch inserts from various cds floating all over the place… I almost never bought any of the merch advertised, and yet I could never quite bring myself to look at them as trash.
          As for Starmourner, I too am wildly excited, the one track I heard was different in ways I wasn’t immediately comfortable with, but where Moonlover is almost strictly a front-to-back album experience for me I’m not worried, I’m sure it has a role to fill and does so awesomely. I know a lot of people shit on them, but Moonlover is one of my absolute favorite blackish albums and I don’t think I am even capable of imagining a weak follow-up, let alone handling such.

          • Ta2dlam

            I’m right there with you on Season of Mist. Solstafir, Carach Angren, Earth Electric, and I’m curious about Foscor to name a few. Oh, and River Black. The list goes on with them.

          • Reese Burns

            I’m cautiously optimistic about Carach Angren… I really wasn’t a fan of the direction they took with the promo track they released, so I’m hoping that my fears are unfounded and their new album is great.

          • Ta2dlam

            A friend of mine sent me that and I, too, wasn’t sure but with them the overall album flow is of utmost importance so we shall see given the album is about a girl obsessed with an Ouija board. Perhaps that wind-up toy waltz will fit perfectly.

        • Ivan E. Rection

          Have you sampled the new Suffocation track yet? I hear triggered kick drums. Clickity clickity click! Dammit. Such a great band but I hate that shit.

          • Reese Burns

            You know, I hadn’t noticed until you mentioned it. But now that you have… damn. But like you said, they’ve definitely got talent, so I suppose I can give them a pass so long as the songwriting is as good throughout as it is on Your Last Breaths.

        • Drew Music

          I’m holding off on Starmourner after all, whilst deal-shopping I found a better Moonlover option and I’ve been dying for that vinyl for a minute. I do have Starmourner streaming presently, however, and while they have certainly changed moods I gotta say that I’m still liking what I’m hearing so far. Fairly jealous you have a physical copy/one on the way, the artwork is certainly intriguing.
          I can’t even complain though, my total haul for today (Ulcerate TDoA red ltd re-press, Moonlover black vinyl, Uneven Structure La Partition black+red swirl / Februus black vinyl) is easily the best I can recall having netted in one day, I can wait for Starmourner to find its way to me.

      • Speaking of atmosphere with a capitol A.
        Are you psyched about Farsot and Dystopia?
        (Both to be released this Friday.)

        • Drew Music

          Can’t say that I am, largely because I’m unfamiliar with both bands, but I will rectify that presently and then work myself into an excited rage.

    • GardensTale

      Should see one in a week or so, hang tight.

      Also, fix that second sentence man. Have some pride.

      • Reese Burns

        Whoops!

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Are you reading my diary? If so, keep reading my diary.

      • Reese Burns

        I gave up on it. It was mostly just smut about Lich King’s vocalist anyways…

        • Dr. Wvrm

          I fancy myself an in-training Jimmy Shive-Overly.

  • Josh

    Thinking of short tracks just makes me want to put on some Beaten to Death.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    “Abatuar” is not a Spanish word, It’s the phonetic spelling of the English word “Abattoir”. Maybe he got tired of Spanish speakers mispronouncing his band’s name.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I hear almost as much grind as War Metal here. And by War Metal I mean that ugly subgenre spearheaded by Blasphemy and Beherit, then furthered by Procreation, Proclamation, Revenge, Conqueror and the like.