Steel Druhm loves his old school death metal, but I get tired of comparing every band’s sound to Entombed, Dismember and/or Grave. Thankfully, Corpsessed arrived in my queue with a terrific moniker and a sound that doesn’t require the standard comparisons. That’s because these sick Finnish death mongers deliver a crusty, ugly style that sounds like a mix of Demigod, Onward to Golgotha era Incantation, Autopsy, primitive low-fi blackness and sludgy doom. Abysmal Thresholds is their debut full-length and it’s quite a brootal piece of soupy viciousness, not for the faint of heart or weak of constitution. I could describe it as an oozing, excrement filled pus sack of an album, but in a word, it’s just plain corpsey. And while the offal that litters this platter has a quaint loathsomeness, it’s got some issues that hold it back from being the real stereo killer it could be.
Out of the gate, opener “Of Desolation” packs quite the wallop, with nasty, cement shattering, doom/dirge riffs interwoven with grim, cold tremolos. The low-register death mumbling is like a wall of demonic noise running under the riffs and everything sounds big, evil and shitty. What really puts the song over are the slight symphonic touches that flash amidst the low-fi slog, giving it a bit of a Ruins of Beverast vibe. The inclusion of Celtic Frost style discordant, drawn out riffs provide extra bowel on the already tasty gore cake. “Trepanation” ramps up the blasting aggression and the swarming, blackened riffs add just the right amount of icy grimness to the proceedings. Both tracks show what the band is capable of and both fire on all cylinders.
“Necrosophic Channeling” is darker and more dirgy with occasional outbreaks of old Entombed riffs (eh, almost made it), but has a way more pronounced black metal texture which works rather well. Also standing out is “Transcend Beyond Human,” which rips and tears with riffs stolen from Altars of Madness, and closer “The Threshold” has a nicely ponderous rumble and shake.
While “Sovereign” leads off with convincingly ominous doom riffs, it soon spirals into a more generic, blasty assault, and “Ravening Tides” feels a bit pedestrian despite an interestingly bleak solo. The remainder of Abysmal Thresholds falls between average and slightly above, though even the lesser tracks have interesting moments and a few winning riffs.
While no track feels like total filler, some lack an individual identity which, when combined with the limited variation in tempo, causes them to bleed together into a bloody mush of scabby extremity. Some of the songs run on too long as well, pushing up to the six and seven minute mark where the air gets thin and the moss peepery beckons. When a band hammers at you this hard, less time under said hammer is usually more. Making matters a bit worse, the best stuff is loaded up front and the back half begins to drag somewhat.
As the album played on, I kept wishing they would incorporate more of the mild symphonics heard on “Of Desolation.” They really add something to their unrelentingly dark, raw sound and give it just a hint of epic flavor that emerges Cthulhu-like from the murky, soupy mix.
These guys have real potential and when things come together for them, their brand of death hits really hard. Even with writing lapses this still ends up a solid listen. They just need a bit more consistency in their writing and maybe a touch more variation in tempo. If you’re looking for something right out of the sewer, this should fit the bill. Brootal, vile stuff.