This self-titled EP by US DM/djent band Abhor begins with an intro that approaches you like a predator, slowly but with brutal intentions; a wicked synthesis of BDM and Djent begins, as a downtuned guitar seething with anger beats you down to a pulp. Promising? maybe. Disappointment is a promise too sometimes.
Expecting imminent sonic punishment on track two, you are instead treated to a beautiful piano prelude, when suddenly a set of colorful guitar leads erupt, together creating a surprisingly diverse sound. Accompanied by death vocals, the downtuned beatdown of guitars returns to this song(“BAMFasaurus Rex” is its title), feeling a tad too familiar and monotonous, however when the leads and piano come back, the combination is intriguing, if not fascinating.
Track three “Trifecta” begins with a more traditional DM groove, but the guys in Abhor can’t seem to go on for long without their breakdown fix – can you guess where this is going? anyway, trying to handle these two styles together successfully in the short time frame of 4 minutes feels a bit forced, and had me rather confused here.
“Neverest” shows Abhor implementing more elements of Djent & Mathcore, once again arriving at a breakdown of sorts, when suddenly clean vocals appear out of nowhere. Live, this is probably the point where the oldschool DM crowd leaves the concert. Hey guys! don’t leave me here alone!!
This album is very, very “Core”, and whoever titled it “Progressive Death Metal” seriously needs to be slapped in the face. If you like the whole “Modern” Djent\Core style and want to hear it together along with some more traditional metal, who knows – this might be your thing. But to me, this union of styles seems unholy – in the bad sense of the word. The whole chugging thing can have its place in metal, but there’s nothing progressive about it for the most part, and saying otherwise is a mocking to real extreme prog metal groups like Opeth, Edge of Sanity and Gorod, to name a few.
Putting this little rant aside, I’m not saying Abhor don’t have any good ideas – they do and these initially drew my attention. However, those enchanting leads, those piano touches heard in the beginning of the record quickly vanish as if they had never existed. Why? Call it a lack of experience by the band, or maybe an incoherent creative vision. The bottom line is this album lacks innovation and falls flat.