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Abysmal Darkening : No Light Behind

Abysmal Darkening deliver with this first full-length a solid, if not outstanding release.

With Abysmal Darkening’s debut album No Light Behind…, Totalrust Music delivers another release in the Extreme Doom vein which the label is known for. The Dutch band have received some attention through the DVD Chronicles of Doom (Camisole/Weird Truth, 2009) which was filmed on the Dutch Doom Days in 2006 and features one of their early songs. Now they return with a full-length assault of slowed-down aggression and torment.

The band’s sound has developed and improved a bit since their Doomo (2004). Especially in terms of songwriting, everything sounds more mature and effective now. The music also benefits from a clear production. Stylistically, this album reminds a lot of French labelmates Funeralium. Simple, slow, repetitive rhythms set the basis, but there are also some doublebass and blast parts for variation. The guitars rely on power chord riffage primarily while the vocals oscillate between harsh screams and growls. On occasion, the vocalist also utilises some raspy semi-melodic singing reminiscent of old-school Traditional Doom bands.

Despite these stylistic similarities, Abysmal Darkening do not quite reach their labelmates’ level of quality yet: The vocals and melodies are less intense and the dynamics less captivating. The album tends to be rather humdrum when listening through the whole of it, and I found it hard to focus on, since there are no real highlights (with the possible exception of the final section in “De Zomer is Dood” with its bleak atmosphere). Still, the songs are solid enough to appeal to lovers of this particular sound. A certain degree of monotony is central to the genre after all as long as it serves to create an atmosphere of despair which justifies the structural approach. This last point, however, is where the band could have done better.

In all, this is a solid, if not outstanding release to which you should lend your ear if you are fond of uncompromisingly heavy and straightforward Extreme Doom.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Behold the Gods
2. Dead Eyes
3. A New Dawn
4. Endless March of the Dead
5. Words of Doom
6. De Zomer is Dood [Summer is Dead]
7. Marian

Duration : Approx. 41 minutes

Visit the Abysmal Darkening bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-06-03 by Dominik Sonders
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