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Abstract Spirit : Horror Vacui

On their third album, the Russian Abstract Spirit manage to transcend their potential.

On this new offering, the Russian threesome Abstract Spirit manage to transcend the potential glimpsed on their two previous releases. A high potential one could already feel in Comatose Vigil’s spectral Doom, crawling inbetween the horrific vibes of Wraith Of The Ropes and the surreal textures of Shape Of Despair, giving the impression of swimming in a paranormal sea.

Although Abstract Spirit is not Comatose Vigil's ‘official metamorphosis’ (in the sense that the group has not officially changed its moniker) and only features one surviving member of Comatose Vigil (drummer/vocalist AK iEzor having joined forces with Manhat and Stellarghost, both of Twilight Is Mine), it actually perpetuates its spirit through the local label Solitude Productions, Muscovite Grand Merchant of all forms of Doom.

Echoing with mesmerizing vibrations, Horror Vacui takes Abstract Spirit to the higher order of a psionic creature. Every elements of their ghostly Funeral Doom are pushed a good notch upwards; Stellarghost’s excellent work with the keyboards is highlighted by a clever mix that knows how to successively hide and reveal their strength, turning those eerie lines into a sly and evil presence that quietly watches you through the interstices of the floor, then creeps and materializes to scratch your neck with its ice-cold fingers. The opening track ‘За Пределами Сомкнутых Век’ expertly portrays that kind of bright alternations between anxiety and terror, both brought by the keys’ effects.

Along the seven tracks, that can be considered as so many variations of its spectral range, the orchestra mutates, morphing into sinister piano, creaking ominous brass and strings, weaving fear on a haunting Funeral Doom canvas. A heavy riffing, developing over long minutes, laced with ambient sequences like in Tyranny’s BleakVistae, strolling through the same kind of dark pit and sinking into suffocating murky waters... as simple as it is devilishly effective.

After the interlude ‘Vigilae mortuorum’, worthy of the best horror films soundtracks, the baroque dimension increases tenfold and decay and decadence reign supreme upon the long last pieces, reinforced by a potent orchestration for brass. The beast gives its last breath on the title track and its funeral choir annoucing eternal spleen.

Like a magnetic funerary stele, Horror Vacui stands as a 70 minute monument, without any dead time (sic) and an almost cinematic scope, thanks to a well thought-out script based on fluent fade-in/fade-out effects that increase the immersion of the listener - I mean ... of the viewer! - with one highlight being the amazing ‘Post Mortem’, filled with the thin supernatural voice of Stellarghost (which should bewitch all Natalie Koskinen's fans), choirs ringing the toll and arpeggios conveying Evoken-like depths and desolation.

Without a doubt Abstract Spirit’s most accomplished album - and the best produced, Horror Vacui creates a vast nightmarish universe just waiting to suck out our living substance. Mandatory!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. За Пределами Сомкнутых Век
2. Post Mortem
3. Пульс
4. Vigilae Mortuorum (interludium)
5. Без Меня... Мертвое Завтра...
6. Атрофия Мировоззрения
7. Horror Vacui

Duration : Approx. 70 minutes

Visit the Abstract Spirit bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-06-17 by Manu Buck
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