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Aabsynthum : Inanimus

Aabsynthum revives a forgotten genre: bedroom Funeral Doom. And it's not bad, mind you.

Here is a band that will not make Funeral Doom any more popular than it currently is. Not because it is bad - it isn't bad, mind you, although it doesn't break any ground either, as we'll see. No, the reason for the absence of success I can foresee lies in its personality, the very features of its face. Right from the start, from the artwork of the album and no.. even before that: from the name of the band and the name of the album. What do we have here? "Aabsynthum" releasing "Inanimus". It sounds Latin to me. That's a first hint. The double "a" holds a certain dose of occult as does the "y" and the overall opacity of the whole. The artwork is a black & white close-up photo of some tombs in a weedy graveyard. Well, I guess the face is complete: Funeral Doom with a strong probability of having its base in Eastern Europa. Romania, to be precise.

Now, the face has a voice. And that's where Funeral Doom makes people run away to never come back to it: 'Inanimus' is plain and simple Bedroom Doom. Yes, with a capital "B", because Aabsynthum somehow manages to give credibility to bedroom Funeral Doom, using all aspects of it with a fluency and a rigour that has won my vote. Let's sum up briefly what bedroom Doom is about:

1. You have to be a one-man band – check: Aabsynthum, although started as a duet, is now a solo project, Groza Gabriel being the mastermind.
2. You have to be REALLY slow - check: the pace never, I mean never, exceeds that of an arthritic snail.
3. You have to display SIMPLE and CRUSHING riffs – check: the guitar never ventures in melodic leads, never indulges in out-of-place shiny motifs: it crushes, and crushes with the subtlety of a moronic blacksmith.
4. You have to give rather a lot of room to the keyboard in the compositions – check: keyboard in Aabsynthum is always there as a backbone, mostly used in the form of artificial choirs (male or female), what is also one of the typical features of bedroom doom: it has a fondness for "lithurgic" moods.
5. You have to be so bad at playing the drums that you do all that part digitally, with a so-called "drum machine" – check again: the drumming is processed as in every bedroom project worthy of the name. He would have failed in his commitments had it not been the case.

So, all in all, with Aabsythum, Groza Gabriel, despite the caricatural recipe, and despite all the contempt bedroom Doom has suffered, hurls heart and soul into the fight, devoting himself entirely to this sub-sub-genre that I personally thought dead and buried behind a dusty showcase in the Doom museum, in the "disgraceful objects" section. Let's acknowledge that: all those tools - worn to the bone - he uses them with a great ease, and a certain boldness too; like: look at me, I know this is a sound that has been mocked endlessly, but let me show you that those tools can give shape to a really good Funeral Doom album. And he's right, that guy. All those five points that compose the identity of a bedroom project are just enough to convey the essence of Funeral Doom. You can of course nourish it more generously, adding flourishes, virtuosity, layers of rich atmospherics, deep emotions… But a real Bedroom Funeral Doom outfit can do without and still sound dark, mournful, possessed by the sepulchral aura. Aabsynthum achieves that. It's still very humble, but so is the recipe. If he had to decide to stick to it, he'd never become a great cook, but he'd eat well nonetheless. 'Inanimus' isn't an essential album by any means, but it is still solid enough to make for a good occasional listen. And it is aimed at the die-hard fans, should I mention that?

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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Initium
2. Are Themselves Simple Thoughts...
3. ...at the Hour of Death
4. That Comes Before the Final... Rest
5. Clausula

Duration : Approx. 68 minutes

Visit the Aabsynthum bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-09-14 by Bertrand Marchal
A Dream Of Poe - The Wraith Uncrowned
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