Five long years had passed since German band Abrasive had unleashed their fifth studio album ‘Book of Sin’ upon the world. Their own form of pestilence had been put out into the world, but then another pandemic hit and shut the world down. So as time passed and instability reigned, this trio native to Stuttgart got down to business and wrote the words and music for a new album, their sixth full length offering. Then in early 2022 through Rebirth the Metal Productions, ‘Edge of Darkness’ was birthed, kicking and screaming and covered with gore and detritus into this new post-pandemic world. Hadn’t the world suffered enough?
Not nearly enough as it turned out, and so Abrasive spread a new wave of horror and extremity on an unsuspecting populace with their savage brand of old school Brutal Death Metal. In terms of personal taste, I usually shy away from Brutal Death Metal due to its higher turnover of modern sounding slam bands that litter the sub-genre. Abrasive though do not fall into this category. Right from the outset of opening track ‘Puppet Face’, Abrasive demonstrate a powerful style that focuses on crushing drum tones, huge chunky riffs and snarling bass leads, all topped off by furious, meaty vocals from vocalist/guitarist Ralf Köhler, backed by a more urgent and ravenous style of backing vocals from bassist/vocalist Alex Ringwald.
I’ll not neglect the drumming talents of Herr Alexander Mäckle either. His dextrous style behind the kit ranges from gradual build up work to all out assault, and the end results are a brutal display in pummelling intensity that match the punishing riffs and rumbling, thunderous bass play that roar forwards unrelenting through this album.
Do not expect a processional exploration of brutality throughout though, as Abrasive are adept at slowing the pace violently, letting the double kick drums rumble and breeding a new gloomy, malice laced atmosphere on proceedings. Abrasive excel at creating a brooding, seething atmosphere that is wreathed in darkness, and the ominous tone that the band set actually makes their lyrical concepts appear as somewhat of a surprise, in that they focus mainly on erotic fantasies.
It takes a lot for Brutal Death Metal to impress me, but in Abrasive you have the right amount of chaos, brutality, technicality and atmosphere to seep into my consciousness, and ‘Edge of Darkness’ is an album that excites and engages me throughout its tenure!