Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Abrahma - 'Reflections In The Bowels of the Bird' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/5/2015
Label: Small Stone Recording

‘Reflections In The Bowels of the Bird’ CD//DD track listing:

1). Fountains Of Vengeance
2). An Offspring To The Wolves
3). Omens Pt.1
4). Weary Statues
5). Omens Pt.2
6). Kapal Kriya
7). Square the Circle
8). Omens Pt.3
9). A Shepherd’s Grief
10). Conium…

Abrahma is

S├ębastien BISMUTH | Vocals, Guitars, Synths and Effects
Nicolas HELLER | Guitars
Guillaume COLIN | Bass guitar
Benjamin COLIN | Drums


Abrahma, a band on Small Stone that I was actually not familiar with at all,  so with having no previous knowledge of this bands history I’ll base my review from that perspective. First thing about this release that will grab you is the absolutely stunning album artwork, second thing is definitely the title of the record. With a title like “Reflections In The Bowels of a Bird”, I’m thinking “what the hell, is this going to be a death metal record out on small stone?” All kidding aside, not at all just a rather abstract and quizzical album title and what “Reflections In the Bowels of a Bird” is right out of the gate, is a declaration of no bones about it heavy rock record with flourishes of psychedelia and tweaks of nineties era hard rock  Each time I listened to this record I kept having this overall feeling of early nineties grunge nostalgia ala Alice in Chains or Soundgarden, then I read the bands bio, which states that exact thought as being a large influence. The key to this statement is one of influence being injected where needed to augment the bands style not an overall clone of music from that era.

“Fountains of Vengeance” starts the record off with a distortion intro right into a modernized approach on an early nineties hard rock sound. Excellent vocals are immediately noteworthy and a good indication of what we’re in for with the record. Second offering “An Offspring To The Wolves” gets darker and slower on the listener and almost sounds like a different band altogether. Really liked this track for the weight and gravity of it, there were some great parts displayed that built up the urgency of the song and then fly off the handle into a nice weird psychedelic part.

With track three “Omens Pt. 1“ begins a trilogy of more spacey and mellow songs that thread through the record, “Weary Statues” puts forward a faster more aggressive approach until the halfway point where they go into something that reminds me of a spacey Solitude Aeturnus or late 90’s Sentenced, before they jump back into the original attack of the song. This is a very cool and interesting track that makes me look forward to the remainder of the record.

“Omens pt. 2” continues with the mellow and ethereal vibe from part one, bringing  to mind Faith No More in parts. Cool guitar parts weave into the psychedelic effects before matching screams with a jazzy saxophone piece! I love crazy instrumentation on rock records and especially the addition of saxophone so this one hits me. Next up “Kapal Kriya” stretches out the ending of “pt. 2” before becoming its own beast, heavier bass and angry sounding vocals do well for the entire track and this is a stand out track on the record for me. I hate to keep coming up with influences and likeness but this track really pulls heavily from the repertoire of Tool. “Square The Circle” comes off as a fast, almost radio friendly hard rock/metal song. Not my thing, but I believe fans of the band will dig it.

“Omens Pt. 3” is a much darker concluding chapter to the trilogy, more dire and dismal in all ways and kind of sets the tone for the last quarter of the record. Next up is “A Shepherds Grief” and this song features Ed Mundell formerly of TAB and Monster Magnet fame, as one would expect it’s got his signature guitar tone all over it. This is a good tune and I like it a lot, more of a straight ahead rocker that showcases the vocal talents as well as the fuzzier direction the band can take. Finally “Conium” closes out the record on the note of a more solemn rocker, sort of a ballad with a dire and somber tone. I might be missing something but it seems like Abrahma decided to close out their second record with a sense of hopelessness and doom but in an accessible way.

So to wrap things up, if you’ve got a yearning for something harkening back to early nineties grunge tinged psychedelia that provides you with a straight ahead rock with chops and hooks to spare, this will definitely be a release for you!

Words by: David Heaton

‘Reflections In The Bowels of the Bird’ is available here

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