Tuesday 19 March 2013

Abysmal Grief - Feretri (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 9/3/2013
Label : Terror from Hell/Horror Records
Feretri, album tracklisting:

1. Lords Of The Funerals
Hidden In The Graveyard
Sinister Gleams
The Gaze Of The Owl
6. Her Scythe


The Abysmal Grief born in 1995 in Genoa at the hands of the guitarist Regen Graves. For reasons of suitability and availability of musicians that are joined, they follow different line-up, until you get to June the following year, in which there is the final entry of the singer and bassist Piedmont Garian Lord Alastair, together with a drummer who will be 'asked to leave the group shortly after the release of a promo-tape released in a few intimate admirers of the band.

The kind of music proposed by Graves and 'a Horror Doom Metal with clear references to the occult and Rock in the early seventies (Black Sabbath, Black Widow, Jacula and early Death SS), strongly influenced by the deep interest in esoteric and elaborate forms of ritual magic (however far removed from any kind of Satanism), and of course, a strong culture of Horror that has allowed the group to distance itself in a precise and definitive than those that are the musical trends of the second half of the nineties, and to create a style that is certainly not new but still a good attempt to move away from any easy trend, and reassessment of the real issues hidden, not necessarily related to the combination of anti-Christianity, Satanism. The draft Graves was put in place more securely 'full entry into the line-up of keyboardist / singer Jabesh C. Necrothytus (October 1996), who is also firmly dedicated to the occult philosophies and composer of melodies, funereal tones that very unhealthy and loved the sound of the group.

After a series of concerts during the dark 1997 (in which the group uses a drum machine) there is the return of Fog, current drummer Sacradis fellow citizens, already 'a member in 1995 of the original, which is recorded the demo -tape debut "funereal" (January 1998), very well received by both the public and the press and of which sell out quickly, the only three hundred copies, making it difficult to find now an object '. In 1998, then see a series of concerts promoting the demo, in which the group puts on a real theater where Regen Graves manages to make the most of their obsessions and cemetery and funeral items necromantic peppered with hidden seriously interpreted. But the problems of the band are not yet finished: after recording an unreleased track for the compilation "Into the Underground Vol.3" Whiplash Prod the autumn of 1998 there is a radical change of formation to that seen alongside Graves Necrothytus and three new members with whom you recorded a cover version of "Black Mummy" for the tribute album to the SS Death, published by Black Widow Rec Genoa. But the enthusiasm combined with the spirit of the funeral and necromantic Abysmal Grief seems to be less because of the difficulty 'of understanding with the newcomers, who are so' away after one year rather sterile when the group is unable to arrange live entertainment or to affect anything or 'for the lack of professionalism' of the same.

Then comes October 1999 that are experiencing the return of Lord Alastair bassist and the decision to entrust Jabesh Necrothytus also the vocals. The only problem is the battery, which is currently played by the same Graves live while the group relies on a session man. With the formation of three elements, the work is much more 'intimate and fluid Abysmal Grief and then come to the realization of the real second official working: the mini-cd "Exsequia hides, always characterized by a sound but that old-style saw the final abandonment of the Black Metal vein still present in previous recordings in favor of a more 'attitude marked Dark-Doom. The CD in question (which actually should have been 'a 45) and' consists of a long suite ("Exsequia Occult") of about 13 minutes divided into four parts, which represent a genuine necromantic ritual, filled inserts of organ and acoustic guitar, and characterized by a slow pace and overwhelming, which owes much to the Black Widow, true masters of the occult set to music. "Sepulchre of Misfortune" and 'the second track of this work (ie' that should have been the so-called B-side) with strong ties to continue 'text-based content to "Exsequia Occult" but characterized by a higher rate than' fluid and Dark attitude more, thanks to the vocal interpretation of burial Necrothytus. Although the group is unable to undertake a live activity, the single still managed to collect a huge success in a short time and allows Abysmal Grief to get noticed outside Italy, where he attracts the attention of the Danish Horror Records label, along with which is the decision to enter the studio in February of 2002 to record 7 "" Hearse "/" Borgo Pass "are two songs that were only temporarily abandon the discourse almost exclusively undertaken with necromantic" funereal "and" Exsequia Occult "to give greater emphasis to a context-style horror film based on common visions funeral of Graves, which have always characterized the composition of the group but which here is given a predominant importance. The greater" accessibility "of these two new songs is also offered by a much more fluid and rhythmic gait darkeggiante, while remaining in the foreground component that Doom is still the fundamental identity of the sound of Abysmal Grief. The single comes out officially on November 2 limited edition on colored vinyl and collecting suffered a moderate success (more in the rest of Europe in Italy, to tell the truth) even though the same vinyl format much more difficult to trade CDs.

At the same time enter into the line up drummer William Blissett. After a relatively long period, where the group is unable to organize live shows at the lack of a keyboard to replace Necrothytus on stage, the lineup is prepared for what will be the first full-length of Abysmal Grief, almost certainly for the cult label Black Widow, scheduled for the winter of 2005 but delayed due to problems encountered during recording and mixing. Parallel, 2 November 2004, released a split 7 "Abysmal Grief / Tony Tears, entirely self-produced and recorded at Studio Chrismon Regen Graves. This work is considered to be definitive about the meeting point of the study on the Philosophy of Death and Tears by Graves (these are already a member of the band in the late 90's and this song on a tribute to Death SS), and presents as a sort of forerunner of the album. By 2005, Abysmal Grief recur in the live version before playing horror charnel Rock Fest Club Martinengo (BG) with Blood Thirsty Demons and Midryasi, and then participating as headliners at the first edition of "Stoned Hand of Doom" festival, held in Rome last May 21.


Line - up

Regen Graves - Guitars, Drums
Lord Alastair - Bass
Labes C. Necrothytus - Vocals, Keyboards

The word ‘Feretri’ means ‘coffins’ in Italian and each of the six tracks found on Abysmal Grief’s third full-length album should be understood as a container of dead things, dead subjects.  On this album Abysmal Grief dumps the listener in the graveyard at night, hands him a shovel and says, “get to it”.  Not a song goes by without attending a funeral or digging a grave.  While this is nothing new for the band, there’s a tighter focus on funereal imagery, here the band plumbs the absolute depths of what the living can see and experience of the rotting underworld. 

Musically, in many ways this album can be seen as a continuation of their last full-length, 2009’s ‘Misfortune’.  “Sinister Gleams” sounds like a direct sequel to “Ignis Fatuus” possessing much of the same character including a distinctive malevolent chuckle after the verse.  But ‘Feretri’ does not simply follow a script.  There are noticeable differences along the way.

For one thing, and it is quite obvious on the first two tracks especially, the band’s distinctive organ is treated more as an accompaniment to the other instruments and less as a lead instrument.  A subtle change, but one that is a departure from the band‘s well-established identity.  While the organ is slightly toned down in scope, there’s a larger emphasis on the guitar creating an overall sound that is heavier, filthier and less dominated by Lord Alastair’s rumbling low end.  The opening track actually features a damn hell ass shredding guitar solo.  It’s not quite what fans might expect.  Another noticeable change is in the vocal approach.  Labes C. Necrothytus’ sepulchrally deep vocals spill over into a grimy rasp, spitting vile and venom, the tenor of a priest whose barely masked hostility towards his flock has finally boiled over, spilling out onto the surface.  It’s a strong effect as his usually graven vocals show neither sorrow nor anger, only the pitilessness of the dead.  Again, these are all small differences because overall the trademark sound is intact and if you are familiar with the band, you’ll have a good idea of what you will be getting yourself into with this album.  All together though, this is not only the band’s heaviest, but also their darkest album to date.

Abysmal Grief continues to spin classic horror soundtracks, this one slightly less supernatural in flavor, more akin to a graveyard slasher flick.  A slight departure in sound is apparent on the first two tracks before the band settles into familiar, padded confines.  They’re still the best at what they do.  This album is best listened to in the dark.  ‘Feretri’ is six tracks steeped six feet deep in pure horror doom.  If you dug their last album ‘Misfortune’, then don’t be afraid to hop into ‘Feretri’. 

Words by :  Lucas Klaukien

As always show your support to the band. You can buy the CD and vinyl is available here.  Thanks to Marco Gargiulo for hooking us up with the record.