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ABYSMAL GRIEF (Misfortune) LP/CD

It is a stereotype to begin a Doom album with an intro that includes screaming women, isn’t it? But there is some singing of a group of people as well. Sounds like a sample from a horror movie. Another stereotype. But that is okay I’d say. We are talking about Abysmal Grief here and they are one of the leading acts in the subgenre of Horror Doom. Abysmal Grief do not slow themselves down with rocking or up-tempo parts, pun intended. Instead the quartet from Italy tries to give us the chills. And what could be better than to have some creepy keyboards and a vocalist that sounds like Peter Steele that tries to tell us gothic horror stories at a camp fire. The Type O Negative reference is intended here as the opener 'Ignis Fatuus' already reminds me a bit of that legendary band from Brooklyn, especially because of the keyboard sound. Unfortunatly the repetitive midtempo riff is a little boring to me. It gave room for the keys to evoke a cemetery/black and white horror flick atmosphere though.

'Cadaver Devotion' slows further down and here I like that riff better because there is certainly something more happening on guitar, though it is not really anything tricky or technical either. Instead I get reminded a little of Reverend Bizarre due to the atmosphere. And shit I tell you 'Crypt Of Horror' just made me shiver cause it starts with a sample of somebody walking and I just thought someone was standing right behind me now. Jeez. Note to myself: Do not write reviews of Horror Doom while sitting in the dark. That song is the most straight forward though it does not touch up tempo regions either. It has more of a mid-tempo Saint Vitus vibe if it was not for the keyboards. To break things up a little with all that rock music, 'The Arrival of The Worm' just unloads mellow keyboard sounds and a few effects together with a few whispered lines and would also fit well as a soundtrack to a horror movie.

The nice Vitus reference in riffs returns in 'The Knells Accurse' and vocalist Labes C. Necrothytus just adds laughter, moans and some spoken words, that are pretty much mixed to the background. After a little more than 5 minutes something like a rocking riff and double bass drumming appears. The closing track 'Resurrecturis' clocks in at 13 minutes, and brings back the super slow Doom with an extremely often repeated riff accompanied by a varied keyboard in the beginning, a bass versus soundscape part to head into another repetitive part and some more soundtrack-like ending. In general 'Misfortune' is a good record though I must admit some days I am a little bored by the vocals cause there is little variation, but on other days again I am fine with some again. If you need more horror in your Doom, do not look any further. Abysmal Grief is what you need. The back of the digipack says that there was a bonus video of 'Crypt Of Horror' but neither my computer nor my DVD player found anything. So…who knows, maybe I did not understand it, but you can watch that video here.

(Thorsten Frahling)

www.abysmalgrief.com 

www.blackwidow.it 

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