Through the Cracks of Death


Autopsy survivor Chris Reifert and his band of urine junkies are, with each subsequent album, honing Abscess into a more brutal musical entity. Through the Cracks of Death moves the band even further away from their sloppier, zombie-Ramones roots, into a twilight haze of drug-addled black death. I, for one, am enjoying the evolution as much as I did that of the creature in Project: Metalbeast. There’s some near-psychedelic shit going on here! Mortician meets Crazy Horse? Maybe…

“Mourners Will Burn” is an awesome track that comes the closest to recapturing their splatter-punk roots; imagine Carcass at their tightest, covering Exploited tunes. It’s anchored by loping, mid-paced thrash rhythms and some bone-crunchy guitar and sickly vocals. And dig that solo! “Through the Cracks of Death” is musically reminiscent of Slayer circa Seasons in the Abyss, but a little more claustrophobic. “Serpent Of Dementia” combines thundering basslines with murderous grindcore orc vocals and constantly shifting tempos. “Tomb of the Unknown Junkie,” which comes thisclose to referencing Mr. Show, belches forth downtuned verses with great gasped vocals, and some sicko duo vocal interplay over doomy riffola. “Die For Today” is the most challenging track, an assload of mind-altering thrash riffs, time changes and ripped trachea vocal patterns. This one really works the disease-ridden, slow burn tension like prime Asphyx or Pestilence. And when the album ends with two one-minute endnotes, one utter deathpunk and the other crunchy outro atmospherics, that are just totally ace, no one goes home cheated.

Is it just me, or did Abscess go from being The Meat Shits’ evil twin brothers to a potent musical force within a surprisingly short period of time?

Peaceville Records: http://www.peaceville.com

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