Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Abyssic Hate - Suicidal Emotions (2000)

Abyssic Hate is a one-man band, from Australia, created by Shane Rout in 1993. The style of music could certainly be categorized as suicidal Black Metal, with heavy influence from Burzum, Strid and I Shalt Become. After a string of demos and an E.P., Abyssic Hate finally released a full-length album. This was released by No Colours Records, in May 2000. As of this writing, it's the only L.P. that Mr. Rout has managed to put together. Nonetheless, this single album has made Abyssic Hate very popular, in certain circles, with many still dying for a follow-up. Unfortunately, the only release since then was the compilation, A Decade of Hate, featuring earlier demo material.

Suicidal Emotions consists of four songs, with three of the four clocking in well over ten minutes long. The scarred-up figure on the cover of the album suits the feeling quite well, as this is the type of music that you listen to when you are overcome by great sorrow and a longing to spill your own blood. The dark melodies of "Depression Part I" are both hauntingly miserable and beautiful at the same time. While listening, you almost become lost in some ethereal realm of sadness and despair. Agony is the air that you breathe while pain washes over you with every passing second. This feeling continues on through "Betrayed" and "Depression Part II". The sound is almost a mixture of the aforementioned bands, as well as some Katatonia. These are the sounds of eternal damnation; no, not in the fictional Hell of Judeo-Christian mythology, but rather the very real Hell that exists on this earth as we know it. There is something almost hypnotic about the compositions, here, as they are structured very well. There is enough repetition to allow one to drift off, as if in a trance, yet the songs are dynamic enough to take you on a journey through the dark recesses of your own feeble mind. This is especially true of "Despondency", which is the longest song on the album.

The album utilizes, mostly, tremolo riffs and an abundance of open-arpeggio riffs. The guitar sound is cold and sharp, cutting through your skin like the razor that you hold between your fingers. You welcome this sensation, as each caress from its rusted edge brings to your view another crimson stream that flows in the candlelight. Sometimes, you may be pushing yourself to reach for an end, to go deeper and deepeer until you've gone too far and the blood begins to gush forth, unceasingly. Other times, you just need to see the blood. It almost calms you, in some unknown way. And there are times when the pain that you suffer is so severe that you want the outside to match the inside; it helps to see some visual sign of that which afflicts you internally. Then again, there are times when you begin to feel nothing at all, as the emptiness consumes your soul, and the blood is a reminder that you are still alive, though you may not feel it. As the album progresses, the melodies become more like razor wire that slowly wraps around you, loosely, while you are only moderately aware of what is happening. As the mournful sounds fill your ears, you unknowingly tighten the grip of the razor wire around your body. By the time you realize it, it's too late. Freezing and alone, your every move causes your flesh to be shredded to pieces. As time goes on, you continue to tear away at yourself, just through your pathetic efforts to live. Everything you do, every choice you make only causes it to become worse. The only solution is death. This is the dark beauty of this music.

The primary weakness of this album, and the most detrimental factor, is the vocal delivery. The vocals are buried in the mix, seeming to be flat and lifeless. It is even possible to ignore the programmed drums, as it isn't really an issue. However, the vocals are sub-par and are incapable of conveying the same sense of melancholy that is imbued in the listener via the guitar melodies. He tries, but effort does not always equal success. This is why one-man bands are often ranked among the average and mediocre, because one person simply cannot do everything and realize his full potential. Despite this, the depressingly epic guitar melodies carry this release.

Suicidal Emotions is marked by Shane Rout's musical influences, yet it is all filtered through his particular vision to create something so bleak and dismal as to take the listener to a much darker place. The melodies truly reach inside of you and tear at those things which you attempt to keep hidden, even from yourself. One cannot help but feel an oppressive sense of pressure, as if someone is sitting on your chest, while listening to this. It becomes difficult to breathe and the dominating though on your mind is to seek an end to it all. There is no forgiveness, no redemption for your mistakes. You are a failure and your life has amounted to nothing. You have brought nothing but disappointment and grief to those unfortunate souls who have been associated with you. Everyone would be better off if you would end your life. Most importantly, you would be better off. Life is pain. Death is what you seek.