Sunday, November 15, 2009

Abruptum - Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me (1993)

The last rays of the sun are gone and night hovers over you once again. The nocturnal veil envelopes the sky and darkness consumes the last fading rays of the dying sun. Again, you are imbued with melancholy and a great sense of despair, contaminating your soul, severing you from this feeble reality, ensuring unnecessary suffering. Time is abruptly suspended, the hours and days become seemingly endless. In deepest solitude, you lament this bleak and dismal existence. Suddenly, lacerations form upon your body and your flesh is stained by crimson streams flowing from countless wounds. Yet they are not the same as before. And then comes the grief. The pain that keeps you alive through another day. The misery that will, inevitably, come to an end… one day. How you long to be released from the pale clutch of this existence, to know the comfort of a grave, to rest peacefully in death’s cold embrace. You await her arrival with arms outstretched. Death shall soon come. you can hear her footsteps approaching. You can feel her frigid breath on the back of your neck…

Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me is the first full-length from Sweden's Abruptum, consisting of two tracks that clock in at nearly half an hour, each. Released in March 1993, by Deathlike Silence Productions, this album is the type that elicits one of two possible responses; either it is embraced for what it is, or it is utterly despised for what it isn't. What this is not, is a conventional Metal album. As a matter of fact, this wouldn't be considered conventional in any sense. It's not a collection of songs dealing with similar themes, working together to form a cohesive whole. The two tracks can hardly be called songs, at all. To describe this as some form of dark ambient isn't too far off, as the sole purpose of this music is to create a hellish atmosphere. Sounds of misery and self-mutilation are heard on this album. This is the audio representation of the depths of human depravity. Musically speaking, this is the miserable bastard child of Hellhammer's "Triumph of Death".

There's no real production to speak of, as the songs are best labeled as improvised noise. One has to wonder whether or not any of this was planned before entering the studio, or if it's simply the result of some dark ritual that was captured on tape. There's not much here that will really catch your ear; no melodies to stick in your skull and have you coming back for more. This is purely mood music, in the darkest sense. These twisted and nightmarish sounds take the listener deep into the bowels of Hell, as sounds of suffering and torment fill your ears. The effect is best when you are in complete solitude, experiencing this in the nocturnal hours.

Vocals are nothing more than demented and tortured howls and shrieks, as well as some painful moaning. The question regarding whether or not there are actual lyrics here is up for debate. aAain, everything sounds quite improvised. If there is an overall structure to these two pieces, I haven't yet discovered it. Due to the length, I've only listened to this recording about a dozen times in the past few years. Whenever I need an Abruptum fix, I'm much more likely to go after the Evil E.P.

All in all, there's not a lot to say about this. It's one of those things that you really must hear for yourself to fully grasp. Some people find this completely worthless, yet I think the disappointment stems from the record simply not meeting some unfair expectations. Or the cynics could simply be total losers. Either way, if you are open to something rather unconventional and you're seeking an abysmal atmosphere, this is worth 50 minutes of your time. This is the closest I've heard to chaos being caught on tape. Just keep the weapons away while listening; once drawn into the bleak audio realm, it's quite likely you'll find yourself carving into your flesh and bathing in your own blood...