Sunday, October 30, 2011

Abyssic Hate - Eternal Damnation (1998)

Following a series of demos, Abyssic Hate released the Eternal Damnation E.P. in 1998, through Darker Than Black. Consisting of only four original songs, this recording is not all that original or captivating, but it is fairly decent Black Metal in the vein of early Darkthrone, particularly Transilvanian Hunger.

After a completely useless intro, "Knight of the Living Dead" rips forth with cold and mournful tremolo melodies that are actually quite memorable, even haunting at times. The drumming sounds like it is probably programmed, which would make sense since this is a one-man project. Either way, it is not bad and does a decent job of keeping time and little else. The riffs flow well, from one to the next, and the progression is logical as each one builds on its predecessor. The vocals sound similar to Varg's approach on Filosofem, though more distant and a bit weaker. This is one of the main flaws of the recording, as the vocals do not do enough to add to the overall atmosphere of the songs. By the middle of the track, the pace slows down and more epic melodies unfold, creating depth and demonstrating that, while the playing may be very influenced by Darkthrone, the actual songwriting is much less minimalist.

"Human Despair" follows the same formula, more or less. This is pure worship of the early 90s Norwegian Black Metal scene, and there is absolutely no denying it. That said, at least Abyssic Hate does an adequate job of it, unlike so many others. As with the previous track, the guitar riffs flow naturally, though some of the riffs are less than impressive. The mid-paced part is less useful and the riffs become boring. The lyrics are a joke, as well, sounding about as emo and pathetic as possible, even making references that almost seem to show some sort of acceptance of Judeo-Christian mythology. Hopefully, this was merely for poetic effect.

This is contradicted on the following track, "Attack!", which at least makes use of some common Black Metal themes of violence and anti-Christian sentiment. Musically, it is superior to the last song, just for the fact that it is more straightforward and keeps the blasting pace, without the ridiculous double-bass parts. It features some memorable tremolo melodies and is one of the better songs on here.

"The Blood War" maintains the same style, though it has become repetitive and boring at this stage. The problem with this sort of approach is that the band must have very interesting riffs, or else it falls flat after a while. It features a slower part that does not do much to add to the song, and the whole endeavour sounds as if it has been heard before.

The final song is an Absurd cover, "Victory is Ours". There is little to say about this, as it does not fit in too well with the rest of the material, but at least it has a slightly different feel to it. It is very short and neither adds to nor detracts from the overall quality of the release.

Eternal Damnation is a decent E.P. but not essential in the slightest bit. These songs were later released on a compilation album titled A Decade of Hate, so they should be rather easy to find. While this comes off as a little generic and uneventful, "Knight of the Living Dead" and "Attack!" are worth hearing and are probably the best songs Abyssic Hate has ever recorded. That said, they are far too derivative and bear little original thought; therefore, one cannot be surprised that this band has not recorded a single note in over a decade.