Friday, April 27, 2012

Abruptum - Evil (1991)

The music of Abruptum is something that can be difficult to describe. Released in November 1991, the Evil E.P. possesses more elements of actual Metal, compared to the later works issued under this name. However, it would be equally appropriate to label this as some sort of ambient effort, long before the likes of Burzum or Beherit wandered into such territory. Whatever tag one may attach to this, the title of the album remains just as accurate.

What one can expect with Evil is a horrific descent into the darkest shadows, where no light survives. The absolutely hellish sounds have very little structure, which better enables listeners to get lost in thought. In a sense, the lack of arrangement serves to carry you off into the deepest nightmare imaginable, and you only realize it once it is already too late. Demonic voices call to you, from all sides, summoning you forth. The guitar riffs are very slow and doom-like, with a murky tone that adds to the atmosphere of torment. Keyboards come and go, sounding like something from an old Italian horror film. Everything about this is incredibly unsettling, if experienced in the right way. Much like the music, the vocals have absolutely no recognizable pattern; rather, the voices are simply one more element that adds to the overall effect. The two tracks, here, only amount to about ten minutes and yet that is all the time necessary for one to suffer an eternity of torture.

For one to be introduced to this now, two decades after its initial release, may be less impressive than in 1991. However, this was certainly the most evil and hellish thing to emerge from Sweden during this time period and should be heard for historical value, if nothing else. Still, it is quite likely that, if you listen to this in total darkness and solitude, you will feel the overwhelming horror that was intended.