Sentient Ruin Labratories
10 February 2015
Is a doom laden riff intense slab of crust and sludge the best way to start the music reviews for 2015? Probably, given the state of the nation, and the forthcoming general elections here in the UK, which appear to have all the allure of a stint in Strangeways Prison with a horde of hungry zombies.
As the promo for this album says “With the threat of apocalypse constantly looming over humanity, Oakland-based ABSTRACTER supplies an apt soundtrack for the end of times, as they’ll prove once again on the quartet’s impending second full-length, Wound Empire.”
As is usual with this band it all centres around the construction of lengthy and winding ‘build-up and collapse’ progressions, involving massive and all encompassing riffing. From the first notes of the opening slab of sludge, “Lightless,” it is immediately clear that the next forty-two minutes will be full of uncontrolled hostility in which crust, doom metal, sludge, black metal, noise and psychedelia twist and collide into an impressive sonic attack. The bands’ first release Tomb of Feathers was impressive and this second outing builds on that with significant momentum.
Wound Empire was recorded and mixed last summer at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, California by Greg “The Wizard of Doom” Wilkinson (Brainoil, Pallbearer, Atriarch, Noothgrush, etc.) and mastered at Audiosiege Mastering studios in Portland, Oregon by Brad Boatright (Wolves In The Throne Room, Nails, Sunn O))), Sleep etc.).
The album is undoubtedly a release to look out for with fans of Altar of Plagues, Inter Arma, Thou, Samothrace, Amenra, Tragedy, Indian, Wolvhammer, Unearthly Trance and such-like.
On February 10th, 2015, Wound Empire will be made available on 12″ vinyl LP through Fragile Branch Recordings (US), Vendetta Records (EU/DE), 7Degrees Records (EU/DE) and Shove Records (EU/IT), on CD by COF Records (formerly known as Church Ov Fuck – UK), on cassette tape co-released by Sentient Ruin in collaboration with An Out Recordings, and digitally again through Sentient Ruin. For the LP, there will be 600 copies pressed, of which 500 will be pitch black and 100 on clear wax with black and grey haze. The CD will be in an edition of 100 hand-assembled, four-panel, gatefold, vinyl-styled cardboard jackets with a 6mm spine and insert. The tape will come in 100 units as a five-panel U-card in a clear Norelco box with a cardboard outer sleeve. The cover art, design and layout on all formats of Wound Empire was handled by the band’s friend Kevin Gan Yuen of Bay Area cult band Sutekh Hexen.
Highly recommended and a great way to start the year.
promo photos by Alarcon Murakami Photography