UK Black Metal entity Abduction was formed recently in 2016 as a mysterious one-man project, masterminded by A|V and originally performing live as one. These days he is supported live by slightly less mysterious members from other well-respected UK Black Metal bands and has risen sharply, and deservedly so, to the forefront of UK underground Black Metal, through persistent touring and an impressively substantial back catalogue of releases. With three full-lengths, two EPs and a string of demos, splits and singles, Abduction is now set to unleash, to welcoming ears, the eagerly awaited studio full-length number four, Black Blood.
Abduction – Black Blood (Candlelight Records)
Release Date: 21 October 2022
Words: Jools Green
Black Blood is an ambitious, irresistibly engaging listen, with six tracks that span a weighty forty-five minutes. “I’m an avid listener of ‘raw’ Black Metal,” vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist A|V says, “particularly the way that unintentional noise and lack of clarity can draw you in and provoke the imagination. On the other hand, the evolution of what Abduction has become requires something less indecipherable. With this record, I’ve implied a greater story without explicitly describing each chapter.”
A|V has also spoken of Abduction’s move to Candlelight records. “Before this album was recorded,” he says, “I knew I wanted to step things up a few notches in terms of taking this vision to a wider audience rather than continue to exist in the well-established sphere I’ve grown comfortable in. I decided that now was the time to take a leap into the unknown. Much like the narratives of the songs, there is both trepidation and elation. Time will be the judge…”
Black Blood features guest vocalists for the first time, although its predecessor did feature a guest appearance from Abduction’s live drummer, AG.
Opening with Kernos Crown, a suspensefully haunting builder that rapidly comes to fruition, the thing that immediately struck me was just how quickly this album gets under your skin. Every aspect of this track, the raw but addictive riffs and the vocals, is all so superbly composed and constructed, hugely atmospheric, complex and convoluted yet dark and brutal. This first track is a work of utter brilliance.
Dismantling The Corpse Of Demeter doesn’t disappoint, either. A distant piano opens, and slightly discordant riffs are balanced against deep blackened growls, the riffs intensifying as the pace gathers momentum, delivering an impressive complexity in its most frantic moments. It does ebb back and builds repeatedly, and in amongst all this are some superbly broad-ranging, blackened vocals.
Next, the eleven-minute epic Plutonian Gate unleashes further new elements. A psychedelic progressive feel, particularly as it opens with clean vocals and spoken passages alongside the harsh blackened vocals, with no shortage of twists and turns or ebbs and builds to its construct. There are surprises hiding around every corner, and a repeat riff re-emerges to tie the track together. A powerful and dramatic piece.
Lightless At The Grand Conjunction is another weighty offering at eight minutes duration. Generally slower than the predecessor but oozing with dark, eerie atmosphere, a progressive, hypnotic feel is developed as it progresses, along with more clean vocal elements.
The next offering, A Psylacybic Death, features RM, the person behind Raw Black Metal/Dark Ambient project Revenant Marquisthe as the first of the two guest vocals. “A Psylacybic Death speaks, obtusely, of wisdom lost through time,” Abduction says. “The song entails a drug induced death ritual inspired by the Eleusinian Mysteries whereby the subject hallucinates and is visited by creatures of the cosmic realm, before dissolving from tangible terra firma into the ether. The illusive RM of Revenant Marquis performed a particularly heinous ritual across this track, at my request. I am very pleased to have collaborated with him. ‘I wish no ill, but all to death.'”
A Psylacybic Death is an eerie but driving beast of a track that is not without its own complexities or variance, amplified by the deep but raw vocal delivery, and haunting background wails and screams.
The final piece, In Exaltation Of The Supreme Being, features the final guest vocals, this time courtesy of ‘No One’, the person behind Black Metal/Ambient project The Sun’s Journey Through The Night. A track that repeatedly ranges from the darkly haunting to the maniacally sonic but always remains engaging, with vocal screams in the second half that tear through the very fabric of your being.
Sometimes you sacrifice quantity for quality on an album, but with Black Blood, you get both. An astoundingly good listen, which should be of enormous appeal to fans of bands like The Infernal Sea, Winterfylleth, Gaerea, MGLA, Winterfylleth, and UADA.
Pre-order the album from https://Abduction.lnk.to/BlackBloodPR.