Just when you thought you could sleep peacefully at night, Aborted From Reality, a new release from those horror and gore meisters Greg Wilkinson and Chris Reifert, courtesy of their Death Doom project Static Abyss, is set to be unleashed.
Static Abyss – Aborted From Reality (Peaceville Records)
Release Date: 30 June 2023
Words: Jools Green
If, like me, you think it only seems like last year that they dropped their last album, then that is because it was their debut full-length, the nightmarish grizzly Labyrinth Of Veins, in April 2022. Followed swiftly by the latest Autopsy release in September, these guys aren’t resting just so we can rest uneasily.
Aborted From Reality is an eleven-track offering clocking up just under forty minutes that is lyrically gore and horror-infused insanity, set to a Crusty Death Doom soundtrack that pushes the extreme.
It’s either an all-out aural assault from a brutal wall of riffs hurtling towards you or dropping down to an eerily unnerving doomy pace with equally eerie hypnotic guitar leads overlaid along with insanely twisted riffs, which is what makes it such a superbly disquieting and irresistibly engaging listen.
Opening on the album title track, Aborted From Reality, initially a d-beat drive, ramping up to an insane pace with squealing leads and sinister undercurrents and as the pace plummets, Chris’s vocals come snarling through before resuming that full tilt pace.
Next, the album single, which came out in April, Wormskinned, about which they comment, “Sometimes becoming the undisputed king or queen of filth, disease and dirt is worth selling your soul for. When you are in that ravenous state of mind, nothing else matters. It happens all the time.”
It’s eerie and sinister to open, panning out into an equally eerie chug. The vocals burst forth in screams and snarls, the pace dropping back further to an unnervingly gut-churning slow plod, but only briefly, as the pace suddenly turns full throttle, punctuated by blood-curdling screams switching seamlessly between these two extremes. I love this repeated contrast and extreme range.
Cathedral Of Vomit is almost funereal in pace throughout, shrouded in unnerving darkness, the vocals deep and protracted, and there’s a superb, slightly cavernous hollowness to the sound that is as disconcerting as it is echoey, a beautifully bleak, understated piece.
Cerebral Ghost is the opposite pace-wise, opening on a full-throttle assault, repeatedly dropping back to vast swathes of that eerier funereal feel of the predecessor. Speaking of contrast, the midpoint burst of leadwork is off the scale insane in its speed of delivery, set over a frantic driving undercurrent before falling back to the eerier aspect, which packs a bit more of a sinister punch towards the close.
Returning again to a doom-laden pace, at least to open, is Mind Tentacles. But the pace soon elevates to one that switches seamlessly between a maniacally fast and a groovy mid-paced repeat, upping the insanity of pace and intensity further to impressive levels in the second half.
Poisoned Limbs is a brief, one-minute offering that melds a chilling jangling melody with a dirty groove alongside more frantic elements. It’s short, sharp and to the point.
We are back to the eerie funereal feel for Horizon Of Cremains, with Chris delivering some of his most cavernous vocals, elevating to a dark frantic pace that echoes an unnerving feeling of urgency, plunging back to the opening mood and pace towards the close.
Adding contrast, Crosses And Coffins wastes no time, launching into a frantic gallop from the offset. I love the waves of undulating riffs that course over the top. The pace drops back a third of the way through to a chugging plod allowing for strong intonation on the vocal delivery, but it’s not long before the pace becomes frantic. Even more impressive is the complex and convoluted riffing contained within, tailing off towards the close.
Unrepentant Mutant Serpent opens at a mid-pace with a rolling repeat riff. A hugely engaging piece from the offset, as it chugs along, I’m wondering which direction the pace will go in this time, and it’s towards a crushing doom-laden one, filled with eeriness, suspense and deranged vocalisations. It tails away slower and slower towards the close but always maintains a suspenseful atmosphere.
On Dehumanized, hypnotic undulating rhythms draw you in. Once you are in their grasp, the pace takes off, developing a complexity alongside insane vocal screams. Then it’s over, but what an enthralling fifty-seven seconds it is!
The final piece, The Static Abyss, is a slow-burning, eerie offering with sparsely and carefully placed and delivered tormented vocals. Sublimely sinister, particularly with the arrival of the low-key leadwork, this is a darkly atmospheric piece that, at times, is suffocatingly dense. But as it thins out towards the close, it feels even more ominous, and the protracted fading scream sits with you long after the album finishes.
Aborted From Reality is yet another blisteringly great release from this hugely talented, twisted duo. It was recorded at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA, with engineering, mixing and mastering overseen by Greg.
The cover art, like the debut release, is once again courtesy of All Things Rotten. The album will be available in multiple formats that include CD, black vinyl, Toxic Green Vinyl, as well as digitally. For more details, visit https://staticabyss.lnk.to/AFR.