Abscess: Through The Cracks Of Death

By Mistie Threkay (Just that Good)
Vanguard Party 2.1 (October 2002)

It would be truly unique and original to form a metal band that could sing about nice things. The only thing that seems to separate metal from hardcore anymore is that metal revolves around evil (thank god) rather than trying to create politically relevant music devoid of fun. Abscess do not fall victim to the socially aware curse. Though there are songs that deal with social issues, like junkies and Dementia, they take time to have fun and play wicked heavy music. A real cool concept, these guys did set their album apart from everyone else’s. The guitar player in this band plays without falling into the pit where most Heavy Fucking Metal guitarists go to die.

Throwing this out to Cannibal Corpse fans would probably work. Thank god, or recording contracts, that bands of this caliber are keeping metal alive and reviving the art of metal album covers. Highlights of this 45-minute thrashfest are, “Serpent of Dementia” and “Tomb of the Unknown Junkie.”

This release’s only real fault is that when it slows down it gets too slow. The pace never evens. The crescendo effect on the intro to “Die for Today” was lost when the progression sustained for longer than it should have. These things are forgivable when you realize that the last two songs are both under 2 minutes in duration, and whiz by your head like a kickball gone mad. Yeah this thing is a lot like kickball. You should hate it, but then you think back and realize that it was the only thing that got you through gym (or in Heavy Metal’s case high school) it gets a lot cooler real quick. This is one of the most distinct metal albums in at least the last year. “Good Shot.”

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