Abandon All Faith

Nuclear Blast
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. The Rising Horde
02. Phantoms
03. Nocturnal Vermin
04. Seven Crowns
05. Throne Of Disgrace
06. Carved Into The Skin
07. Parasite
08. Iniquitous Rage
09. Plague Nation
10. Enemies Of God
11. Scorn Of The Father
12. Abandon All Faith

Greg Mackintosh is not happy. And thank Satan for that. Over the last three decades, the PARADISE LOST guitarist has been involved in a huge number of seminal and ground-breaking metal records, from early PL classics like "Gothic" and "Draconian Times" through to three uniformly astonishing albums with crusty death metal project VALLENFYRE. In truth, STRIGOI seldom sound too far removed from his most recent band's strain of pitch-black extremity, but Mackintosh is chasing a different monster here, once again aided by bassist Chris Casket (VALLENFYRE/EXTREME NOISE TERROR) but otherwise fully in control of every gruesome element. Death metal remains the spiritual core of everything that Mackintosh does, but STRIGOI immediately feels less morose and more bug-eyed and bestial than its predecessor, with plenty of wild detours into neck-snapping D-beat, bursts of bilious, industrial sludge worthy of early SWANS and some of the most scabrous, abyssal heaviness unearthed this year.

It's obvious from intro "The Rising Horde" — 90 seconds of mounting tension and unearthly noise — that "Abandon All Faith" is an endeavor driven by disdain, disgust and an overpowering sense of futility in the face of humanity's failures. This is unrelenting, uncompromising and warped beyond all recognition; the mostly straightforward clatter of "Seven Crowns" and "Phantoms" coming across as a sickened, mutant version of something more familiar, dense with menace and played with desperate intensity. "Throne Of Disgrace" is one of several overtly old-school moments: a burst of Stockholm-powered turbo-death with multiple stops, starts and blasts, it's done and dusted in less than two minutes, and yet its atmosphere lingers like some spectral threat. Similarly, "Scorn Of The Father" is a lurching barrage of serrated-edge chug and heads-down ripping. It's superficially traditional, but there is something nasty and malevolent lurking just beneath the surface of every riff and pained bellow.

The finest moments come when Mackintosh whacks the misery fader right up into the red: both "Carved Into The Skin" and the closing title track wallow in a festering soup of slow-motion spite, providing thrilling contrast with the album's more ferocious bursts of speed and cementing the impression that British metal's master of morbidity is incapable of making a bad record. Abandon all faith, by all means, but you can definitely put your trust in STRIGOI.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).