Genre: Black Metal
Country: Norway
Label: Tanglade
Year: 2017

When examining the 90’s, Limbonic Art are one of the pillars of the second wave of black metal and their early catalog consists of gargantuan albums that are considered must-have classics to this day. The band stumbled upon problems with the new millenium, which consisted of a short break-up as well as Morfeus, a main member, leaving in 2009, looking as if their golden days forever belong to the past. For that reason, I have mixed feelings about Limbonic Art as a whole, as they have shown samples of sheer perfection as well as really mediocre moments in their career so far.

Back in 2010, I was not at all impressed with Phantasmagoria and believed this might as well be the demise of Limbonic Art, not because of the lesser use of keys but because of the more overall lack of musical vision that I always expect from Daemon. In Spectre Abysm, the crazy keyboard lines that once characterized the band are still long gone, at least almost completely, making way to the guitars and vocals to do all the work. Sadly, they don’t deliver at all, resulting in rather weak effort with little to show for itself.

The main problem that makes Spectre Abysm suffer is what seems to be a serious deficiency in ideas. In the whole album, there are only a couple of interesting parts and most of it is just slow and empty playing by Daemon. There are very few good guitar lines and when a good riff comes up, it gets dumped down by the middle pace of the track or the wearisome drum machine (another issue here and an example of bad drum machine use). More than half the album contains tracks that start a bit furious and towards the end slow down into repetitive boredom, as if they were forced to be long enough in order to reach proper full length duration.

The record opens in epic fashion with the ten minute “Demonic Possession”, which is based on some average guitar riffs and is not a total disaster, but by no means convinces the listener of it’s quality at any moment. Compared to the rest of the album, it might be a somehow decent track. The next two, “Ethereal Traveller” and “Omega Doom” have the problems mentioned in the previous paragraph, they don’t have the needed power of focus and made me check the player several times to see if they would finally end. Moreover, these chants in clean vocals features at various parts of the tracks should not be there at all, as they only make the listener sad of what once was great.

After an effortless, three minute interlude-like composition, finally comes “Triumph Of Sacrilege”, the only track I may listen to again from this record. Instead of dull synths, it has very few actual keyboard lines, as well as solid structure and guitar work and it’s not so long timing (four minutes) is ideal, as it is a composition that was not unnaturally stretched to reach seven or eight minutes like the rest of the tracks. “Disciplina Arcani” is relatively ok for it’s introductory narrating but has too much ambient and a pale synth behind shrieked vocals is really not enough from a band like Limbonic Art, is it?

The final number is pretty much at the same level and maybe there’s a riff you’ll like in there. All in all, Spectre Abysm sounds like a big filler album with only one or two good moments that don’t save it’s skin. The record is bad on it’s own and not only because everyone of us knows Daemon has done better. There are hardly any good ideas in it and in my book, maybe it will be considered Limbonic Art’s worst record of their discography.

 

2/6