Genre: Black metal
Band: Abysmal Grief
Genre: Doom metal
Split MLP: Legione Occulta/Ministerium Diaboli
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Format: Vinyl (limited to 500 copies), digital, streaming
Release date: June 6, 2019
Two worlds nicely collide when Abhor, an Italian black metal band joins forces with Abysmal Grief, a doom metal band also from Italy. The result is metal diversity and they nail it.
Abhor taking the lead with the first track off the split, Legione Occulta immediately sends the mood secular and the sound trve kvlt, resembling that of the first wave black metal, only expect amplified. Initially and only briefly the sound felt holy with the execution of the organ, however quickly turned dangerously menacing and opaque. The overtones of a horrific exorcism were extremely convincing and will turn your stomach and make you smile all at once. Vocalist Ulfhedhnir has a sound that feels damned to hell, showcasing his brutal and exceptionally evil sounding black metal vocal fold skill both mid and low range. A bloody fantastic track, creating an imposing, unnerving and nasty imaginative listen.
Possession Obsession is up next, and Abhor is where it is at. There is such darkness to their sound, it is captivating and spine-chilling. This track is a brooding listen, with delicious rhythmic drum tracks and thick double kicks. The introduction of synth creates a disturbing tone and the relentless and repetitive guitar patterns worked well. Inspiration for this track must have been created by the great pioneers' Venom. Therefore, this track felt slightly familiar yet incredibly unique simultaneously and I loved that about ‘Possession Obsession'. Ulfhedhnir blows it up with his incredible black vocals – he sounds evil and strong and is a huge element to the murky and distressing mood produced in this track.
Ministerium Diaboli by Abysmal Grief will see this split to its completion and an outro this did feel indeed, even if it was 7.5 minutes long. Abysmal Grief creates a big instrumental ambiance with their time on this split with a drawn-out, yet suspenseful start. The launch of the synth and keys gave this track additional tone and feel, while the haunting stringed wood instruments added to the air of ancient rituals and prayers that were constantly being spoken. When this track does kick in (not long before it finishes), there is more of an indie doom sound delivered, but it worked. Abysmal Grief keeps to the stigmata and sinister themes of the split and has produced an interesting listen.
Overall the split was well executed, heavily black by Abhor and nicely contrasted by Abysmal Grief. Neither of these two bands was here to pick strawberries and stayed true to their style while keeping in line with and true to their bands' mantra around occultism, and all things evil. -Kelly Tee
Kvasir Bass, Guitars
Domine Saevum Graven: guitars, bass, backing vocals
Leonardo Lonnerbach: Organ
Labes C. Necrothytus: Keyboards, vocals
Regen Graves: Guitars, Drums
Lord Alastair: Bass
Lord of Fog: Drums
1. Abhor - Legione Occulta
2. Abhor - Possession / Obsession
3. Abysmal Grief - Ministerium Diaboli