Look, Here Comes The Dark! by AbrahamRelease date: May 11, 2018
Label: Pelagic Records
If you were to make a time capsule and were only allowed a couple of post-metal releases then Look, Here Comes The Dark! by Abraham would be an essential addition. That isn’t to say it is the greatest ever post-metal album but it covers so much ground and embraces many of the styles that the genre has traversed. It is a real beast of an album and each new listen will throw something new to attention, although you will be hard pushed to try and consume it all at once.
The irony of putting this album in a time capsule is that the theme of the album is the near destruction of earth with humankind abandoning the planet. The band is quick to point out that this is a theoretical sci-fi concept rather than a political statement. The release is split into four different sections which makes it ideal for the quadruple vinyl version but a bit more bloated for digital listening. Whilst the vinyl requiring you to turn over will re-focus your attention, listening to all 19 songs in a row can leave you feeling a bit lost. There are certainly enough highlights to justify giving this album some quality listening time as well as picking and mixing tracks at other moments, the concept doesn’t need to be followed strictly to gain enjoyment.
The opening movements are under the title of Anthropocene and deal with the downfall of man and machine with the earth being recaptured by nature. Here the music is as dark as you would expect from apocalyptic scenes. There is desperation in the vocal delivery and it rings a sense of frustration that not all are taking heed of the message being delivered. The bass is ever present as it rattles its own warning over some thunderous drums. ‘Wonderful World’ has a real thickness to the lead riff which is surrounded by the bass and drums and a dense atmosphere persists in the background. There is a really catchy vocal riff that hooks deep and keeps dragging you back to the song. ‘Wanderer’ introduces moments of silence which cause an unnerving feeling before leading into ‘Hyperoïne’ which has tones of acceptance. The transition to Phytocene is complete as the electronics and guitar on instrumental track ‘To The Ground’ drone and swirl in a cavernous space.
There is a noticeable change of pace at the start of ‘Silent at Last’, from the ravages of destruction come the slow regrowth. The music in this section is certainly more doom tinged with a slower paced emphasis on the lower end bass threading through the tracks but there are moments of faster activity which all build up in section closer ‘Rise Goddess’. The tone changes to flashes of post-black metal in amongst the slow ringing guitar whilst the drums keep up their powerhouse efforts.
The third section, Myocene, delves into the darker sides of post-metal musically and with the sci-fi narrative. As the mycelium overtakes the land so too the perilous screams of the vocalist are overcome with the devilish howls of drummer David Haldumann. There are hints of Cult of Luna in ‘Sanctuaire’ as the rim shots click in the background of a slow ringing guitar and desolate vocals. The spatial atmospheres are also reminiscent of the feeling on Vertikal and having Magnus Lindberg producing probably helped those reach a perfect level. As the tracks progress the heaviness sways in and out of songs with ‘Vulvarie’ having a blistering ending and the vocals are swallowed up by the swelling guitars in ‘Urnacht’.
Completing the story is Oryktocene, which gives an impression of the desolation that remains on earth but also reminds of the power of nature. On ‘Wind’ the guitars drone under the keyboard as the drums keep a very sparse beat and vocals screams fill in the middle whilst ‘Erth’ sees an eruption of guitar with an ever present mix of electronics and bass pounding through. Wrapping up the concept is the epic ‘Space Departure’ where the last few survivors leave earth to go into space leaving behind a shell of the planet their ancestors inherited. The track goes from the eerie atmospheric drone through to the powerful post-metal displayed before to offer a good glimpse of the journey the band has led through the narrative. Although the song could have gone to a soaring, roaring finish it ends with a wash of static which gives way to a feeling of disappointment. However, it feels like this disappointment is what the band was conveying in the narrative and so becomes somewhat sweeter. This isn’t a Hollywood feel good movie, this is the reality and you can feel the sadness of the people looking back on what they have survived.
Look, Here Comes The Dark! will never topple the best from ISIS, Rosetta or any other of the giants of the genre, but it certainly deserves a place as a genre reference point.