Witches by Hans Baldung Grien, 1510
§ In the Studio, 2014
A portentous return to the studio, Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore represents a new stage in Abyssum’s development rooted in unique mystical seeds that gave rise to inconspicuously rich soundscapes of darkness but now moving beyond both musically and ideologically. In away, the present album is the closing of a chapter, while at the same time signifying the beginning of the new. Rather than hiding away beyond physical veils, Abyssum steps forth with strident power and magnificently embellishments that are not just augmentations but complementing organic outgrowths of an invisible central rod.
The release consists of an intro and outro and three extended tracks that defy definitions of conventional black metal without relying on avant-garde sensibilities or suffering of the mediocre malady of ‘flowing black metal’. Two of these main tracks are taken and enhanced from Poizon of god; these have been subject to constant, wandering evolution since their first intimations more than two decades ago. The third piece, ‘Mvundanvs, Inmvnde, Spiritvz’, is the latest published seed-idea composition to be published by Ebvleb for Abyssum.
Abyssum’s music is liberating, but not in a superfluous way, it is rather terrifying and magnificent and seems to open a rent in the fabric of our perception, leaving us vulnerable and open to the star-filled abyss that threatens to swallow us whole. It is a music of transcendental overcoming, entirely incomprehensible to those trapped in materialist, political, or merely ideological sets of mind. In short, it is music for elite minds —distinguishing the actual superior mind from the ‘Hominid Cleverness’ that many of society’s ‘high performers’ tend to exhibit.
‘Mvundanvs, Inmvnde, Spiritvz’ could be said to showcase a more explicit structural refinement that does not lose the holistic outlook which has made the manifestation of Abyssum’s music elusive for those not ready to let go of underlying mundane mindsets. The other hint of what the future may bring can be seen in 2015’s demo, All in Darkness, which contains a highly evolved version of another old seed idea from the first half of the 90s. Seeing the latter as a fourth piece in a transition phase towards a new era, the perspicacious listener can witness the subtle outline of a sign pointing from a firm yet somewhat rigid structuring towards a more masterful codification.
One should also note the excellent job the session drummer does at emulating the personality and patterns that the original work of Abyssum displayed, as this preserves and enhances the aura of the music in no small manner. The sensibilities by the current drumming section can be appreciated even more in a live setting, where the individual has the chance of expressing his own personality even more within the spaces of the dynamic, flexible Abyssum style.
§ Raw Bloodied Live, 2015
Foremost amongst all things that could be said about this recording is the complete absence of synths in it, as the performance was a raw recording of drums, guitar and voice. One could expect that such a setting would call for certain adjustments to the sound of the instrument in order that the lack of layers was filled by a thicker sound from the guitar. Surprisingly, however, there is no clear augmentation of the stringed instrument, and instead we receive a rather unprocessed sound that is nonetheless penetrating, giving one the impression of a more rigid and skeletal feeling.
An effect of this is that arpeggiating patterns come through very clearly without the quality of the sound changing, giving it a uniform, more monolithic presentation that contributes to that slab-like impression of crudeness in this particular recording. Despite that outer appearance of unsophisticated uniformity, it is the performance itself, and the flexibility with which structures are treated specifically for this occasion that lets the spiritually sensitive listener access a dark world of painful and mysterious abundance to which they are made privy to by the amazing organicity of guitarist-vocalizer and drummer here.
The songs chosen for the release titled Desclávate de tu Cruz include a song that is not on Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore, but is in Poizon of god. This ‘Sacred Abyss’ is probably the most rigid piece in the current set, and represents the older, mid phase of this growing demon. What follows next are, from the writer’s point of view, the elite compositions of Abyssum in the current state of evolution that Ebvleb has taken them to; these are ‘Mvndanvs, Inmvnde Spiritvs’, ‘Todo En Tinieblas / All in Darkness’, and ‘Illusion of Pan’. Conspicuously missing from this selection, though perhaps not from the actual live performances, are the two main pieces from Thy Call, their flagship release, so to speak.
Many descriptors could be attached to this release, but a phrase like ‘diamond in the rough’ does not quite capture the exterior-to-interior relationship that we have here. Rather, the self-described musical obscurantism of Ebvleb fits specially well; that is, the music is organically rich, alive and potent in subtle but very palpable ways to those capable of walking through the purposely obfuscating veils in the presentation. That is not to say that value is abstract, because then this would be no better than the mediocre music of Satanic theist sophists, but that there is a purposeful setting up of crude layers that both enrich the aura of the content and hide the inner treasures from facile minds.
§ Rehearsal for 2014 album, 2017
The 2017 edition of Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore are the ultimatum that hails the new era of Abyssum, leaving us wondering what visions of impending transcendental, holistic reality the master necromancer will choose to reveal from his mental and spiritual journeys. Not only has a new, more personalized visual presentation been developed, but the release includes three final rehearsal tracks for the 2014 album which do not include synth work, but only drums and guitar, with a few guttural vocalizations here and there. To be sincere, however, the tracks do not appear to really be crude rehearsal recordings, which would be quite welcome, but rather a mix from the album that does not include the synth layers and allows the guitar sound to come to the forefront.
The result is most probably hard to listen to for most people, since the synth work is the most melodious and purely mystical of all musical sources within the music of Abyssum. Any serious listener, however, should have noticed from the original 2014 release that the guitar work is not a merely functional ‘flowing black metal’ appendix underscoring the synths (and which mistake could be made when first apprehending Thy Call), and can be seen as an independent but complimentary voice in the music. The additional tracks that remove the synth and allow us to hear the guitars bare confirm these observations beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Conversely, being able to expose oneself in full to the power and treasures of the written guitar lines on their own gives a new perspective to the recordings containing the synthwork. A deeper clarity for both enhances appreciation for the value of either, and when returning to Cum Foeda Sanie Ex Ore, the dual synth lines reaffirm their outworldly nature, their stellar origin, even as our awareness of and susceptibility to the black magic of the tremolo-picked guitar is taken to further realms of perception…