Abscess - _Through the Cracks of Death_
by: Paul Schwarz (
Many a rabid Autopsy fan has maligned Chris Reifert and company's work as Abscess over the near-ten years since the former dissolved to give birth to the latter; but since the release of 2001's _Tormented_ the majority of Autopsy fans have warmed to Abscess. Perhaps it was because their Listenable Records debut injected a big, urine-soaked shot of Autopsy into the punky grindcore sound of early releases like _Urine Junkies_ -- an unsurprising turn of events when you remember that _Tormented_ essentially reunited the _Mental Funeral_ line-up. To these ears at least, _Tormented_ was a clear cut above anything Abscess had delivered previously, but still failed to rank much above "good" in my estimation. _Through the Cracks of Death_ is a distinct improvement. Acid-drenched as much in the sense of a smiley face on a blotter as a melting one in a gutter, Abscess' fifth full-length blends the necrotic sonics of Autopsy -- the "chainsaw" guitars, mid-range-boosted, "clacky" drums and brown-noise-worthy bass -- with catchy, rockin' riffs and structuring tricks. Lively, thrashy, rockin' little ditties like opener "Raping the Multiverse" or follow-on "Mourners Will Burn" are juxtaposed by creaking, doom-and-dirge-ridden death-trips like "An Asylum Below" or "Die For Today" to form an album that is pleasantly varied, but unfortunately lacking in both consistency and considered structuring -- the latter principally applying to the album's closing three tracks. More than merely "good" and of probable interest to fans and non-fans of Autopsy alike, _TtCoD_ is a worthy entry into the "progressive" sub-section of the gore metal canon, despite falling a marked distance short of the "innovative" one.
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