Saturday, 4 July 2020

Abduction - Cyclopean Thunderbolt



Labels: Self-Released/Goatprayer Records
Formats: Tape/Digital
Release Date: 21 Mar 2020

Tracklist:

1. Black Andromeda
2. The Last Man
3. Axis
4. Sulphur Shroud
5. Grim March

This evening's random review features the recent demo from Derby (UK) black metal band Abduction. Originally self-release digitally by the band in March of this year, it was the released on tape via Goatprayer Records in May on both single tape and double tape die-hard editions. The initial pressing of both editions sold out and as Cyclopean Thunderbolt is on it's second pressing, only the single tape version is still available to buy. Abduction began life in 2016 and have so far released one demo, two EPs and three full-lengths prior to this one. 

After a rather business like intro paragraph, I’m looking forward to pressing play on this demo. Abduction is currently operating as a solo-project and what you get here is raw but atmospheric black metal. Demo opener ‘Black Andromeda’ is an amalgamation of high/low pitched growls, percussion that sits deep down in the mix and guitars that take centre stage, employing both straightforward black metal riffing and higher-pitched leads. According to Abduction’s bandcamp page, this was recording and released without any mixing, mastering or editing. It certainly doesn’t sound that way though.


After the urgency of the opener, ‘The Last Man’ is an escape of sorts with it’s more obvious ambience and it’s slower tempo. The expansive nature of the song is what gives it the quality and what keeps your attention too. I was intrigued to see that the band shares a member with Death Tripper, another solo-project from the UK, albeit one more rooted in death metal. What does come as a surprise on Cyclopean Thunderbolt is the acoustic guitar of third song ‘Axis’. It’s a really well played piece of blues/jazz with the occasional addition of unnerving ambience and choral chanting (at least that’s what it sounds like). 


Merely seconds after the end of ‘Axis’, you’re brought back down to earth with a thud thanks to ‘Sulphur Shroud’, which is the last track of the standard tape edition of this release. It’s once again darker in delivery and while melody pokes through the dissonance, it’s arguably the heaviest song on the demo. With so much black metal pouring into the underground at the moment, it’s hard for some projects to reach listeners and as a result they have to offer something unique. Abduction has something unique here, especially in the organic/raw approach that’s been taken.


Final song ‘Grim March’ was included on a bonus tape as part of the die-hard edition release by Goatprayer Records and it gathers together both traditional instrumental ambience with modern electronic effects. A very sedate way to end the release. Abduction certainly like variation and this demo just goes to show the forethought and song-writing effort that makes up this mysterious band.


You can stream and download the full demo digitally via Abduction's bandcamp below:-



There are still copies of the regular edition tapes from the 2nd pressing available via Goatprayer Records here - https://goatprayerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cyclopean-thunderbolt.

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