Words from the press on: Sub Terra

'Sub Terra' is probably one of the biggest surprises the metal underground has spawned this year and one of the most challenging albums to review out there. Out of the blue comes this monster of an album, created by a band many surely know nothing about, this reviewer included; you might have heard bits and snippets from the band's previous efforts, but this current album is an explosive material you wouldn't be able to forget quickly, a showmanship of dark metal finesse of the highest order. But, like with every Totalrust release, which can fluctuate between the extremely good and the extremely dull, this album was approached with caution. With low expectations in one hand, and full attention held firmly by the other hand, this album's darkness was penetrated, the layers peeled and the heart of the album exposed - and what great sights it has got to show you!


Words from the press on: No Light Behind...

Here we have the downtempo riffing and cavernous spaciousness of Doom Metal in perfect harmony with the buzzing, droning guitars, icy coldness and harsh, dry throaty shrieking rasp of Black Metal, and it really is a match made south of heaven.
There is a definite sense of grandeur to Abysmal Darkening’s sound.

No Light Behind is an essential sludgefest that should appeal to fans of Burning Witch, Grief, Paganus, and Graves At Sea as much as it would to fans of Darkthrone, Burzum, Craft, and Celtic Frost (not sure which sid to put them on! Ha!). This is sludge-y, blackened depravity without a drop of hope to be found…if that’s your thing, Abysmal Darkening is your new favorite band. I hope it doesn’t take them another 7 years to put out a follow-up!

The drumming is something that can't go without mention on this one. Part of what probably turns many people away from doom metal is the severe lack of interesting drum work by a lot of bands. "Our drummer sucks, Looks like we're just going to have to be a doom band then, guys." Not the case here. This Ludas character appears to actually have the chops to break out of typical doom tempo from time to time, keeping the whole thing a touch more interesting.

…like a weird mix of Darkthrone and Vitus that's shot through with a potent undercurrent of misery and dread.

Crucial Blast

‘I still really recommend everyone to check it out, because I have a hunch I’m just too ignorant to appreciate No light behind for the semi-masterpiece that it is.’

'No Light Behind' is an essential sludge-doom album for 2011 from a band that has been worth waiting for. Not only will doom,sludge and stoner fans dig this but black metal fans and lovers of the extreme should find this album nothing short of exceptional.

“No Light Behind…“ ist eine im Kollektiv sehr gute Platte, die durchaus dafür gut ist, vor dem geistigen Auge einen einsamen Trip durch die Finsternis zu machen.

A jewel of a great album this 'No Light Behind' and a must listen for anyone who wants his doom extreme and with a blackened edge.
Rating: 88/100

Trage slepende ritmes, tergende zang, honende riffs. Deze eigenschappen maken van dit full-length debuut een krachtige kandidaat voor de jaarlijst! Grote woorden, maar ik ben dan ook onder de indruk van dit werk.
Score: 90/100

No Light Behind...

Artikel veröffentlicht am 22.05.2011

ABYSMAL DARKENING stammen aus Tilburg in den Niederlanden, möglicherweise wird jetzt schon der ein oder andere hellhörig, der sich geographisch ein wenig in entsprechenden Gefilden auskennt. In der Tat sind es URFAUST, die ganz aus der Nähe dieses Vierers entsprungen sind, auch wenn die hier thematisierten Holländer nicht direkt etwas mit den unkonventionellen Doomern zu tun haben. Dennoch ist auch diese Band kein Zusammenschluss aus der Kindergartengruppe “Kleine Schnecke“, sondern eine Formation aus erfahrenen Musikern, was sich nicht zuletzt auf “No Light Behind…“ deutlich bemerkbar macht. Neben der ehemaligen Mitgliedschaft bei Bands wie SAURON oder BUNKUR, sind die Musiker zusätzlich im Wesentlichen bei FUNERAL GOAT und PLANET AIDS tätig.

Im Grundsatz agieren die vier Niederländer roh, ungeschliffen – schlichtweg fies und streckenweise gar abstoßend. Kev, der am Gebetsständer seine düsteren Predigten vollzieht, macht einen unheimlich glaubwürdigen Job. Mit viel Magie legt er seine beschwörende Stimme um die monotonen Rifffolgen, die “No Light Behind…“ phasenweise zu einem hypnotischen Werk der Boshaftigkeit machen. Doch kurz bevor der Hörer soweit ist, in einen tranceartigen Alptraumzustand zu verfallen, lassen ABYSMAL DARKENING einen Hauch Variabilität aufblitzen und beweisen somit auch das gewisse Etwas.

Etwa bei dem starken “Dead Eyes“ glaubt man erneut in doomig angeschwärzten Passagen, die sich gewollt in die Länge ziehen, zu verfallen, woraufhin die Band plötzlich aufs Gaspedal tritt und ungehobelt nach vorn brettert. In den Riffs hört man des Öfteren klassische Kandidaten wie BLACK SABBATH heraus, während das Ganze atmosphärisch dagegen am Ehesten an den Black Metal angelehnt ist. Was letztendlich ein wenig fehlt, sind die ganz großen Highlights und die einzigartige Emotionalität, die gewisse Parts mit sich bringen sollten. “No Light Behind…“ ist eine im Kollektiv sehr gute Platte, die durchaus dafür gut ist, vor dem geistigen Auge einen einsamen Trip durch die Finsternis zu machen.

Abysmal Darkening
No Light Behind
Total Rust
Crucial Blast

This Dutch band made up of former and current members of Planet AIDS, Bunkur and Funeral Goat took seven years to finally get their first full length out after releasing their demo back in 2004. Their excruciatingly slow progress seems like it might have been infected by the extreme sluggishness of their music, which centers around an odd mix of slow grinding doom metal cut from the greasy black cloth of classic 80's dirge merchants like Saint Vitus, The Obsessed and Pentagram, a heavy dose of feral old school Nordic black metal a la Darkthrone, and some dour downcast moves into depressive BM sounds that they somehow manage to meld pretty well with their blackened doom. No Light Behind has the huge sauropod riffs and bleak outlook that I want to hear from band's that mine this older style of doom, but the singer's snarling crusty vocals and deeper growls (which often turn into a killer Abbath-like sneer) add a fierceness to Abysmal Darkening's music that really takes off when the band breaks suddenly from some creeping Sabbathian dirge into raw, messy black metal blasts and mid-paced Burzum-esque gallop. The first time that this occurs (on the opener "Behold The Gods"), it comes off as pretty odd and unexpected; as the album goes on, this melding of atavistic doom and manic blast becomes part of their signature sound, like a weird mix of Darkthrone and Vitus that's shot through with a potent undercurrent of misery and dread. The six originals are laced with mournful guitar leads and moments of depressed blackened majesty, but the final song, a cover of the classic Sisters Of Mercy song "Marian", comes as a surprise. The song, which was already pretty dark and ominous in its original form, is turned into slow, grief-stricken blackened doom, that memorable melancholic hook winding down in slow motion while the lyrics are gasped in a horrific charred croak.


Abysmal Darkening
Demo 2004
Quintessence e-zine

Here we've got the debut demo of a new outfit from the Tilburg-area. First of all the line-up is something I have to talk about because it mainly consists of women. On this demo we find two female guitarists of which Carla is my colleague here at Quintessence. She still is audible on this demo but has left the band in the meantime due to conflicting schedules. The other guitarist is Bauke who occasionally contributes to Quintessence with her outstanding photography. On bass we find Femke who is also active in Bunkur providing that band with synth-effects. The 2 males in Abysmal Darkening, who by the way started out under the name Darkening, are drummer Chris and vocalist Ludas. The latter is active as drummer in the black metal outfit Sauron. This demo contains 3 songs that clock in just under the 20 minutes mark and musically it is quite simple yet effective darkened doom metal. The production isn't really great but it fits the atmos of these recordings quite well, which is dark. The vocals of Ludas however are the main attraction on this demo. Man, this guy sounds very sick. It somewhat reminded me of Bethlehem. His lyrics mainly deal with overpopulation and misanthropy and contain some excerpts of Nietzsche's works. Although there is a lot of room for improvement this demo is a nice introduction to the metal scene.