Abominant’s last album, Onward to Annihilation, was one of the better albums of 2013, so I had high hopes for Napalm Reign. I have not been disappointed.
The band play an underground death metal style that has both thrash and black metal elements, as well as even some power metal ones. This last aspect of their sound was evident on one track on Onward to Annihilation, and although it’s still only a very small part of their sound, it’s developed a little further on Napalm Reign. This speaks of Abominant’s love for all things metal and they couldn’t care less about doing what is expected of them.
The songs on Napalm Reign have a good amount of variety, pacing and structuring, within the framework the band have set themselves. The classic/power metal influences help to add another aspect to their sound – sometimes blatantly, (Iron Clad), and sometimes subtly, (various riffs and solos, The Watchers). It all adds up to something very special indeed.
The band are all accomplished musicians, as they should be at this point on their career, and the songs on Napalm Reign are all performed as well as you would expect. Although it’s professionally delivered, the band still have a real passion for the material, that much is evident, which is great to hear after 23 years of existence.
Leads and solos are all used well, and throughout the aggression and brutality the band infuse things with a sense of melody that shows off their songwriting skills to great effect. Oh, and they really know how to play fast when they want to. Hold on to your hat when you listen to this, (assuming you wear hats when you listen to extreme metal…I mean, why wouldn’t you…?).
For a large amount of the playing time, Abominant sound evil. That’s really the best way to describe this in some ways – evil death metal.
After 23 years it seems that Abominant just keep getting better and better. Here’s to their Napalm Reign, long may they rule.