Abomnium – A Hollow Path (Review)

AbomniumHailing from the Netherlands, this is a one-man black metal project. This is his fourth album.

A Hollow Path contains 42 minutes of raging blackened nastiness, all tied together with some extra death/thrash metal influences.

The album has a top notch sound, with pleasingly weighty drums and a guitar tone that allows it to be either thick and heavy, or ethereal and light, depending on the needs of the song.

Taking influence from various eras of black metal, there’s a feeling of new school modernity to the music, while also having a decent old-school pedigree too. The resulting album is a timeless concoction of blackened mayhem and intrigue.

The songs are a very enjoyable combination of blasting brutality and dark atmosphere, frequently done at the same time, although not always. I like it probably best when the music is at its most atmospherically extreme, when the blast beats are furiously pounding and the blackened melodies fuse with this to conjure morbid moods and bleak, black auras. It’s hard to say though, as everything here is so good.

It’s not all blasting aggression though, and there are multiple speeds, moods, and emotions explored across the release. All of them dark, all of them evil, all of them worth listening to. This also contributes to the fact that each song here has its own distinct personality and flavour, which is something I always like. Some tracks have more of an thrash slant, others a more atmospheric one, on others we get a greater amount of melody, while others still focus on the barbarous side of things. Pretty much all of the songs on here feature all parts of the mix, but the distribution differs.

Okay, so it’s atmospheric and all that, and it’s pretty damn brutal too…but what of the riffs I hear you ask? Fear not, there are some absolute corkers on here. Not content with being ridiculously good at crafting atmospheric/brutal black metal, the songwriter behind this carnage also seems highly adept at breaking out the huge death metal riffs when he wants to. It’s enough to blow you away. Combine one of these with all of the other elements that you can find on this album and it makes for a head-spinning listen.

I must say I have been extremely impressed with this. I’m not familiar with any of Abomnium’s older work so I can’t make any comparisons, but I would be shocked if this wasn’t the project’s best work, as this really is a very, very, very strong album.

Do not miss out on this underground gem.

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