Abhorrent Decimation play modern death metal that has a clear ambitious streak; this is a 50 minute concept album that sees the band take their brutally impressive death metal to new levels.
What the band have managed to do on The Pardoner is quite an achievement, really. They have taken the base of brutal death metal that they explored and delivered so well on their debut album Miasmic Mutation, and built on this a wider array of influences, demonstrating a wealth of skillful talent. This means that although we still get more than enough savagery and ferocity to satisfy fans of brutality, we also get a whole lot more.
The progressive, melodic, and sophisticated aspects of their sound have been developed, enhanced, and expanded upon greatly for this new release. We also get a surprising amount of atmosphere and mood, whether this is in the occasional orchestral elements that are used tastefully throughout the album, or in the more restrained, reflective moments that appear here and there.
These additional facets of the band were hinted at in places in their previous work, but those were mere teasers; on The Pardoner these parts of the band’s delivery are fleshed out and fully embedded in their heavy, aggressive assault.
The resulting album is extremely satisfying and merges the best of the different sides of the band. The songs are brutal and heavy, while also having increased substance and depth provided by the expansive progressive qualities and a use of melody that can sometimes be quite nuanced, but always effective.
I love releases like this. Not only for the content that it offers, but also because it sees a band loosening their creative fetters and coming into their own. The Pardoner is the sound of Abhorrent Decimation moving closer to what they want to be and developing their own framework for charismatic brutality and engaging extreme metal.
Blending modern technicality, bludgeoning groove, some traditional savagery, and plenty of cutting-edge songwriting, The Pardoner is modern death metal at its best.
Very highly recommended.