Tag Archives: Abstract Rapture

Abstract Rapture – Hollow Motion

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If there is one thing that most Luxembourgish (metal) bands are known, or should I say notorious, for it’s the amount of time it takes them to release new material. While the reasons behind that are understandable, it doesn’t make it less tiresome to wait for more than five years for a new album by your local shredders. Today I have the pleasure of writing about a record that boosts the waiting time to a full seven years. Let me just get ahead of myself and say that Abstract Rapture’s Hollow Motion was well worth the wait to me. Read ahead to find out why I think so!

First off, a brief history lesson about what went down in those years: the vocals, drums and lead guitar are still in the hands of the original members, but the rhythm guitar and the bass has seen the addition of two new faces in the form of Maks and Alex, who (used to) play in Retrace My Fragments. The addition of these two has definitely brought a new, and at times very different, breath of fresh air to the quintet’s sound. While the fifty-one minutes still feel like your classic AR, there’s also quite a few instances where you might wonder if the album has switched mid-song without you noticing.

Generally speaking the album has a fairly high level of musicianship, but there are a couple of songs that definitely stand out high above the rest, namely Inner Plague. The song is an interesting blend of the trademark Abstract sound and something that could be straight from a black metal record…and it works to perfection! I predict many a sore neck at gigs when this song is being played! This might just be me, but the addition of the new members has had a heavy influence on the songwriting, because I feel that especially the guitars have become “spacier”, for lack of a better word, and full of new elements. I’d even go as far and say that this is the most innovative release of the serial boozers since their debut EP Dead End Entry.

Out of the eleven songs, there are two interludes that can be regarded as intros to the songs they precede, and even those have a feel to them that I haven’t previously found in the band’s sound. The drums…I honestly don’t know what to tell you about them. The man is a local legend and delivers another top notch performance that locks in extremely tightly. The vocal melodies are also more memorable to me than on Earthcrush, and the lyrics delve further into the common themes of the guys’ music. Especially the closing track, Ego Non Te Absolvo, feels like a spiritual successor to the debut full-length’s closer, Observations In A Mirror (Through The Eyes Of An Alcoholic).

All in all, Abstract Rapture did take their sweet time to hit us with new material, but in my humble opinion it was well worth the wait! Hollow Motion is going to give the local metal scene a strong record to finish the year with and I for one am very much looking forward to the band’s future! If you’re interested, make sure to check out the record when it drops this Friday, December 14th, and head over to the band’s Facebook page for more information on the release show!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iatYAW2inIo]

EMF 10th Anniversary Concert

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Last Saturday the El Gore team went on a little trip to the west of the country; to be more precise to Folschette where the E.M.F., short for Éisleker Metal Frënn, held a big concert for their ten year existence. The five of us arrived a bit before 4PM and were greeted with our backstage passes and some catering, i.e. beer. Over the course of the day we ran into many familiar faces, made some new acquaintances and generally-speaking had a blast. We decided to take a different approach for the live reviews this time and we’ll have reviews from two different people: Yannick and Dave. Enjoy!

The first band of the day was Dead Eyes Memorial who managed to attract a respectable amount of people despite the early stage time. Despite this only being their second show so far the stage presence of the singer and the drummer impressed me. Because they had the longest sound check before the show they actually had the best sound of the evening I would say, but more about that later. The genre they play is kind of hard to define for me since there’s various “traditional” hardcore elements, coupled with thrash metal elements, but in the end: does it matter? They ended up being an enjoyable opener and that’s what is important.

The second band were the Dirty Crows who were kind of the outsider of the day with their desert rock. Unfortunately a lot of the crowd was elsewhere but the few that remained did seem to enjoy the performance thoroughly, especially the bass got a lot of praise from the people I talked to, although the amp was forced to its knees a couple of times. Since I’ve seen them several times in the past I can say that they managed to pull off a good show, despite many sound difficulties, and to animate the crowd that was hiding at the back of the hall. Fun fact: this was actually the first show out of two that day for the guys.

The next band were Perish With Pride who delivered a nice little change of pace in the form of metalcore. Even though I was a bit underwhelmed by their stage presence at first, they warmed up after the first two songs and managed to deliver after all in that department. I, for one, enjoyed it a lot and they were the main reason for my hurting neck the day after. Definitely my surprise of the day.

Next up were Faraday’s Cage, a heavy metal formation with high-pitched vocals. Since I’m not a huge fan of that type of voice, I took care of a quick errand and missed half their set but what I saw was not really my thing. The keyboard however did add a nice touch to the whole thing.

The fifth band of the evening were Abstract Rapture, local metal matadors, and therefor awaited by many. The crowd went wild as they opened with their hit Dematerialized and continued with a handful of older songs from the first two records before breaking into the new material. Sadly, the show lost a lot of its usual power because the sound was very weak, especially the drums were far from their usual heaviness. The band threw in a tribute song to the E.M.F. which sounded a lot like a AC/DC‘s TNT, but don’t quote me on that.

The second to last act was Girlschool, an all-female rock band who’ve been around since the early eighties. Despite being in the business for more than three decades they still brought a lot of energy and charisma to the stage. A fact that was proven by the amount of people that found their way into the hall. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the genre I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy it, despite the still persisting sound issues.

Last but not least were Gama Bomb, who interestingly enough celebrated their ten year anniversary as well. Their speed thrash metal was well received by a lot of people, especially the denim jacket club in the first row who headbanged and moshed around like no tomorrow. I always enjoy watching an old school moshpit without the ever-so-present violent dancing and I was not disappointed here. Even though the sound was slightly better it still didn’t do it justice and failed to capture me in the end. We ended up leaving just shortly before they finished their set since we were all pretty much exhausted.

To sum it up: the metalheads were given a great variety of bands but the sound was a huge downer in most cases, which was a pity. But I can say that it was a great way to celebrate an anniversary and I hope to be there when it’s the twentieth one instead of the tenth.

~Yannick~

Dead Eyes Memorial: Absolutely not my genre but local band with tons of friends in the audience not letting the band down in terms of welcoming them onstage for their second gig (first ever nationally). The set was plagued by mistakes but the band did not let that bother them, nor did the crowd. Friends/fans surely loved it.

Dirty Crows: My winners of the night, again not really my genre, but the music they write/play does not need to hide behind more popular international acts and that alone deserves a lot of respect. Also having the guts to be the outsider band made them gain my respect. Probably the band with the best sound that night.

Perish With Pride: Sound better on CD than live. Sadly that could be said about every band that played that day as the sound was just horrible throughout the night. Not much to say about the band. Melodic Death Metal with some modern metalcore elements, pretty much everything I hate. Sorry guys.

Faraday’s Cage: Progressive Rock/Metal with eunuch vocals. While many seemed to go outside while the band was playing, it did not put me off. I enjoy the style, but the band wasn’t really memorable songwise. The riffs were basic and generic at best. The awful sound swallowed any attempt by the keyboard player to add his touch to the music. A band with potential for fans of the genre.

Abstract Rapture: The local heroes I suppose…but not my cup of tea. Too modern and groovy for me. Crowd were into it obviously. If you enjoy the genre you’ll love the band, I happen to hate the genre. I think that others have more to say about this gig than me.

Girlschool: Classic band, classic Hardrock sabotaged by the sound nazis. Lots of fans came from abroad to see them and the place seemed somewhat packed from here on. Short set but other than that nothng bad to say. The band obviously knows how to play a gig as they have been around for decades. Good fun!

Gama Bomb: Band delivered their set while handing out beer to fans in the front row. Nice blokes really. Generic speed/crossover thrash with a singer you have to love to enjoy the music. I don’t.

-Dave-

And that’s it, folks. The El Gore team really enjoyed their time with the E.M.F. and felt right at home from the first minute. Special mention for the superb organisation: there was no disturbance or fight whatsoever thanks to the security provided by the competent Crazy Crew, the beers were always served quickly and fresh, the food was delicious and reasonably priced and there was even a little metal market so fans could spend a bit of cash on goodies. Only two minor gripes: first of all, the location was rather remote, and in a more easily accessible place the thing could have had even more visitors. Secondly, even though it’s been mentioned many times already: a better sound could have made this evening even more memorable. Nevertheless it was a night to remember for which we want to thank the E.M.F. and we wish them all the best for the next ten years!

Reminder: don’t forget our competition where you can win a poster signed by ALL of the bands!

-El Gore team-

Abstract Rapture – Earthcrush

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It’s time for another well-known Luxembourgish band: Abstract Rapture. These guys have been around for close to ten years and in 2011 they released the long-awaited follow-up to their 2008 album Democadencia. The rather fitting title they chose: Earthcrush. Please note that because of scheduling problems the release party for the album was only in early 2012, so to most people it’s still rather fresh.

The reason why the title is fitting can be noticed right after the intro: everything is even bigger, faster and most of all more aggressive than before. Instead of starting a bit on the groovy side like the opener of the predecessor, this first song just blows your face off right off the bat. This goes on for quite some time until the forth song where the clean vocals start appearing, but just in small doses unlike on the previous record.

In the guitar department you can definitely notice a more mature style of writing with more complex structures and cleaner execution. The same goes for the sound which, at least in my ears, sounds a bit stronger and more tight. The melodic department doesn’t come too short either, even though it seems to have been toned down a bit. This sadly contributes to the fact that the album has less easily recognizable riffs.

The drums are almost not worth talking about since they’re at their usual very high standard throughout the 11 songs…people who know who’s drumming know the reason for that. However, similar to the guitars the speed has gone up another level and you’re treated to tinnitus-inducing beats; but in the good way.

As I mentioned a bit earlier, the vocals are a lot more aggressive and feature less melodic singing than what returning listeners are used to. This is however not a bad thing since the vocalist has a very powerful and charismatic voice that will stay imprinted in your ears for a while after listening to these 40 minutes of music.

To wrap things up I can only say that, while I’m sure newcomers to the band will surely enjoy this record since it’s filled with cool songs, I think it’s too straight forward. The previous album was criticized for having a few too many melodious parts; Abstract took that critique to heart and went balls to the walls with this attempt…however I prefer their debut Dead End Entry since it’s the perfect mix of both elements in my ears. I’m looking forward to their next release and I recommend you check this one out in the meantime.

You can follow the band on their Facebook page and check out the live video below, which Bördi kindly allowed me to use.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrWetQjJyVU]