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Review: Abysmal - Bleak Serenades
Bleak Serenades

Label: Independent
Year released: 2007
Duration: 30:27
Tracks: 6
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: November 27, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Bleak Serenades

Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)

Well, Abysmal's sole member sure has been busy this year, as this is the fourth release already - and untitled songs are back.  This one isn't as interesting to these ears as its predecessors (see links to other reviews below.)  It starts off with a very boring and long (over 4 minutes) keyboard intro that is overly simplistic and fails at whatever it was trying to achieve (hence a hit in the rating of the album.)  Thankfully, interesting things get going with the second track, where we are thrown into a violent, raw form of Black Metal - the exact opposite of the aforementioned intro.  From here on end, it is basically a mix of that style of BM, along with a slower style immersed into a doom-ish, sometimes very bleak atmosphere.  There isn't that much vocal work on this release, but when there are some, we are treated to violent, demented screams that are slightly drowned by the instruments, resulting in a great effect that make it sounds like the vocals are far away, yet close by at the same time (kind of hard to describe in writing.)  Once again, Abysmal went for the hypnotic repetitive effect and you'll find the variety lacking.  This is not as effective as on the previous releases, but it still works to some extent - the challenge is to not start daydreaming and not realize it until the album ends - this wasn't a problem for me with the previous releases, but here I had some trouble.  Anyway, still a good slab of raw minimalistic, violent, doom-ish BM, but that would be better off without the first track.

Other related information on the site
Review: 333 (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Above the Entry of Despair (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Plague (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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