Thursday, March 3, 2011

Adversarial - Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation EP (2011)

With last year's debut All Idols Fall Before the Hammer still fresh on the tongues of serpents and the ears of an unsuspecting populace, Canada's Adversarial have struck yet again, this time with a solid fan package through Dark Descent Records. Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation collects the band's original Thralls demo (2008) in its entirety, plus a pair of covers, a new studio track and another gem from the vaults. If you're enamored of the full-length, then this material should certainly appeal to you, with only one redundancy ("Scourge of a World Ablaze") that is better experienced in the bolder incarnation of All Idols, though having this demo version available serves the purpose of completion.

The three demo tracks are rougher than the full-length, to be expected, but they're quite good, from the clean, creepy intros to the band's rifling accumulation of Morbid Angel's frenzied speed, whipping up infernal dust storms through their strict velocity. Most of this earlier material is pure, lightning death metal, but it has some black influence in the rasped vocals, those these are neither as prominent or well-executed as the gutturals. "Thralls" would be my favorite of the three, for the brilliant opening sequence that transforms into another hyperactive attack. The title track to this collection, "Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation", was recorded in the same period, and has a similar structure, with a frightening, clean intro that is soon eclipsed by spastic, blasting madness, and I really love how the vocals resonate over the opening riffs. Fans of breakneck death like Hate Eternal, Posthumous Blasphemer and so forth will want to take note of this.

The cover songs included are of Archgoat's "The Light-Devouring Darkness" (from the album of the same name) and Incantation's "A Once Holy Throne" (from the 2002 album Blasphemy), both interesting selections of a more recent nature. The Archgoat is rugged and passable, but I definitely enjoyed "A Once Holy Throne", which creates a glorious change of pace for this release, slow and majestic, dire rhythms processed below the cavernous vocals. The new track, "Impending Eternal Blackness" is likewise quite good, with some moody melodic depth that morphs into a grinding, blasting vortex of diabolism, comparable in quality to the material on the full-length. Nothing mind numbing or enormously memorable, mind you, but very apt to impress fans of the raw Canadian legends like Blasphemy or Revenge, albeit with an added level of intricacy. In short, if you found All Idols Fall Before the Hammer fitting enough for your collection, then there's no reason to hold out on this.

Verdict: Win [7/10]

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