Running through the infinite new releases, one might miss An Abstract Illusion, but we at Metal Melancholy would definitely advice you to pause and lend them an ear. The Swedish progressive death metal band, has been around since 2007 (source Metal-Archives), but it seems that they have been honing their skills at the back end, as its only in 2016 that their first full length – ‘Illuminate the Path’ sees the light of the day.
The debut album sees the band bring out an interesting mix of ambient and progressive death metal. The lyrics are mostly in English, with a few Sanskrit and Swedish proses thrown in between. The topics mostly deal with the abstract (as if the name was not enough to know this!) of human notions on nature and mankind. Although the music does trudge on known paths heard before, and comparisons to fellow countrymen – Opeth are bound to be made (which is not a bad thing, eh?), the band does manage to hold its own ground in terms of overall sound and dynamics.
What helps the band standout, is the expert musicianship on record. The drums sound very solid and take the centre stage through the record, they bring in the balance between the progressive odd time signatures and the rapid tempo changes of a technical death act that fits perfectly with the music. The dual attack of the distorted and acoustic guitar creates an enchanting mix, not too silent, not too loud, but still very HEAVY! The further addition of keys helps in giving this band a sound that would've probably been stale without it. Complimenting all this are the perfectly energized vocals! Their clean and growls are equally articulate, and create a fantastic soundscape in the listener’s mind. Needless to say the modern-polished production on the album is top-notch.
To wrap it all up, An Abstract Illusion is a band that has a very great sense of melodies and ambience which makes them capable to write amazing music, sometimes even while being as simplistic as possible (good example would be 'Abode of a God'). A fresh sound of beauty meeting brutality that one must definitely try.
Rating: 8.0/10Reviewed By: Jay Bhatt