I can not really say that what Abriosis does with their instruments is anything new to technical death metal, but I do thoroughly enjoy the chaos they create with their music. They have always had a great sense of contrast in that they can combine all sorts of rhythms to make music that is incredibly layered and heavy.
The band is presenting us now with an EP entitled Vessel, which is their latest work after Tattered & Bound but their first work with new vocalist Alxs Ness, who I will talk more about here in a bit. Vessel feels like a bit of a step up for the band from Tattered & Bound although it is more in terms of writing than anything else. Vessel is short but it packs quite a punch and leaves you frothing at the mouth for more. It is a fantastic little EP, but you will be hungry for an LP after a few listens.
If you listened to Tattered & Bound you will be fully prepared for the chaotic layering I was talking about earlier, but you will likely be surprised by the step up in guitar work overall. The lead guitar is far more impressive on this album, giving out some excellent solo’s like the ones on ‘Crypsis’ and ‘ Apochra.’ But overall the writing feels smarter and the songs are a bit more memorable. For instance ‘Peering Into Oblivion’ is probably the catchiest song they have written to date, thanks to the vocals. Each song also feels more like a unit. Tattered & Bound is great but the songs blur together for me a bit after repeated listens, and I have trouble recalling memorable portions throughout.
Another step forward is the vocals. Ness does a great job replacing Kris McDermott but she also expands the range a tad. Honestly though she does such a great job taking over that if you don’t read into the band’s bio much you would probably be really surprised to learn that the bands fronted by a woman. There needs to be more bands like this, Alxs Ness and Som Pluijmers (formerly of Cerebral Bore, which I am kind of disappointed to be saying) have proven that women in metal can handle death metal vocals easily.
The production is also top notch, and it is cool to know that the band produced this themselves. It is mixed very well and nothing feels more powerful than anything else. The vocals on this EP are also a bit easier to understand than on Tattered & Bound, they would get buried occasionally on that album.
Overall my only real complaint with Vessel is that I would have loved a full length album, but really with the band self-producing and releasing this for free I don’t think anyone is in the position to complain about how short it is. This album is the pinnacle of the band’s sound, and I can only hope they keep this sense of great writing for their future endeavors.