Shift - Abandon [Cold Spring Records - 2017]In the three years following 2014's brutal Altamont Rising, Swedish death industrial act, Shift, have re-emerged with a new, dark, crispy slice of grim goodness with Abandon. Constructed from ten years worth of sources, Abandon is four tracks of dark, heavy death industrial that will please any genre fan.
Opening with a long, slowly oscillating drone, "To Rid Them All And To Wash Their Filth From My Body" takes its time drawing the listener into its vile world, of slow, plodding, scratchy doom. Low, beefy synths underscore mid ranged distortion waves and grim, menacing, unintelligible vocals. "Nothing - No One" capitalizes on this bleak atmosphere and lowers the pitch to a subterranean level. Sparse beats play like the dying heart of a large creature returning to the underworld for its last time. Fuzzy and slowly moving, each point along the way of this track sorta acts like every other point, and while that may sound like a criticism, it's a pretty impressive thing, considering this song doesn't get tiresome. Booming like an industrial furnace on the brink of explosion, "Recaptured II" is a quick, low hit that reinforces the deep, industrial vibe that Shift presents on Abandon. With this, Shift closes out the album with a very long number that brings the industrial side of things to a fevered pitch. Distortion and feedback push this one closer to the power electronics side of things, but the sparseness keeps it unique and forbidding. Although released earlier this year, Abandon makes a perfect soundtrack to spooky October antics.
Shift's latest seems a bit of a departure from the brutal Altamont Rising, but still very much plays to their strengths. The low, brooding record has a much appreciated grimness, and the distorted, detached vocals help add to the creep value. Shift is a solid part of the Swedish death industrial scene, and keeps improving with each release. Paul Casey