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Abythic - Dominion of the Wicked [Iron Bonehead - 2021]

German death metallers turned doom merchants, Abythic, hit the scene with their third album, Dominion of the Wicked. With four songs clocking in at 35 minutes, this trio sludge forth the gloom with a blackened, dirgy aplomb. Finding a comfortable home in the slowed-down, low end of doom metal, Abythic continues to grow and evolve, making each album truly their own. 

Dominion of the Wicked is the result of six years of evolution, vile and grim, slow and heavy, and a creative step forward for the band. Enjoying the slowed down, relaxed pace, Abythic revels in the long-form song, taking the time to let the riffs grow and lure the listener into the mire, like a swampy sirensong. While there isn't a ton of diversity over the four tracks, the band certainly nails the vibe. Plodding and dark, Dominion of the Wicked smacks of slowed black metal and hints at clandestine, midnight rituals. Alongside this, the guitars have a wistful feel and a tone that hearkens back to early 90's Scandinavian acts. Spreading wide throughout the sound, the droned riffs add an atmospheric element that helps to reinforce the slowed dirge. Allowing notes to grow at their own pace, Dominion of the Wicked allows the listener to become enveloped and be a part of the grim soundscape. Flourished with keyboards and an occasional sample, Abythic fleshes out their latest album well, and makes the most of their sonic space. Although the vocals are a tad on the goofy side, they're not so much so to distract, and the skilled listener can avoid them altogether.  And, as mentioned above, there isn't a ton of variety on display, but while that limits what's on display, it helps to further the hypnosis quotient.

Continuing to grow and evolve, Abythic's Dominion of the Wicked is a solid piece of doom that would play very well against a wintry night landscape. Cold and dark, the four long-form tracks on display may get a bit comfortable, but the oft wistfulness helps to keep it engaging. With this being the first full step in this direction, it will be exciting to see what comes of the band's follow up works.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Paul Casey
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