Monday, 25 July 2011

Abolition – Abolition (Holy Roar)

With this, their debut album, Abolition prove themselves to be a very promising face on the UK Hardcore scene. Being released on the impressively consistent Holy Roar Records, Abolition’s self-titled sees them doing very little new but doing it very well. With their sound being eternally indebted to the sound of the ‘90s Metallic Hardcore scene it comes as no surprise to see obvious comparisons between them and Unbroken or Integrity. The heavy slowed down Hardcore riffs, the emphasis on rhythm, and the intense barking vocals all point back to Metallic Hardcore’s heyday. They stay surprisingly true to this sound throughout their self-titled as well. While their counterparts like Pulling Teeth and Die Young are adding more modern day Hardcore influences and turning up the tempo, Abolition stay set in their much heavier, darker ways.
An area in which this album draws away from that ‘90s Melodic Hardcore sound, however, is the production. Produced by Jamie Fayre, who has worked with their fellow Holy Roar band Last Witness, the production is much cleaner and professional than you would usually associate with Melodic Hardcore. However, this production suits the band perfectly and lets you get the most out of the individual sections, especially the lead guitar work. The production is not the only thing that works great here but the band itself as an entity is incredibly good. The rhythm section is so unbelievably tight, leaving plenty of space for those intensely barking vocals and lead guitarist Sam Knight’s brilliant work. However, it is possibly when these elements break down and the growling vocals are replaced with spoken word or when the guitars get more melodic that Abolition are really at their best. This is when the band shows, glistening through the heaviness and aggression, some genuinely beautiful extracts. There isn’t a better example of this than on closing track, Dawn of a New Age, where it all just breaks down leaving these elements bare for all to see. The song cuts out about half way through and this incredible modulated riff is introduced and is gradually accompanied by spoken word. This leads to the song kicking back in with arguably the heaviest moment of the album and the transaction is just mind-blowing. It is probably this moment, more than any, where Abolition show just how great and promising a band they really are.

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