Abysmal Torment- Cultivate The Apostate Review
By: Benjie Stewart
What is brutality? “Savage physical violence; great cruelty” came to mind when I first heard Abysmal Torment in 2006. Their debut EP, Incised Wound Suicide, was horrifying to my ears. I had never heard anything like it before, and the only bands that come close to the sound of that brutality was Devourment and Deaden. I really like how Abysmal Torment have evolved their style of brutal death metal over the years. Epoch of Methodic Carnage was chaotic and filled with entropy. Omnicide was nothing short of a masterpiece and would be the last to feature the awe inspiring drumming of Wayne Vella, who tragically passed away in 2010 from a bulldozer accident- a huge loss to Abysmal Torment and their sound. How did they prevail? "Prove more powerful than opposing forces; be victorious". And that is where 2014's Cultivate the Apostate comes in.
This album breaks the fucking door down, and with new skin blaster Max Vassallo, Abysmal Torment have developed their grinding brutal death metal even further. The first thing I notice is how tight the album sounds, this being by far the best production on an Abysmal Torment release. The production is a little muddy; the bass guitar is kind of drowned out by the big fat riffs by guitarist David Depasquale, but some albums are just about the FUCKING RIFFS! There is a lot going on in each riff, and with the guitar tuning, that Abysmal Torment dark vibe hangs over is still there in these songs. There are some deathcore-ish breakdowns, but they fit the music well and Abysmal Torment make it their own without being trendy and weak. The drumming of Vassallo and bass playing of Karl Romano work well here as a tight unit, while the riffs of Depasquale and sick vocals by Nick Farrugia pound through all and leave nothing but devastation in its path. Abysmal Torment are precise with their lyrics and song titles on Cultivate the Apostate- you know what you are in store for. This is the longest album for Abysmal Torment, and with over 13 tracks, it’s a tad bit too long. Some of it reminds me of late 90’s Cannibal Corpse. Key tracks are: "Whispering Venomous Ones", "Metamorphosis of the Maggots", "Communion of Ejaculation", and "Hang Them High".
I’m not sure if I can say that Cultivate the Apostate is the best Abysmal Torment album, but it is a step forward into a new direction and progression, and besides the album being a bit too long for my taste, it is a very good offering from these brutal death metal kings from Malta. Hopefully the next album will come out sooner than this one did.