Abolition A.D.- After Death Before Chaos

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, September 3, 2014

With so much music sent my way on a regular basis, it can be difficult to decide what to spend a couple hours listening to. But it’s safe to say that when the “For Fans Of:” section of a promo sheet mentions His Hero Is Gone, Entombed, and Cursed, I’m likely to pay attention. This is exactly what happened with Singapore’s Abolition A.D., who released their debut full length After Death Before Chaos on Pulverised Records a couple of months ago. The group’s style falls somewhere in between destructive, completely overwhelming crust/hardcore and slower-paced sludge, and it’s an instantly appealing one. Although they don’t quite reach the same level as any of the aforementioned bands, Abolition A.D. still packs a punch and has plenty of potential.

If you’ve listened to either of these genres on a regular basis, Abolition A.D.’s debut should instantly feel familiar. That’s not to say that they’re merely retreading what has been written before, but the transitions from faster bass heavy assaults to slower, brooding sludge should draw in listeners who prefer these particular variants of heavy music. After Death Before Chaos is enhanced by its strong production values, which allow the bottom heaviness of the material to make a maximum impact without burying the nuances of the instrumental work in the process. The instrumentalists are able to switch things up throughout the seven tracks, as sometimes the crust/sludge template can mean that a band moves from hyper speed to a crawl on every single song. Abolition A.D. is able to avoid this, providing some shorter numbers that attack with a D-beat pattern and threaten to overwhelm you before they switch over to the slower arrangements. But despite the fact that the overall sound this group is going for is an enticing one, the album’s missing specific riffs that truly reach out and make you want to immediately replay the song they appear on. This is what separates some of the best releases from ones that are just pretty good, but I do believe that with a bit more growth these guys can reach that level.

Abolition A.D.’s lead vocalist has the perfect type of pitch for their material, as his extremely gruff and abrasive growl reminded me quite a bit of His Hero Is Gone/Tragedy. There’s that same type of distortion and power to the performance that makes it overwhelming when the songs reach their climax, and this is one of the elements that continued to bring me back to After Death Before Chaos. While there are plenty of groups inspired by those two particular acts, it isn’t as common to find one that is able to provide the same raw intensity in their vocals and if this can continue to be used on future recordings I think it will work to the band’s advantage.

If you’re looking for crust/hardcore and sludge that can match the intensity and power of some of the better bands in the genre, Abolition A.D. is a good bet and their debut is an album that I’ve given quite a few spins from beginning to end. But it lacks specific riffs that really make certain moments stand out above others, and that’s one area where I think the group could continue to grow. If they can reach that point where their material can grab listeners both in its entirety and at the individual song level, there’s no reason why these guys can’t become as noteworthy as their influences and they’ve given themselves a strong base to work off of with this debut.


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