Formed in 2016 by members of Logic of Denial and Sickening, Italy’s Deorc Absis diverges from its members’ brutal death metal roots in favor of twisting and turning black/death metal. On their debut EP The Nothingness Transfiguration the group offers up swirling and constantly shifting instrumentation spread across three tracks that are meant to form one cohesive piece. While it takes a slightly less dense approach to its madness compared to some of the other acts out there, the bottom heavy approach and progressive slant of the instrumentation draws you in slowly and makes you want to dive right back after that first listen.
The promo material compares the EP to Deathspell Omega and Dodecahedron, but as you explore The Nothingness Transfiguration you’ll find it remains a bit more rooted in death metal with hints of nightmarish black metal added in for good measure. What immediately stood out to me is the production of the EP, as rather than burying all the details under layers and layers of sound there’s a surprising amount of clarity to what Deorc Absis is doing. This makes it a little more approachable, though that’s not to say that the music isn’t any less complex with the constant twists and turns and sudden tempo adjustments. With this increased clarity, the band emphasizes the low end quite a bit and bass fans will be excited to find that the churning bass lines are not only easy to make out in the mix but play a significant role in making the material seem all the more nightmarish. It isn’t all low-end and dense blasting though, as throughout The Nothingness Transfiguration atmospheric melodies weave in and out of the arrangements and give off a slightly symphonic flair.
Vocalist Claudio Miniati also fronts Sickening, and he’s brought a similar pitch to Deorc Absis which gives the band a fairly different sound when compared to other black/death metal of this style. He utilizes a very low, gurgling growl that hangs over the recording with a genuinely inhuman sound and there are some higher screams added in during key sections to back him up. Along with the bass lines the vocals fill out the low end of the recording significantly, and in this regard the performance is reminiscent of Wormed at times. While I’m used to a very different style of screaming and growling usually fronting this type of swirling black/death metal, Miniati’s brutal death metal background works to Deorc Absis’ favor and makes them more distinguishable.
This EP is a fantastic starting point and finds Deorc Absis starting off with a more complete vision than most bands have at the very beginning. It will be interesting to see if the group can continue to shake things up and have distinguishable pieces on a full length, as this type of frantic and progressively oriented black/death metal can start to blur together if not written well, but if they keep growing from here I’m confident they will reach greater heights. The Nothingness Transfiguration is out now from Redefining Darkness Records.
-Review by Chris Dahlberg
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