Ascended Dead – Abhorrent Manifestation

Abhorrent Manifestation can’t be shoehorned into a single line, but if I had to do so, it’d be to call it an amazing showcase of ripping primordial death metal devastation. Now that my favorite newer San Diego based extreme metal band have finally given us a full length release this year, it’s easy to see that Ascended Dead have been refining their approach through the years between their first demo and this album. Continuing in line with their prior material (and reusing three songs from said earlier material), Abhorrent Manifestation rips right into full bore right from the start, blasting through sections that sound as angry, chaotic, and uncompromising as any death metal has ever been. The only real break is a pretty acoustic instrumental halfway through the album, letting listeners up a bit before cutting through listeners like a scythe all over again.

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Image Source: Ascended Dead’s website

The sharp and technical leads that constantly pop up over the blistering rhythms remind me of Morbid Angel on a bender mixed with the aggressive insanity of Necrovore, and CK’s relentless, powerful drumming showcases exactly why he was recruited to Funebrarum. Insane solos break away with swirling madness before vanishing as quickly as they came, while the howling vocals roar over the whole thing with the power and anger needed to drive this sort of music, always perfectly complimenting the vicious instrumentals. The whole thing is tied together by the excellent production that the album has, which keeps the aural assault from becoming exhausting or from blending together.

The main deal breaker for most bands that attempt a similar form of music is that they don’t have the songwriting chops to make their music remain interesting or memorable, but Ascended Dead have none of that problem, using their expertise from years of writing music both for Ascended Dead and for earlier bands to forge the raging songs that they play. The band describe their music as “dark, chaotic, demonic, bestial Death Metal, without limitations” and I’d say that they’ve certainly accomplished that. While the music is in a lot of ways fundamentally rooted in death metal’s early history, Ascended Dead are clearly looking towards the future.

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