The music of Abstracter always seems to have an underlying melancholic tone, which is mainly derived from their use of ambiance. In tracks such as “Open Veins,” this aspect of the band becomes instantly apparent, without meaning that melancholy is the only weapon in their arsenal. The manner in which they build up anticipation with the creeping start of “Lightless,” and the more unearthly perspective of Abstracter in songs such as “Cruciform,” reveals the depth to which this act can travel in terms of sonic versatility. The abstract themes (the band is called Abstracter, after all) also aid that side of the band. Especially in various parts of “Cruciform,” when the heavy guitars start to bring in droning notes alongside the cymbal hits, building up anticipation. And when the more minimalistic approach of Abstracter is applied, it instantly enhances their abstract thematology.
What is equally impressive with Abstracter, though, is how they are able to combine both worlds in their music. Their ambiance might carry that gloomy tonality, but their groove is powerful. The way in which the band constructs “Lightless” gives a feeling of impending doom, which the band finally delivers when the heavy riffs come hammering down. The deep vocals have a very characteristic sound to them and fit perfectly with the music of Abstracter, and when they make a turn towards a more black metal path in “Lightless” they have a huge impact on the song. The clean guitars with the extreme vocals on top in “Open Veins” keep the groove intact for the whole duration, and when they bring in the distorted six string tormentors, they just fit naturally. On the other hand, the furious vocal performance in “Cruciform” signals the doom/sludge mayhem that was lurking just around the corner. The band explores a stranger groove there, almost drunken and uncertain, but still fitting to their concepts, before they lead us to a slower-than-death pace of sludge-y goodness. Surprisingly enough, some clean vocal parts appear in the closing track of the album, giving a mesmerizing tonality to the song before the growls return and Abstracter take the whole track towards more black metal paths. The resulting “Glowing Wounds” is probably one of the most intense moments of Wound Empire.
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