Abyssion- Luonnon Harmonia Ja Vihreä Liekki (Svart Records)

The atmosphere is there, but where are the songs?

Psychedelic is one of those genre tags that I really can’t stand. It’s one of those slap-dash phrases that doesn’t really tell me anything about how the band will sound. It’s much more about the “feel” of the music than the music itself. Does your band sound slightly trippy? Well, it’s got to be psychedelic then! It’s kind of like the “stoner” moniker for bands that have even slightly been influenced by the bud (there’s probably even a bit of overlap between the two styles there).

As such, Abyssion’s self-described “psychedelic” take on black metal doesn’t really fit the tag, at least not to my mind. Sure, the band attempts to generate some out-there atmosphere in parts of the record, such as the “spacy” electronics used on opener Luonnon harmonia, but it only serves to make the song sound like a much less well executed version of Enslaved’s Ethica Odini. In truth, the majority of this record is a rather bare-bones platter that owes just as much to Finnish punk music than it does to anything twisted and psychedelic. The band manages to capture a raw, almost live vibe to the music which compliments the punk-ish riffs really well and reminds me a lot of The Underground Resistance by Darkthrone.

Abyssion’s main failing however is that they don’t do a great deal with the atmosphere they create. The record’s five songs bleed into each other and even though the whole affair is a scant 26 minutes in length, there’s not a great deal in the way of interesting ideas being executed in that timeframe. I suppose the band deserves credit for at least keeping things brief when they could have dragged things out for an hour or so as so many others do, and they do succeed in creating an interesting atmosphere.

So, if you feel like spending your cash on a record that has a half hour of nice aesthetics and not much else, give this a go. Otherwise, I would hang out and wait to see if the band can do something a bit more interesting in the future. The foundations are there, it’s just a matter of if the band can do something with them.

Luonnon Harmonia Ja Vihreä Liekki is out now.