Canadian thrashers Abstruse Custody do what a lot of Canadian metal bands do, which is bend the genres a little bit on their debut record ‘Seeds from the Void’. A potent concoction of thrash, black metal and even some baroque classical influence appears too. Mixed by Sébastien Robitaille of the superb Sorcier Des Glaces, ‘Seeds from the Void’ is going to be a firm favourite for those of you who enjoy the riffs!
Opener ‘Opening in D/Inhabited’ builds with a classical groundswell before some cool technical thrashing riffs take over. A lonely, black metal shriek howls from beyond, with sinister whispers invading at points too. Imagine early Dani Filth with less histrionics and drama, and you’d be close. There is a gloomy occult feeling that does reappear again and again, like the intro to the superb ‘Salem’. The musicianship on this record is magnificent, the classical licks bringing to mind European power metal greats like Savatage or Firewind, but in a rawer format.
Instrumental centrepiece ‘Ison’ really flexes that classical muscle, but we get plenty more ferocity in the spiralling ‘Gone Adrift’, and the moody ‘Stalingrad’. Abstruse Custody have really hit upon this style that I can honestly say I’ve never really come across before. It’s thrashy, but not really; it’s black metal but not really. The piercing shriek over the fretwork fireworks is intriguing, and it works really well.
To be honest, my only real criticism of this record is the thin production, which would work well with a more overtly black metal album, but as a thrash record seems a bit light. The songs are all well written, the unique vocal delivery helps to set them apart from the crowd, and the music is just damn good. Imagine mixing Burzum with early Kreator, then mixing as dry as dust. Brilliant stuff!