Slowly but consistently, California’s ABSCESS have been building up a good, solid discography for themselves, releasing six full-lengths since 1996, each one a slimy, murderous affair, some more punk-oriented (Seminal Vampires And Maggot Men), some the sound of pure terror-ridden sewer grind (the mighty Tormented). And now there’s Dawn Of Inhumanity, one that continues the horror of a life stuck in the sewer… man, it always comes back to the sewers for these freaks.
“It’s another chapter in the Abscess story, but a very powerful one,” says vocalist/drummer (yeah, that’s the shit) Chris Reifert about Dawn Of Inhumanity. “It’s really its own world of insanity. It’s a departure from [2007’s] Horrorhammer, to say the least, but it was the right time.”
Horrorhammer was the band’s last, a somewhat maligned disc because the punk influence was up and the production was a bit more polished than usual. But it’s all Abscess in the end, a band often overlooked because of their willingness to embrace these different ideas. And Dawn Of Inhumanity is filled with sick ideas, this time around more heavy on the metal—so rest easy, metal minions. Question is, where do all these sick images and haunting atmospheres come from?
“Straight from our minds, to be honest,” says Reifert. “We do what we do best, which is to play heavy, brutal, ugly, raw, sick music in the way we see as most effective for Abscess, regardless of what other bands are doing.”
Effective. There’s hardly another band in extreme metal that can lay claim to that adjective to the degree that these guys can. It doesn’t solve the riddle as to why they’re not more respected and more popular—but we’re thinking that, along with the aforementioned punk influence and don’t-fucking-care-about-you attitude, a lack of touring may be part of the problem.
“We have no touring plans,” says Reifert. “We’ll leave that to bands who wish to do so. A killer select gig here or there is much more likely for us.”
Part of what makes the band’s music so powerful is the lyrics and imagery—half their album covers may be middle-school-level scrawlings, but the other half make us have night terrors. And the lyrics? Well, despite the dudes in the band not getting any younger, the gore themes are still interesting and relevant.
“For us, yes,” says Reifert on if the themes still are relevant as the band dudes get older. “For anyone else, it’s up to them to decide.” And when he talks about his band’s lyrical persistence, he may as well be talking about their musical dedication as well. “It does seem that our sheer pigheaded persistence is a force to be reckoned with,” he says. “We’re not done attacking your senses yet, so don't get too comfortable,” he laughs.
And when it comes time for last words, Reifert—who’s currently also spending time in the reunited gore-death crew Autopsy, and seeing as how we haven’t mentioned he used to play in DEATH, now’s as good a time as any to get that in—comes prepared, sounding like some sort of preacher of the underworld, like a guy you’d find living down in those sewers, spreading the good word about all kinds of bad. He’s a freaky dude, but he’s been in three excellent extreme metal bands, so we’ll let him be as freaky as he needs to be.
“Free your mind and the dawn of inhumanity will shine a dark light into your soul, revealing all the strange things that usually remain hidden,” he says, dead serious, and that same chill that we get when staring at Abscess album covers while listening to their albums returns. “See you in your hallucinations.”