Band Line Up
Rodrigo Rodríguez – Vocals
Ben Wilkinson – Guitar
Kent Congdon – Guitar
Josh Miller (*Session work/ Emmure’s drummer) – Drums
1. Unsightly Beast
3. A Plea Above Ashes
4. Quell the Voiceless
5. Natal Trophies
California-based Symphonic Technical Death Metal act Mordant Rapture release the Abnegation on The Artisan Era label.
The concept of the EP is described as follows: The Abnegation is a five-song whirlwind of symphonic and blackened technical death metal. The EP tells the story of an expecting couple that–knowing nothing beyond their sheltered and mundane lives–become indoctrinated into a religious sect which they do not want their offspring to be a part of. Ultimately the congregation becomes aware of their abnegation and they must suffer punishment as the sect’s holy law decrees.
It’s an idea we have seen before: films such as Rosemary’s Baby have based their story on similar literary ideas, so the idea is by no means original, but the interpretation of your influences and turning them into something others will be interested in is a true skill.
EP opener Unsightly Beast, with its piano instrumentation of the intro, evokes classic gothic horror feel, and the brutal drum work you expect with death metal provides a great canvas for some fast-fingered symphonic guitar orchestration, solid song. The instrumental parts between songs act well in creating chapters within the story. In truth, this release is four songs and an instrumental interlude in form of fourth track, A Plea Above Ashes. These are good songs, but not great songs. Mordant Rapture’s release was conceived and recorded over a five year period: this shows they either struggle to write songs or have very high standards, and I think the latter comes across throughout the EP. Don’t release something you aren’t satisfied with, regardless of the length of time. I would say if it takes them another five years to release another EP they may struggle to get any larger following. The EP is classic death metal in style and will gather fans, but I am not convinced that Mordant Rapture will sustain any real presence on the scene. It’s brutal death metal. But not a classic for me. Give it a listen and see what you think.
David William Hatton