Last year we were blessed to hear some really great death metal albums. And, although we’re only a month and a half into 2024, I feel confident saying that this year will continue the trend.
Enter Acrid Death. Playing old school death metal with a brutal touch, Acrid Death features members of All Its Grace, Driven by Entropy, and Synchronic. But Acrid Death not only manages to stand on its own two feet, but also manages to unleash 27 minutes of crushing death metal goodness. If you are a death metal fan of almost any stripe, make sure you don’t miss Abominable Presence of Blight.
One thing that immediately hits the listener when they fire up the album is just how beefy the production is. The rhythm section in particular sounds absolutely monstrous. The vocals are up front and powerful, being deep and guttural without ever sounding cartoonish. Lone complaint production wise is that the guitars could sound slightly sharper.
The first song is a short intro called “In Light.” This brief track features a killer riff.
The album really gets going with “Huntsmen.” The drums kick it off and, it must be said, the drums on this album are fantastic and a clear highlight. They’re powerful and impressive, but always played to fit the song rather than just demonstrate technicality or brutality. The drums both blast and groove, depending on what is needed for the riffs. The vocals on this track are brutal and monstrous and work well. There’s also great riffing present. I also want to express gratitude to the production and mix that I can hear the bass on this track.
“Presence” follows and is an excellent blend of both blindingly heavy and yet catchy. There is a riff that comes in about a minute into the song that really stands out. Once again, the drums are a highlight. The song ends by slowly crushing the listener.
“G.L.O.O.R.G.” pulverizes you from the first note. The riffing here is dynamic and memorable.
Picking up speed is “Dreg Heap.” We even have some thrash touches on this track. The riffing here is really good, even some of the best on the album.
“Negative Space” gets you headbanging from the first note with a great use of rhythm. The song increases speed before slowing back down and punishing you. This track features some simply, hooky rhythms that are highly appealing.
I would describe “Shadows” simply as good, powerful death metal. The riff that comes in at the minute mark is especially killer. Top to bottom, this is just a great song.
“Heave” sports cool, ominous riffing and good vocals. Parts of this song stand out for great riffs and subtle vocal hooks. What we have here is an album highlight.
The album closes with “In Hell,” which kicks up the speed. The bass work stands out here. The song is subtly hooky and sports some more appealing, but ominous riffing.
There is very little to critique on this record. The musicians all bring their A-game and the vocals are perfect for this sound. The drums are a clear highlight, always played to fit the song rather than to overpower it. The production is nice and beefy, and if the guitar sound were slightly sharper in the mix, the album would sport a flawless sound.
The band is described as Old School Death Metal. That description is accurate, but does not necessarily do justice to just how brutal this album is. Yet, in the midst of such crushing heaviness, the band remembers to write songs. In fact, for this type of music, the songwriting is actually quite dynamic, never content to lapse into monotony. In fact, I’d have been happy for the band to ride out some of these killer riffs for a bit longer than they do.
Abominable Presence of Blight is a great album. It’s short and sweet and scratches the death metal itch perfectly. Any fans of death metal owe it to themselves to check out Acrid Death’s debut. I can’t see anyone who enjoys this genre being disappointed with this release.
Curtis’ rating: 9/10
Preorder the album HERE