Review 1675 : Aphotic – Abyssgazer – English

Aphotic announces its first album.

Created in 2020, the Italian band composed of N. Gazer (vocals/guitar/keyboards, Blasphemer, Fuoco Fatuo), L. Zeit (bass, ex-Ekpyrosis), F. Abisme (drums, ex-Ekpyrosis) and K. Coil (guitar, Fuoco Fatuo, ex-Into Darkness) immediately signed to Sentient Ruin Laboratories and Nuclear Winter Records for the release of Abyssgazer.

The album starts with Endzeit, an introduction getting heavier and heavier before accelerating to let Spectral Degradation unveil blast and dissonant riffs, followed by cavernous screams. The slow and heavy sound regularly sees some ghostly voices appearing in the background, strengthening its suffocating atmosphere before slowly leading us to Cosmivore, a slightly more melodic track, which relies on dark harmonics to develop its thick sound fog. We still have some softer leads that get lost under riffs, then Deathward and Beyond will follow to keep feeding these heavy sounds with a rather Old School and jerky approach. The sound remains just as heavy and impenetrable, but it offers much more complex leads, notably this hypnotic acceleration, before letting Endzeit II allow us a short and melodious moment of respite. Darkness immediately reappears when Abyssgazer, the eponymous track, begins, using softness then heaviness to lock us in this dark cage from which massive screams and cries of despair escape, leading us to Horizonless. As its name suggests, the track leaves no other hope than being trampled by an impressive sound, while some plaintive clean vocal parts sometimes appear to hold us in this torrent of heaviness, which only ends when Depths Call Depths begins. Darkness once again falls on us without any form of mercy, mixing Death and Black influences weighed down by slowness and chaotic but mastered mix before this lighter final, which allows Endzeit III, the last interlude, to make us move forward in this sound tunnel until Chasmous, the ultimate composition. The band unsurprisingly assaults us with a compact mix, allowing some moments of floating before a very melodious but still obscure final.

Out of nowhere, Aphotic develops an extremely heavy and dark sound on a rather slow rhythmic favorable to chaos. Abyssgazer is a treasure of raw blackness, suffocating dissonance and massive depth just waiting to be explored.


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