Ad Baculum is a band that, in theory, should be pretty good. The sole member, Meugninousouan, was the vocalist for one of Brazil’s earliest Black Metal hordes, Mystifier. He’s been in the scene for ages, and having been in and around extreme music for most of his life, he should know a thing or two about creating evil Black Metal, right? Sadly, this isn’t the case. This is his second Ad Baculum LP, and though I haven’t heard the band’s 2011 debut, Blackness Doctrine, if what’s on Abstract Abysmal Domain is any guide, I didn’t really miss much. Though the music on this album is somewhat reminiscent of Mystifier, the main problem with it is that it’s pretty boring. It’s severely lacking in heaviness, brutality and menace. Basically, it sounds neutered. The guitars are sterile, and the best way to describe them would be to say that they’re like someone revving a chainsaw but with most of the bass sucked out of the recording. The drum sound is likewise lifeless, with a trashcan lid snare and light switch bass drums. There’s no energy in the playing at all, even when the speed kicks up to “blast” levels. The drumming is fast, but mechanical, and could very well be a simply programmed drum machine. And then there are the vocals… Meugninousouan has a very monotone style, and his delivery is one of the problems that fucks up everything. He doesn’t know how to mesh his singing with the rest of the music, the result being that there’s no “flow” to it. The vocals ramble away, absolutely oblivious to all else that’s going on, sounding like Meugninousouan reading us a dissertation on Satanism in a growly monotone while a band is rehearsing in the room next door. It’s that disconnected. Unfortunately, the only things going for this LP are the Mystifier connection and a cool band logo. Other than that, it’s essentially a waste of time and money.
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