Album Review – Theophagist / I Am Abyss (2020)

Symbolizing the reincarnation of a project long believed dead, this five-piece act from Luxembourg comes crushing with their debut opus of cannibalistic and visceral Death Metal.

Founded in 2015 in Luxembourg, the “Gibraltar of the North”, by a group of friends, with the band’s roots actually dating from the years of 2007 until 2009, the up-and-coming Death Metal five-piece act known as Theophagist symbols today the reincarnation of a project long believed dead. Picking up where they left off a decade ago, Theophagist bring the listener the finest Death Metal made in Luxembourg highly influenced by many great Thrash, Black and Death Metal artists, old and new alike, finally uncovering now in 2020 their first full-length album titled I Am Abyss after four long years in the making. Currently comprised of lead singer Sven Schosseler, guitarists Tiago Perdiz and Jo Conter, bassist Ben Schreiner and drummer Michel Conter, Theophagist seem to have finally reached their desired shape and form, with the music found in their newborn spawn perfectly depicting everything those talented Luxembourgians have to offer to the world of heavy music.

Simply hit play and a massive wall of infernal sounds spearheaded by Michel’s thunderous beats will invade your senses in Cannibal Preacher, showcasing disturbing words vociferated by Sven (“Your guilty flesh will be purified / Close your eyes, I purge the sins away / A rotten life served as tasteful bites / Pray to me, I purge the sins away / A hollowed scream, your first sacrifice / Bow to me, I purge your sins away”), and after such devastating start it’s time for a mid-tempo, heavy-as-hell extravaganza titled Burn That Witch, where Sven’s deep guttural is perfectly complemented by the scorching riffs by Tiago and Jo, inviting us all to break our necks headbanging in the name of witchcraft. And keeping the atmosphere dense, dark and infernal, the quintet blasts old school Death Metal infused with more melodic nuances in Recipe for Human Cake, with both Ben and Michel sounding truly menacing with their respective instruments. Moreover, I’m not going to write down the lyrics here, just search for them online and have an absolute blast with the band’s wicked and fun “recipe”.

A reverberating cello in the instrumental bridge Awakening The… sets the stage for the brutally heavy Terrors from the Deep, presenting classic, psychological Death Metal lyrics (“Your waves are endless, your foam, a dying star / A sea in millions, withering like a rotting scar / Terrors from the deep, lurking in me / Terrors from the deep, taking over me”) accompanied by a rumbling and intricate sound crafted by all band members, with Tiago’s and Jo’s furious, Black Metal-inspired riffs adding a touch of evil to the musicality, whereas in Epileptic Seizure the band ventures through more modernized and alternative lands, with the bass jabs by Ben sounding utterly metallic, therefore generating a bold background vibe perfect for Sven and his bestial roars. Then going absolutely berserk the band offers our avid ears the demolishing tune R.I.S.E., with the band’s guitar duo slashing their stringed axes in great fashion while their bandmates make sure the music remains as venomous and rebellious as it can be.

In Adeptus Astartes a Western-like intro quickly morphs into more of the band’s classic Death Metal, with Michel taking the lead with his pulverizing blast beats while Sven keeps on growling and giving the whole song a more aggressive punch, and the second to last blast of their straightforward Death Metal comes in the form of Agony of Christ Upon the Cross, following a similar pattern as its predecessor with its guitar, bass and drums smashing our skulls mercilessly. Finally, closing the album we face the ominous and old school Apocalypse (Redux), which was actually written during the first stages of the band over a decade ago, showcasing an amazing riffage blasted by Jo and Tiago boosting Sven’s harsh gnarls effectively, and ending in a climatic and grim manner as the true apocalypse draws near.

In case you’re curious to know how Death Metal made in Luxembourg sounds like, you can enjoy each and every track from I Am Abyss on YouTube and on Spotify, and if you like what you hear you can show your utmost support to those brave metallers by purchasing their debut opus from their own BandCamp page, as well as from Apple Music or from Amazon, or you can also click HERE to select the version of the album that better suits your needs. In addition, as it’s not everyday that we have the pleasure of facing a metal act from the tiny and beautiful Luxembourg, you should definitely follow the band on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, keeping updated with all things Theophagist and helping them spread the cannibalistic and visceral Death Metal to all four corner of the earth.

Best moments of the album: Cannibal Preacher, Terrors from the Deep and R.I.S.E.

Worst moments of the album: Adeptus Astartes.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Cannibal Preacher 4:07
2. Burn That Witch 3:25
3. Recipe for Human Cake 3:58
4. Awakening The… 2:37
5. Terrors from the Deep 6:24
6. Epileptic Seizure 4:02
7. R.I.S.E. 4:47
8. Adeptus Astartes 5:37
9. Agony of Christ Upon the Cross 4:50
10. Apocalypse (Redux) 3:20

Band members
Sven Schosseler – vocals
Tiago Perdiz – guitar, backing vocals
Jo Conter – guitar
Ben Schreiner – bass
Michel Conter – drums

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