Opening with a sound akin to SUNN O)))’s wonderful drone destruction, Abhorrent Expanse launch into their bizarre and tremendous avant-garde experimental death metal LP Gateways To Resplendence with all the subtlety of a dirty bomb.
The enticingly disturbing cover art is a fair representation of the band’s uncomfortable and engrossing take on death metal; imagine Morbid Angel dropping acid with Incantation while covering John Zorn. Likely, Gateways To Resplendence will confound most death metal aficionados and even this writer remains a bit perplexed by the 10 song improvs that make up Gateways To Resplendence. However, the recent rise of avant-garde death metal – look no further than bands like Australia’s Portal and NYC’s Imperial Triumphant – has helped usher in a new era of extreme metal and Abhorrent Expanse fit right into this unholy trend.
Limiting the description of Abhorrent Expanse to merely being a death metal band would be doing this Chicago/Minneapolis outfit a disservice as nothing is clear-cut here, nothing is predictable. A song like “Empirical Languages” is a noodly avant-jazz instrumental. Another off-kilter tune like “Frost Suffocation” hits a grindcore vibe and then careens into a subtle jazzy guitar only to run into some more doom-drone. It’s bewildering.
From start to finish, Gateways To Resplendence is a dizzying experience that will make some listeners sick to their stomachs, while others will have their dopamine levels raised to new heights….and should you choose to take the ‘Abhorrent Expanse journey’, Worship Metal can not be held liable for any and all bizarre affects that may come over you! 7/10
Abhorrent Expanse‘s Gateways To Resplendence was released on April 8, 2022. Nip over to bandcamp and grab a copy!
Luke Polipnick: vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
Erik Fratzke: electric and acoustic guitars, electric bass, organ (2), synth (7)
Brian Courage: electric and acoustic basses, organ pedals (7)
Tim Glenn: drums and percussion