An Abstract Illusion - Woe (2022)


It has been a while since we got an album that we have to drop everything we are doing in order to pay full attention. Luckily for us, An Abstract Illusion’s sophomore release “Woe” is one of those rare gems. Unleashing nearly one hour of highly melancholic Atmospheric/Melodic Death/Progressive Metal, this band will turn heads with their excellent songwriting skills and brilliant delivery. Just think of Cynic meets Bel’akor meets Countless Skies, as this release is both explosive and bombastic.

Opening with the crafty “The Behemoth That Lies Asleep”, the band sets a magical and dreamy mood with dramatic guitar leads and ethereal atmospherics. Reminding us a bit of Andora’s Persefone, “Slaves” perfectly balances agression with lush instrumental passages and crafty arrangements. Clocking in at 11 minutes, “Tear Down This Holy Mountain” is one blistering piece that expertly builds momentum with dramatic tempo changes, including some magical jazzy passages.

Moving into more progressive territories, the Cynic-like “Prosperity” shows the band combining solid vocal arrangements with crafty orchestrations and intricate Bass/Drum sections. The “Eternity” era Anathema-esque track “Blomsterkrans” is a solid momentum shifting track that allows the listener to recharge before the album's best and heaviest song “In The Heavens Above, You Will Become A Monster”. We won’t spoil the fun for the listener, but this epic 14-minute piece combines majestic execution with raw power and tons of interesting ideas.

The last two tracks in this release feel like one huge one, as “This Torment Has No End, Only New Beginnings” perfectly blends and transitions from the previous one. An Abstract Illusion is one of those rare bands that manage to throw in many different ideas and all seem to land perfectly in the right spot for each of the presented songs. “Woe” in turn is an epic release from start to end, filled with technical proficiency, expert song-writing skills, and an overall immense sense of melody and melancholy.

Band: An Abstract Illusion Album: Woe

Label: Willowtip Records

Release: Septmeber 9th, 2022

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Genre: Atmospheric/Melodic Death/Progressive Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 97/100

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