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ABYSSE’S LE VIDE EST FORME: THE FRENCH CONTINUE TO KICK OUR ASS

Rating
150

ABYSSE’S LE VIDE EST FORME: THE FRENCH CONTINUE TO KICK OUR ASS

The metal community’s current Gallophilia should only be reinforced by Le vide est forme, the self-released, two-song, twenty-one minute instrumental EP by Abysse.(The album’s title literally means “The vacuum is form,” although I’m sure there’s something lost in my French Level-Three translation.) Even if the words “instrumental,” “proggy,” and “spacey” — all adjectives which could accurately describe Le vide est forme — scream “boring, self-indulgent naval gazing” to you, you should STILL at least give Abysse a shot, because they’re not just the same-old same-old post-whatever band.

The difference between Abysse and a lot of bands that would seem to be their peers (in theory if not in practice) is that Abysse’s music isn’t overly contemplative. I’m not saying it’s neanderthal bro-metal, ’cause that ain’t right, either; I’m just saying that unlike, for example, Pelican, Abysse have a way of getting to the point quickly without ever seeming A.D.D. or, worse, outright dumb. Abysse’s work is moody for brief stretches, but it’s far more likely to remind you of Russian Circles at their best; Abysse rocks, and Le vide est forme is just screaming to be the score for an epic film. This is storytelling via music instead of words and/or images; these songs have a classical three-act structure and everything.

At times Abysse also remind me a little of Tool, and they share their countrymen in Gojira’s ability to write a kick-ass gallop that is guaranteed to induce windmilling. But what makes it all work is the band’s fluidity — their ability to transition between sections (movements?) without calling attention to the shift. Even though both tracks on Le vide are over ten minutes, they feel short (again, the structure helps maintain interest); rocking out to the album with a friend recently, I was surprised — and disappointed! — that it was over so quickly.

In fact, that’s the only reason I’m not giving this EP higher marks. To paraphrase my friend Sammy O’Hagar, the worst thing about Le vide est forme is that there just isn’t enough of it. I hope these guys make a full-length very, very soon.

ABYSSE’S LE VIDE EST FORME: THE FRENCH CONTINUE TO KICK OUR ASSABYSSE’S LE VIDE EST FORME: THE FRENCH CONTINUE TO KICK OUR ASSABYSSE’S LE VIDE EST FORME: THE FRENCH CONTINUE TO KICK OUR ASSABYSSE’S LE VIDE EST FORME: THE FRENCH CONTINUE TO KICK OUR ASS

(3 1/2 outta 5 horns)

-AR

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