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Abelcain, "Pantheon of Fiends"

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It's hard to make a good genre record. The emphasis there is on "good" because it's easy as hell to follow a formula of expected tricks and gags and come out with yet another regurgitation of a genre. Like in the film world, the trick to making a genre record that stands out on its own as a pillar of the genre is an artist behind the work that is willing to jump in head first with a love of the material and an acceptance of the genre's successes and its detritus. 
Zhark International

Abelcain has turned in such a record—a measuring stick of sorts for thematic breakcore. Pantheon of Fiends, from its lavishly printed sleeve to its two thick plates of blistering beats and uneasy strings, is the ultimate love letter to classic horror films via breakbeats and distorted bass. The spooky sounds and zombie samples have been tried before in this small corner of the world, and the pairing of blood-splattered imagery with hard, asymetic drum breaks is itself an archetype in the world of breakcore and hard drum n bass. All that makes Abelcain's success here that much more impressive, because he's synthesized the beats chopped like bodies and the ominous piano loops more completely than anyone before. The samples aren't just recognizable, they are intentional references to the most iconic horror films of all time and they serve to tie the scattershot rhythms to a theme. In fact, Fiends begs the question, "why hasn't anyone scored a horror film with music like this before?" With rhythms that imitate insects surrying and skeletons marching up stairs in a dank castle, this record would be the perfect way to bring Hollywood's fascination with remaking horror classics into the new millenium. While so many of Abelcain's peers are off on an experiment to further molest the amen break with layers of distortion and monotonous bass pounding, Fiends finds success in a different formula. Cleaning up the beats, allows their razorblade cuts and sutures to bounce giddily off of atonal pianos and theremin samples. Focusing on the precise composition of well-known sounds rather than the quest to produce squelches and skree heretofore unexplored makes the record feel as classic as the references is swipes. In the end, like the best horror movies, Pantheon of Fiends takes the familiar and makes it creepy, brooding, and at the same time fun. People don't go to horror movies to be scared for the sake of being truly afraid; they go to be scared as entertainment, and Pantheon of Fiends is above all else, entertaining.


Last Updated on Friday, 22 July 2005 11:13  


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