Ad Baculum – Opening the Abyss [Brazil, Black] (2016)

Hammer of Damnation | 3-15-16

Hammer of Damnation | 3-15-16

Oh Lord look at that cover. I wonder if Gustave Dore knew his legacy would be enshrined in the work of so many heavy metal album covers. What is on the cover of Ad Baculum’s third cover is a picture of “The Suicides” from Dore’s extensive illustration of Dante’s Divine Comedy. What was meant to be perhaps spiritually horrifying educating wayward Christians to a brighter path has turned into being an ominous cover for a cool as fuck metal band. Its a fair trade off.

Holy shit, Ad Baculum. Where do we begin? Well, first of all the Metal Archives page has this listed under black metal but fails to note the tempo in which this album crawls. This is new for Ad Baculum as their previous two efforts were more in the vein of black/death similar to the band Mystifier where their direct lineage can be drawn. Now thrown into second gear, the band’s third record Opening the Abyss lumbers across a desolate landscape only speeding up in a what sounds like a feeding frenzy from vocalist Lord Hades. Like most great things which lodge themselves inside ones’s head, Opening the Abyss sounds odd at first with its echoing vocals and sluggish tempo. It doesn’t sound like standard black death or anything really. It is only after time spent inside a ruined chapel that one sees the value in communion with full darkness.

Opening the Abyss succeeds because of its oddities and refusal to be like things that people maybe familiar with. Its horror is only surface deep with the majority of its quality lying in its charm. If one were to really throw themselves into evil music, there are of course many options. Ad Baculum is for people who want to do just that but while howling like a damn banshee.