There’s one every year for us, isn’t there? One unexpected/unknown artist with a record that completely knocks our socks off. In recent years, bands like Corlyx, Forming The Void, and SPICE have just come completely out of left field with these albums that absolutely slay from start to finish. And in 2022, we’re blessed with Denver’s Abrams and their magnum opus entitled In The Dark.
But I digress!
Amidst a wall of percussive blasts from Ryan DeWitt with Patrick Alberts and Zachary Amster’s formidable guitar tones accenting the force, Abrams’ latest roars to life in a very loud way on “Like Hell”. Not to be outdone by any means, and the sort of second track any great album needs, ” Death Tripper” rips it up with a steady shred and a chorus that’s to die for.
At first, we thought “Better Living” was a masterful cover of Queens Of The Stone Age’s “Better Living Through Chemistry” but it turns out that it’s really Abrams’ own masterful original with a similar name and something that’s easily on the level with that legendary track with the way it trips and transcends typical Rawk tropes. “In The Clouds” is HEAVY. Not necessarily in a Metal way but in more of the sounds you’re hearing have heft. There’s a real weight to the drumming from DeWitt, Amster and Alberts’ guitars, and bassist Taylor Iversen’s strumming, y’know? It’s a guitar-driven anthem that’s got some Tool-style low end from Iversen and some riffage that’s on par with modern Mastodon (The riff-fest from “Tread Lightly” certainly comes to mind here).
“Fever Dreams” has some vocal passages that echo The Moody Blues wrapped in a modern Rawk blanket, “Body Pillow” is simply gorgeous in scope, scale, and sound, “Leather Jacket” is just smothered in this timeless Grunge/Alt sound, and “White Sand” brings to mind the Space Prog of Jupiter-era Cave In with a more soulful vocal delivery. The title track is a little eerie yet epic to start bringing to mind some old school ’80’s classics (Def Leppard is a surprisingly on point comparison) before laying into a nice groove that leads into scorcher “Black Tar Mountain” which closes out the album.
In The Dark arrives on September 9th through Small Stone Records. You can get yer pre-order and pre-save on now by heading here and for the latest from Abrams, follow the trail of socials when you click here, here, or here.
[…] 20. Abrams-In The Dark (Small Stone Records): Abrams’ latest hit hard in the way that Forming The Void’s tied-for-number-one Rawk opus did back in 2020 for us. Crushing yet cathartic, Abrams succeeds with the constant dichotomy brought by the heavenly versus heavy struggle that rages between the guitars, bass, and drums on one side taking on the vocals and vocal melodies on the other. […]