Have you ever tasted palpable rage and pain, where it just radiates from a person, and you visibly had to move out of their way? Highly emotive music that radiates that sort of emotion means that there is something barely contained underneath the surface, and it becomes the perfect soundtrack when you are angry and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Abraham’s Débris de mondes perdus is an album that barely disguises its contempt and lament for something that happened, and, at the heart of it all, the onset of its rage is justified.
Débris de mondes perdus – “Debris of Lost Worlds” – follows up on what many consider to be the band’s magnus opus, Look, Here Comes The Dark!, a concept album divided into four parts that details how all life on Earth ended. Unlike its predecessor, which was more polished and bordered on control, Débris de mondes perdus takes the ambient nature of post-metal and injects a punk intensity that speeds up its cacophony. In fact, unlike some albums in the genre that gradually build up the intensity before letting the full force of their sound drop on the listener, Abraham opted to showcase their intensity from the very beginning. First track “Verminvisible” starts with vocalist and drummer Dave Schlagmeister’s kinetic screams and quiet drumming introducing what’s to come before the sheer weight and feedback of the music just drops on the listener. What’s even more compelling is that the music never loses its energy – while it ebbs and flows, the sheer intensity of the instrumentation keeps you tethered, and you can only listen with your jaw on the floor. The fact that the album is so apparent and straightforward in its execution is a feast to the senses, especially when there is no build-up to its pace – it just manifested one day, and you must contend with it.
However, underneath the primal rage and feral nature of the music, something feels off. In lieu of what Look, Here Comes The Dark! explored, Débris de mondes perdus feels despondent, hollow; there is something human about its screams and the accompanying instrumentation, but it’s uncanny in the way that it pulsates, as if it just appeared out of thin air. It’s a manufactured feeling, but you can empathize with it because it feels and sounds human, and its rage is justifiable: everything that it loved and knew is gone and they can only scream. What you get is a cry in the void, a deep, robotic echo that aims to be human but cannot be. It doesn’t help that, underneath the machine-like feeling, there is something inherently human that wants to slide out, something feral that wants to hear its echo within that same void of space. It’s liminal and claustrophobic, but it has no mouth to scream.
All in all, Débris de mondes perdus is an album that shows you, from its onset, what kind of atmosphere and calamity it brings with its music. It’s as direct as you can get, especially when post-metal tends to lag, to build until it can no longer hold itself together. It’s a powerful, haunting record that heightens whatever you are feeling in a particular moment, and it allows itself to be interpreted as such. For something to be so simple in its themes – the lamentation of what was lost – Débris de mondes perdus truly allows itself to be molded and interpreted as the listener sees fit.