Abstrakt | Limbosis
Release Year: 2015
Genre: Post Progressive Metal/Rock
Krzysztof Podsiadło – Vocals
Michał Fiałka – Guitar
Maciej Dados – Keyboard
Jakub Puszyński – Bass
Łukasz Simiński – Drums
Just when I thought everything that can be done with progressive rock and metal concept albums, comes along a band that challenges contemporary wisdom. Abstrakt are one of those bands that come along and totally shatter pre conceived notions on how a concept album should be made in the world of progressive metal and rock.
Their 2015 album Limbosis is definitely a 74 minute journey as one wakes up one morning into a nightmare. The 8 tracks are different yet concurrent stories where the individual in the story makes sense of it all. The listener can easily find themselves in a situation such as this. Limbosis has a little bit of everything you would expect from a concept album yet completely against the grain of traditional progressive rock and metal. It is as if Riverside, The Sisters Of Mercy and Tool created a modern day melodic Frankenstein.
Teratoma begins with a nice melody of keyboards backed with a nice rhythm section with a drum roll style of beat. Soon a very deep barotoned style vocal comes in that reminds me a lot of Peter Steele of Type O Negative meets Maynard James Keenan of TOOL. This vocal dynamic is followed by some great post rock progression with bottom heavy bass and detuned rhythm guitar. Krzysztof Podsiadło’s vocals are very different from most progressive vocalists today. At he 4:50 mark there is some strange special effects like somebody is working in a garage preparing something with a very dark atmospheric keyboard passage. Throughout the rest of track there are deeper heavier progressions with the rhythm section with a neo progressive keyboard passage. There is a segway pause that allows the album to flow and transition smoothly to the following track The Bus.
The Bus picks up where Teratoma left off with a neo progressive keyboard opening that is perfectly complimented by a smooth rhythm section. This followed by a nice rhythm guitar section that displays a deep bottom progression. There are some nice breaks around 2:50 to 4:00 marks. Michał Fiałka has some wicked guitar parts both rhythm and lead. At the 5:40 mark there is a very odd punk sensibility much in the vein of early Black Flag. At the 6:42 mark there are more hooks that keep the listener locked in. Nice ebb and flow between bass and rhythm guitars and drums for those who love detuned progressions.
Clockhouse opens up almost like a chamber music style progression. Once again the bottom rhythm is very heavily brooding and groove laden. Some polished keyboard passasges are sprinkled. The vocal about the 1:29 mark goes in a ghostly wicked whisper. Jakub Puszyński appears to be strumming the bass instead of plucking it. About 2:59 mark the band employs and incorporates a children’s choir that serves as a more haunted style of background. Towards the 4:00 mark there are even some subtle spoken word sections. Maciej Dados seems to envelop the listener with a linger surround style of keyboard passage.
Wolf starts out with such a heavy handed brooding rhythm section that appears to be stalking the listeners senses. Łukasz Simiński has a heavy drumming section that sounds like it is trying to portray fear into the main character of the concept story. The rhythm section in Wolf reminds me a lot of Univers Zero’s dark passages . About the 3:00 mark the band takes this to a whole new level with a simple yet perplexed 4/4 progression followed by a sick haunting hammond organ style keyboard passage. About the 6:00 mark Wolf takes a heavy progressive metal progression and return to the same progression as they hit at the 3:00 mark. There is a very fluid piano running with the doom laden progression between 7:00 mark to the end of the track.
Bloody Mary starts out with a heavy fuzzy distortion rhythm section with a neo progressive keyboard effect in harmony. about the 1:17 mark the track takes a blistering approach before breaking at the 1:39 mark. The bands concept really begins to tighten up on this track and the listener can clearly see that Abstrakt have done something pivotal here with Limbosis. The vocals carry some of the old odd metal metal signatures that Chris Cornnell did with Soundgarden which is very distinctive from their peers in the prog community. The heavy post rock vine certainly taps into that left indie side that TOOL opened up 20+ years earlier. From the 6:00 mark towards the end Bloody Mary takes on some familiar doom metal elements that bands like Pentagram or Candlemass are known for. Just with a neo progressive post rock twist.
Liars Symphony once again solidifies the bands purposeful dark nature of Limbosis. Liars Symphony is laced with neo progressive atmospheres combined perfectly to the post rock doom references that Abstrakt seem to be making a point of in the concept itself. There is a very articulate spoken word passage in the middle like a storyteller. About the 5:38 mark the whole track take a more Deep Purple vibe with the hammond organ combined with the hard post rock notations.
Greatnot has a Floydian opening much like Dogs Of War where it sounds like a working mans track. Soon after it explodes into a doom like sludge progressive progression. The bass is very fuzzy giving this a darker and dreary effect. The drums are non stop give the track a fluid rhythmic continumn. The band seem to be channeling krautrock style passages and the keyboards in this at times sound a lot like Krafwerk.
Journey the final track on the concept, opens up with Abstrakt’s signature progression. At this point Abstrakt have certainly carved a unique and distinctive sound all their own. The band take this track in another unexpected turn and tap into psychedelic signatures with the rhythm section. At about the 4:30 mark there is even a slight but subtle Radiohead vibe in the vocal. At the 6:40 mark the band adds yet another hook in this concept and presents a post rock/ djent metal vibe. This is in a endless line of hooks, progressions and effects already present within the concept itself.
From the time the Prog Doctor, Marty Dorfman over at House Of Prog Radio played a track off of Abstrakt’s Limbosis, I knew somewhere and sometime I would be reviewing it. Limbosis is a front runner in the evolution of the next generation of progressive concept albums. Abstrakt have definitely re wrote, recorded and engineered how I view progressive concept albums. If this is any indication of the future of Polish Prog or Prog Rock in general the genre will continue. I give this a 4.75/5 .