Last month, I stumbled across Cvlt Nation's premiere of "Shiver" (which is now also available for streaming on Abest's Bandcamp), which is a song from the upcoming full-length by the German band Abest. The thundering bass line intro and sludgy guitars hooked me almost immediately. The album, Asylum, doesn't come out until May, but I wanted more. Luckily, I found Abest's 2012 demo on Bandcamp.
Abest plays a mix of airy post-metal and sludgy riffs, topped off with low, hardcore bellows. The first few minutes of the opener, "Solando," nicely captures everything I love about what I've heard from this band so far. The intro is a simple, chiming guitar pattern over bass and minimalistic drumming. If that intro is the nerves before battle as the sun rises over the hills, then the main riff kicking in is the sight and sound of tanks coming over those hills. The music is straightforward without being simple. Which isn't to say that they can't kick up a furious ruckus when they want to. A large part of "Into Grey," for example, is an almost barely-there menace, but around the two-minute mark, the band erupts into a storm of sound before drifting back into tense atmosphere.
Everything works for me here--the low roars, the crunchy guitars, the subtle bass and drumming. Abest takes what some might find to be a relatively limited sonic palette and use it to create brilliantly crafted songs. If the preview of "Shiver" is any indication, they've stepped up their game on the full length, which has put their new work on my highly anticipated list. The demo will have to hold us over for now, though.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]