ABRICTION - "Banshee" Album Review

Abriction is the shoegaze/atmospheric black metal project ran by Meredith Salvatori, a very prolific American artist known for her filtered post-hardcore soundscapes and her successful collaboration with Sadness, which culminated in one of the best split EPs of last year: Sadness// Abriction.

After multiple releases and making her presence known as one of the best emerging artists in the shoegaze scene, she surprises us with a radical change of direction, while still keeping her roots.

For the many loyal listeners who have been following her journey reaching its climax with "Interstates", and are used to her 11 or 19 minutes long tracks, well...you will still find a couple of long tracks in this one (she probably couldn't help it), but if the main stage was previously given to her signature post-rock distorted guitars, ethereal chanting, and violent ragged vocals, in this release the songs that come out triumphant have a clear witch-house contamination and a solid electronic base.

This record embraces a "less ambient" approach, while still presenting a few lofi touches, that make it somehow charming in my opinion. 

The opening track "Pale Morning Horizon" is stylistically very similar to the sonic DNA we found in Interstates. It's what I would call a "perfect Abriction track". This piece of music is almost a bridge in between the two albums. A melancholic memory of its predecessor, bravely claiming its place and reason to exist. Without a doubt one of her most emotional creations.

The second track "Streetlights", is where the change happens. For a second I was left wondering, did my Spotify jumped to a Sidewalks & Skeletons playlist? The melodic leads and synthpop elements surely make it a more accessible and club-friendly offering. Despite that, it still holds that inborn hypnotic mysticism (characteristic of the witch-house genre).

A similar sonic makeup can be found in "Relieved Of All Senses", one of my top tracks in the album. Here, however, the appeal is more experimental and cinematic. It's a shock wave of classic witch-house charm dancing in a loop chain. It takes you straight to a Crystal Castles show or the underground club of an industrial building.

"Everything You Know Will Eventually Be Destroyed" follows as a perfect in between track. Crisp and pristine piano notes dying in a distorted and nostalgic progression, where "Teal Rain" starts with the sound of a tapping downpour. I truly appreciated the guitar work and the interlinked melodies in this one. The overall feeling is constricted, like a minefield ready to explode, and when it does the effect does not disappoint.

"Superposition" is another track worth mentioning. This one comes straight out of the "Circle of Veins" school. Structurally similar to those iconic Sadness tracks, it takes me back to that exceptional 2017.

"Carried", is a little cinematic gem. it sounds almost celestial, and it offers a contrasting ending to this emotional rollercoaster. 

In this release Abriction seems to have aspirations to stay true to her roots but at the same time she redefines what she is and what she can accomplish through her ongoing evolution. This is a courageous album that should hopefully get the recognition it deserves, and rightly so.  









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