Although Abest’s music could be called post-metal, the band incorporate a lot more speed and ferocity into their music that that label might suggest, especially on this album. Abest blend post-metal, hardcore, grindcore and death metal into a hideous beast that is entirely their own. The album presents the listener with 11 brutal tracks conveying various states of violence, frustration and fear, and this is reflected in the almost stream-of-consciousness-style lyrics. Following on from the band’s 2019 LP Bonds of Euphoria, this album feels more polished. The production is clearer, without losing any of the intensity or bone-crunching heaviness of the guitars, and it really brings out the excellent riff work and precise drumming. The vocals range from post-metal bark to anguished howl. Molten Husk retains the sludgy elements of the previous album, but feels more energetic and dynamic with the increased presence of blast beats and death metal-influenced guitars. The single Into a Mirrored Hall exemplifies this, blending classic Neurosis-style post-metal with swirling riffs that wouldn’t feel out of place on a 90s Morbid Angel album. These dissonant guitar sections, also especially evident on Narrative Subtracted, and the frequent tempo changes, create a sense of unease. The music is not easy listening, especially the sonic assault that is Cognitive Empathy, but the album is all the more rewarding because of the challenging nature of it. One of the best post-metal releases of 2022 and definitely worth picking up.
One final note, I just had the pleasure of seeing Abest live and they put on one of the most intense shows I can remember seeing. If you get a chance to catch them in the flesh, DO IT!