You Send Me Things, I Listen to Them – Abacus and Bathe

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Do you like powerviolence? Do you like sludge? Do you want a bloody Reese’s cup composed of two great, horrible tastes that go great together? Well then, have I got a treat for you.

After seeing my previous entry of this series detailing the impressive and shamanic God Root, Alex Strickland, vocalist extraordinaire, reached out to me to see if we’d be interested in covering his two excellent bands, Abacus and Bathe. And boy howdy am I interested. The two acts, despite sharing Strickland, are unique enough to give their own coverage, so hopefully everyone here will find something to enjoy.

__________

Abacus – En Theory

If you’re more of a chocolate (powerviolence, in the case of this metaphor; work with me) guy or gal, Abacus may be your preferred taste. En Theory is a monstrous exercise in inhuman aggression. From the very first track, as the jangly, almost loose chords bounce off the frantic drums, it becomes very obvious that this album is the product of four beating hearts filled to the brim with hatred and wrath. Each subsequent track is a pummeling bar-brawl of flying chairs, broken bottles, and wrecked instruments. Guitarist Josh Bumgarner and drummer Paul Huff are likely to be your focal points during this whirling dervish of sweat and blood; Bumgarner is unrelenting in his use of double-edge riffs that never stop skinning listeners. Despite flagrant use of power chords, the guitar work on display is actually deceptively complex. At various key junctures in the album’s development, Bumgarner dials back the aggression to lay down atmospheric riffs that almost evoke some of Chuck Schuldiner’s more pensive guitar lines before diving into subtle snares of delay, dissonance, and reverb that leave you perpetually disoriented. These switch-ups are actually a key to the nastiness of the album, allowing brief moments of reprieve that only render you more vulnerable to the next battering. Contrasting Bumgarner’s dynamics is Huff’s impulsive, unremitting percussive assault that often sounds like a barrage of bone and sinew making a wet cacophony as the pieces of human debris smack and slap across the guitar’s sinuous chords.

Strickland and bassist Kevin Scruggs add a much needed depth and closure to the violent interplay between guitar and drums. Scruggs’s bass lines are never overstated, but the little drops, breakdowns, and flourishes definitely add that last bit of punch to the lower-end of the music, like a hefty pair of brass knuckles added to a Mike Tyson right hook. Altogether, the instrument work on this album is exhausting and remorseless, giving you black eye after broken rib after crushed sternum; En Theory is a taxing listen, in truth, but it remains captivating throughout as Strickland rises above the maelstrom like a deranged circus ringleader, conducting the symphony of carnage with his manic shrieks and utterly spiteful shouts. His vocals may rarely exceed standard hardcore affair, but they always sound professional, and combined with the music, are wholly impressive and disarming. Simply put, En Theory is a violent listen that will undoubtedly whip you into a cubicle-crushing fury.

__________

Bathe – Ornothopsieism in Seven Movements

If Abacus is Strickland’s main method of hurting those around him, Bathe is a much more sinister project, like a hidden closet shrine of perverse torture. It is the peanut butter in this hardcore Reese’s, one that draws much more from the world of sticky sludge and noise. Despite sharing two members with Abacus (minus Scruggs and Bumgarner), Bathe is a wholly different beast, all sloppy, downtuned malice and inky discord. Where Abacus are tight and precise, Bathe are loose and unhinged. Low, mucky riffs seem to slide and wrestle with each other and the bass notes in oily, hateful mud while a much slower, more pummeling drum approach batters like a gigantic beast more than a nimble prize fighter. That slippery nature shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of skill or ability, though. Make no mistake: every note, every scream, and every punch of the percussion is methodically chosen to leave you disarmed and vulnerable while Strickland works his sick magic to skin you conscious and alive.

It’s difficult choosing which of the two releases I prefer, but there’s something horrifying in the seemingly slipshod sludge peddled by Bathe. There’s a dissonance and heft to all of the riffs that dwells like a lurking alligator in the swampy production. Every downbeat and rhythmic shift feels like another step further into a hopelessly inescapable mire full of deadly beasts and inbred mutants whose only desires are vengeance and destruction. There’s little polish or even light to the music on Ornothopsieism in Seven Movements, likely due to Colin Marston’s expert knob-twiddling, and even when unexpected elements, like the church bells in “Movement V” appear, they only ever add to the chaos rather than detracting from it. Of the two, Ornothopsieism also gives a little more room to Strickland’s vocals, allowing the full force of his malevolence to reach out and grip you with serial killer hands. This is ugly music for ugly hearts, so I’m sure a lot of you will dig it.

If you dig these bands, you can purchase both albums on Bandcamp and say, “Yo,” to both bands on Facebook.

  • Make my Reese’s cup bloody please.

    http://i.imgur.com/oIWx54C.jpg

    • Dubs
        • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

          IIRC isn’t that from Night Of The Demons 2?

          • Nah, the first one.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            I was thinking it was one of those two. I remember that scene from way back in ’95.

    • COAL ROLL

      that the camera on your phone?

      • Nah, I have a work camera that I used. No smart phone for this bro-face.

        • COAL ROLL

          gonna say that’s a nice pic. my phone takes dog shit photos, kinda been thinking about getting a new one

  • Dagon

    Peanut butter >>>>>> chocolate

    • Dubs

      But what about caramel?

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Nougat = GTFO

    • Oh fuck yes!

    • Dubs

      I got made fun of by my wife and coworkers for really liking PayDays. I honestly just really like nuts, bro.

      • Dagon

        Guess what are my favorite nuts though

        • Dubs

          Brazil nuts?

          • Dagon

            Castanha-do-Pará. Get out of here with that Brazil nut shit. It’s the same thing, but dudes from other parts of Brazil managed to rob the name. Rat bastards.

            Pará nut!

          • I eat them as a snack for lunch every day. High in antioxidants.

          • COAL ROLL

            my mom calls them something not so nice

          • Old people, man.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            What’s your fascination with geriatrics?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Good song.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            “Mom, stop calling them that. Please. It’s getting uncomfortable.”

          • Boss the Ross

            Hmmm, i know what you’re getting at.

        • nobody said “deez” yet?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I just said it.

        • Owlswald

          Pistachios FTW

          • The price for Pistachios <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

          • Owlswald

            Yeah but pistachios (and especially salt and pepper pistachios) =

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Same with macadamias. I fucking LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE those things, but they are some of the most expensive nuts out there for some reason.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          Deez nuts are your favorite nuts.

      • PayDays rule.

        • Dubs

          I’m glad you understand me.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          They’re my favorite candy bar.

          • I figured you as the Butterfinger type.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I like them but not as much as Paydays.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Mine would be Heath’s. Hershey’s cookies and cream whenever I’m drinking coffee though.

      • Maik Beninton™

        Nuts and chocolate, my biggest addictions.

        • Time to get addicted to deez nuts.

          • Maik Beninton™

            Seriously, give me a bag of these, and I waste them in one week.

            http://usercontent2.hubimg.com/7299349.jpg

          • Owlswald

            I currently have a ziploc of these on my desk taunting me.

          • Maik Beninton™

            I wouldn’t resist.

          • Never place food in front of you at work. That’s a big mistake.

          • do you have these in Brazil? they’re probably the greatest food on earth… and the company knows it. they’re well worth the $6 for the 6 oz. of food.

            https://erdrama.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/wasabi-almonds.jpg

          • FUCK! Those are so good. I try and forget about this aisle at the grocery store.

          • it’s baffling how expensive they are

          • It really is fucked.

          • Owlswald

            Great call on the Blue Diamond.

          • Boss the Ross

            They are excellent.

          • Maik Beninton™

            Never saw these, but I will look for it.

          • Waynecro

            Whenever I’m trying to drop my cholesterol to keep the doctors happy, I go to town on almonds. This flavor and the jalapeno flavor are my jams.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            They have sriracha ones too.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            They taste nothing like sriracha though. Half the shit out there that says it tastes like sriracha tastes nothing like it, and is just powdered shit. Just get a bottle of sriracha (the one with the rooster and green cap. Accept no substitutes!). It’s pretty cheap and goes great on ANYTHING. I always have a huge bottle of it in the cabinet.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I love that stuff.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            I almost gagged in my mouth seeing this at Walgreens last night:

            http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/host.madison.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/fe/7fe2bf01-03c6-5e7e-9bad-7f8ac166db38/569d264432f7b.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C1600

            At least they didn’t put ketchup on that hot dog, or my inner Chicagoan would’ve went Falling Down in the middle of the store.

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            i put some catsup on some dogs, fite me. chili + catsup too!

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            They actually do get pissed off it you just put ketchup on a hot dog over there. I learned that within my first 6 months there. It’s about like going to Sicily and asking where the nearest Olive Garden is, or going to Mexico and asking where you know what is.

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            im pretty cool with most hot dog toppings.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I like the pretzel dog with bacon and cheese that Sonic sells. I just don’t put tomatoes on hot dogs. I like relish better.

          • Pentagram Sam

            Basic hot dog experience: Spicy moosetard and jalapenos. Or just load up the 711 chili and laugh maniacally while doing so. Mustard is essential

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            it makes me feel the special place in my artery reserved for the hot dog but chili is p essential for my dogs. everything else is superfluous.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            I pretty much pack mine to the brim. Pickles, sweet peppers, jalapenos, giardonare. relish, mustard, you name it. No ketchup though.

          • Pentagram Sam
          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Classic!

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime
          • Pentagram Sam

            graggh. Torta me up instead! That’s a reaaaalll incentive.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            I dunno, pumping her like a cheap accordion and having those biscuits and some stuffed mushrooms afterwards works for me!

          • Pentagram Sam

            hahahah I was gonna say the only thing I really scarf down at the Red Lobster are the damn biscuits (I actually am not fond of seafood outside of shriiiiimpppp) but, but … THE TORTA RULES ALL. For the promise of a savory DOUBLE MEAT TORTA, I will get downright nastico erotico in every way. DON’T TEMPT ME. DON’T TEMPT ME!

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Actually, they failed at bringing the Bell to Mexico. Twice.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            It would fail so bad. Same reason why Cafe Rio’s never gone down there.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            KJU plz! Thats illegal!

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Those chips should be illegal!

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            That shouldn’t be illegal. Rakim performing Paid In Full without Eric B should though. He’s doing exactly that at BB King’s down in NYC.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Misread that as Burger King for a minute.

          • ProfoundHatred

            That’s ridiculous. Who is DJing that set? They should feel shameful.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I don’t know.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I waste at least 50g of almonds, walnuts and cashews a day. Great source of protein and good fats.

      • It’s odd that nuts come up, I just bought and ate an entire bag of pistachios. Gawt-dayum I love me some pistachios.

        • Dubs

          Pistachios are so good, mang.

      • Boss the Ross

        Paydays are tasty, I’m with you.

      • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

        Must…… resist…….. low hanging….. fruit………

      • Stockhausen

        I hope you got four bucks, baby.

    • Almond Butter>>>>>>>>>Peanut Butter. More expensive but much tastier.

      • Dubs

        Cookie butter is killer too. Cookie butter and nutella >>>>

        • Never was a fan of Nutella for whatever reason.

          • Dubs

            Man, I love it so much. My in-laws stock it when I’m visiting.

          • Its been years though. I’ll pick some up this week.

        • Maik Beninton™

          Oh don’t even start me with nutella.

        • Sometimes I miss eating like shit.

          • Dubs

            I don’t do it often. Lots of fruits and veggies in my diet.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Even supposed “healthy diets” might not be as healthy as you’d think they are. I’ve been on a protein rich diet for a couple of years now, because I was under the impression it’s healthy. Went to the doctor today. Turns out my blood pressure is too high and I can make an appointment with the cardiologist.

          • Dubs

            That sucks.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Yeah, as of last year my heart started occasionally skipping a beat. Weird feeling. It was about time I went to the doctor with it.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Yikes! Hopefully that gets better!

          • What protein sources have you been relying on?

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Chicken, tuna, beef, eggs, nuts, peanut butter and low-fat yogurt.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Beef, eggs, and peanut butter are all very high in saturated fats and cholesterol, so that could be part of what’s affecting your blood pressure.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Yeah I think I have to drop some of the nuts and peanut butter. Eggs aren’t really the problem, I don’t eat the yokes.

          • Óðinn

            That’s no yolk. 😉

          • more beer

            Dude that sucks sorry to hear that. You just need a healthy diet of Beer & Metal!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Thanks man. I rarely drink these days. Maybe that’s the problem haha!

          • more beer

            Maybe.

          • Boss the Ross

            You gotta throw some BBQ in there every now and then.

          • more beer

            true.

      • Maik Beninton™

        Almonds>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        • The proper way to get all the nutrients out of Almonds is to soak them in water for 24hrs, changing the water every 8. Never did it myself because I would absolutely forget to change the water.

  • Dubs

    Also, I try not to get too carried away with comparisons in my posts, so I didn’t mention it up there, but if you like Plebeian Grandstand or AEvangelist, check out Bathe. Their sound isn’t the same as those two bands, but it is really murky.

  • I’m just going to pretend to be from Japan and send you Japanese power metal bands

    • Dubs

      I can promise you I won’t listen to them.

      • Are you telling me the title is a lie?

        • Dubs

          Joe screens things for me. Gotta make it through the sieve, first.

          • I’ll just hijack your next article and rewrite it with dribble about licking nuts off the floor

          • Dubs

            Come and take them.

          • You’re not supposed to call my bluff

          • Dubs

  • COAL ROLL

    I like these sludge bands that use animal life as subject matter

  • Sludge buttercups and chocolate power violence. This is tasty Dubs.

    • Dubs

      I knew I could count on you as a man of taste.

    • Dubs

      that’s gnarly art.

      • Agreed. This should be a nasty split.

        • Boss the Ross

          link?

  • Boss the Ross

    Damn, these two albums are like sinking into a bathtub of rotten pudding that i don’t want to get out of. SLUDGEEEEEEEEEE

    • Dubs

      You don’t have to get out, Boss. Just succumb.

      • Boss the Ross

        Oh, I will, I will succumb.
        Thank you Dubya. These are really scratching an itch right now.

        • Boss the Ross

          Bathe is my preferred ingredient.

    • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

      Kinda like the cover to the new Pissgrave?

      • Boss the Ross

        Except more pudding.

  • Waynecro

    Abacus is working for me. Bathe is awesome, too, but I’m really digging the powerviolence. Thanks, dude!

    • Dubs

      Your heart is true and your aim steady.

      • Waynecro

        My heart is drowning in a vat of viscous rage and despair. Powerviolence lifts my heart just long enough to prevent its complete and permanent submergence. Well, perhaps not all that. But powerviolence does help me lift.

        • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

          speaking of which, i gave BFR training a shot on my last leg day

          • Waynecro

            Sweet! How’d it work for you? I’ve never tried it on legs; I’ve been using it for biceps. I got some pretty sweet adjustable BFR straps that work pretty well.

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            since i was improvising, and it was my first attempt, i was either not going tight enough or not using enough weight for the lift. itll take a couple more shots to get it right, i think. so far, results have only been marginal. im going to give it a shot with triceps tomorrow.

          • Waynecro

            It takes some trial and error to find the right placement and tightness. You know you did it right when it’s terribly uncomfortable and each rep gets harder. Most people suggest using 20 percent of your 1RM and doing multiple high-rep sets with minimal rest between sets–something like 30 seconds. It’s basically lactic-acid training with occlusion. For my biceps, I’m doing five sets of 20 reps. I’m just using the empty bar, but by about the third set, it starts becoming really difficult. Some people also suggest doing a few heavy sets (85 percent of 1RM) first and then ending with the BFR sets.

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            my guess is that the materials i had at hand were insufficient. ill just have to give it another shot

          • Waynecro

            A lot of articles I’ve read suggest using knee wraps as ties when you do BFR training for the legs. Those wraps are pretty inexpensive and, of course, come in handy when you’re doing heavy squats and deadlifts. It’s nice that they multitask. I was having difficulty tying my arms off properly by myself, so I bought some straps with clips that enable easy single-handed setup. I should have just gone to a neighbor’s house: “Excuse me, sir. Would you mind helping me tie off?”

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            i could see that being an issue. i shit you not, i actually attempted a handful of things to tie off right up under my cheeks, the best i found was some girly resistance bands that we had at the house. i thought i was getting them p tight, and the material wasnt loosenin between reps much.

          • Waynecro

            This video is pretty silly, but it shows how to use the knee wraps for occlusion training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEvYtNIUJgY Before I bought the appropriate gear, I was actually using some elastic bands from those MP3-player holders that go around your arms. I wanted to experiment with occlusion training before I spent any money on it or pursued it in earnest.

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            yeah, that would be super cost effective, ill grab some of those, and we probably already have some handy

          • Waynecro

            It’s always nice when a fitness product is inexpensive and multipurpose.

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            i cant recommend cinderblocks enough!

          • Waynecro

            I’m going to have to get some to make a dip station.

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            also carries, shrugs, i even use them for hip bridges and decline situps. very versatile and only a couple dollars.

          • Waynecro

            I started doing a shrug at the top of each calf raise, like you suggested. Works like a charm.

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            awesome man!

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            “It takes some trial and error to find the right placement and tightness. You know you did it right when it’s terribly uncomfortable and each rep gets harder.”

            http://www.beavis-butthead.ru/pictures1/laugh.jpg

        • more beer

          Some powerviolence for you to lift to.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JZbttoPZoU

          • Waynecro

            Badass! Thanks, dude!

          • more beer

            That is some good shit there. Enjoy.

          • Boss the Ross

            I’ve been sitting on ordering this for a while.

          • more beer

            Get Closed Casket. It has every song they ever did.

          • Boss the Ross

            I was thinking about this reissue
            https://blackarmyjacket.bandcamp.com/

          • more beer

            That is pretty tight. The bass player is one of the guys who runs the blog No Echo. You should check that out if you haven’t before.

          • Boss the Ross

            Cool man, will do.

      • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime
  • Abacus is really doing it for me!

    GL

  • NOPE/10
    -Scrimmchter

  • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

    In other news, Lahka Muza’s about halfway to meeting their crowdfunding goal for their first ever DVD and have about 16 left, and they wanted me to help get the word out (we’ve known each other quite a while since I helped promote them back in the day). For those into dark ritualist,darkwave kinda music, S&M/pagan ritual oriented concerts and Diamanda Galas-esque vocals, it’s right up your alley.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EV6__ut4dA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebJHiNgKXbI

    https://www.hithit.com/en/project/2093/lahka-muza-dvd-performance-118-minutes-of-great-shows

  • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

    RIP, Commandant Lassard (from the ‘Police Academy’ movies)!!!!!

    http://variety.com/2016/film/news/george-gaynes-dead-1201707777/

  • Stockhausen

    I got all hot and bothered with the Abacus description. Mmmm, wet cacophony. But then I saw the dead bird and was all “awww…”