Abronia’s second album, The Whole of Each Eye, is an entirely unexplored dimension, populated by an extremely diverse collection of sounds, textures and moods.
The Portland, OR band has truly evolved since the release of their first record, 2017’s epic Obsidian Visions/Shadowed Lands, in more ways than one. Apart from some line-up shifts, the group’s sound has mutated and flourished in a way that just feels so right, like it was fate that brought them to this point.
Throughout the entirety of this record, overdriven rusted guitars slash like daggers while a tenor sax skronks and mourns through quivering waves of cold pedal steel and Keelin Mayer’s unpredictable siren call of a voice. Together, these sounds, aided by the elemental mixing work of Billy Anderson (known for being behind the board for stoner and post-rock legends like Om and Sleep) have a grand depth that is absolutely cinematic in scope. When you listen to these songs, you can easily imagine them being the score for grand Jodorowsky desert scenes or a Sergio Leone-fronted Mad Max film.
To say that these tracks have a real epic quality to them would be an understatement. Take for example, “Half Hall.” The nearly seven-minute piece builds from a quiet pairing of ethereal guitar and vocals, and then quickly becomes a primal ritual. You’ve got a deep bass drum (which is some of the only percussion you get on this record) thumping out an ever rushing, entrancing rhythm, while saxes blare like a Sun Ra explosion. You also have the pedal steel being pushed to its limits, as cymbals and guitars crash together like thunder—all while Mayer’s voice reaches from controlled chants to fully chaotic screams at the song’s blistering climax. I believe you can even hear Mayer whisper “Oh fuck” at the end of the track. After that final volcanic bellow, I could understand why.
No matter your taste, you have never heard anything exactly like Abronia’s The Whole of Each Eye, which is exactly why you should pick it up.
If you are in the US, you can pre-order it from Feeding Tube Records on black and colored vinyl ahead of its October 25threlease.
If you live in the UK or elsewhere, you can pre-order the record from Cardinal Fuzz.