Vibrancy is tough in metal. When the boundaries of heaviness have been pushed beyond extremity's brinks, artists must find new ways to be genuinely exciting. The Swedish trio An Abstract Illusion have cracked the code with "Slaves," the first track of their upcoming sophomore album Woe. It’s been six years since their debut, and they re-announce their presence with the second piece of an hour-long track that, even when taken by itself, brandishes the breadth of their influences. See, An Abstract Illusion stray from the Swedish death metal traditions of buzzsaw guitar tones and melodicism. Instead, they combine progressive rock’s expansiveness, ornamental piano touches, dramatic black metal riffs, and ambient electronica. Rather than overflowing with all of these components, An Abstract Illusion takes time to develop each so that they congeal into a transient package. There's a logical cadence to how they weave through a blackened death metal introduction, a starry and piano-laden midsection, and an arena-ready conclusion. These sequences are further held together by the clean finishing touches behind the board. The crystalline production neatly ties everything together into a flowing, liquidized state. In that sense, it’s emblematic of Woe as a whole, a work composed of disparate pieces working together in grandeur’s service. Watch the new lyric video for "Slaves" below before Woe’s September 9 release.

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Woe releases on September 9 through Willowtip Records.

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