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Funny thing about being a metal blogger in Seattle: you receive a tremendous amount of promotional material from bands that claim to sound like or draw influence from the grunge scene. Never mind that grunge was more defined by aesthetics than sound, or that Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden have relatively few sound-alike bands in the city anymore. Doubly never mind that just because I live here doesn’t mean I’m a huge fan of the sound (Alice in Chains tickle my fancy, so does earlier Soundgarden, but past that I’m disinterested).

Parisians Abrahma are touted as successors to those two bands in particular (though they're a better fit on this site than many other bands who claim the same), but I’m not so sure of the similarity. Not that it matters, because they’re quite good in their own right on their upcoming sophomore LP, Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird.

While Abrahma’s sound is psychedelic in the sense that the band creates immersive layers of sound that work in counterpoint to one another, their approach to songwriting is more direct than the average psychedelic band. Their 90’s Seattle influences show more in their marriage of impassioned vocal delivery (albeit kind of buried in the mix, which is nice) with a heavy metal rhythm section—the drums are loud and attention-grabbing, and the riffs often chug on the downbeat. The band played Roadburn this year, and they certainly fit in with that festival's expanding focus. In their more delicate moments, Abrahma also remind me of heavy progressive groups with a knack for catchy vocals, like Porcupine Tree or maybe Klone. It’s not the single heaviest thing I’ve ever heard, but I revisited Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird to contemplate its balance of songcraft and tone, which is much more exciting than just another band that got into metal through grunge.

— Joseph Schafer

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Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird drops May 12, but you can pre-order it via Small Stone Records. Follow Abrahma on Facebook, or on Twitter at @ABRAHMAMUSIC.

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