As Abstraction marches down the field in a sullen but foreboding way, the opening build-up to the sucker punch on “Believe” is rather calming for such a violent record. Or at least the first minute is before the strings and percussion kicks up with vocals from the beyond the grave. With lyrics like “Hell comes from within, believe in yourself” that is barely audible through the sudden shift of sound, there is a new stage set for the audience.
Instead of participation, Abstraction is a cult-esque stance on systematic pulverizing. Each track continues to form into the frame and Wound Man continues to strike a deeper and deeper fear into the listener without even realizing. The black-and-white cover art is a significant aesthetic to the basement beatdowns and horrid uprisings that form under the blanket of hardcore. Following along with “Stand,” a 26-second onslaught that creates more headbanging than ear-shattering deafness which is often the side effect of short, but effective violence records.
Often times, such a cut runtime means that bands have to cram as much sound into the output as possible, but Wound Man is a little different. They can create and enjoy a melody like on “Tax Man” where the one-two step is more approachable for heavier styled music and even though the tracks are short, they are begging to be replayed. After hearing the record near 10 times in around an hour, it is easier to see why Abstraction continues to flow so well. The tandem style of each track just pushes the momentum along and is barely even considered to be separated. Abstraction lives better as a single, six-minute entity rather than being split up for individual listening.
The shortest track on the record is “Swamp” which is a feat only racking in 21-seconds but has these poetic lines that are extinction-centered, but reflective. Describing, “We peel ourselves from the mud to grin in death’s image,” as the floodgates let through these bass lines that are riddled with mire. Each time the words are spoken, the audience sinks uncontrollably into the Earth before finally seeing the light of the world completely close off into utter darkness.
With the final self-titled track “Abstraction,” the longest piece on the record feels like a merciful push back from all the quick and shattering grasps that surround. Wound Man is more about getting in and getting out rather than building up an ego or presence. The enigma of the machine that is Abstraction wants to open the mind up for dissection in the New Bedford way. Before fading into the everlasting black end, Abstraction gazes further into the illustrative and phantom touches on pain.