Michael Donnelly sure has a knack for harnessing the throbbing, magickal energy that flows beneath the surface of objective reality. Listening to any of his work ? either solo as Terracid, or in any of his many collaborations under the Musicyourmindwillloveyou umbrella ? you can almost imagine him communing with entities long-forgotten by today?s accelerated civilization. On ?Abraxas? we find Donnelly exploring the duality associated with the Gnostic deity with which this album shares a name. Scholars are divided as to whether the aforementioned entity is a god, or actually a demon. On this particular release, Donnelly has harnessed both the benevolent bliss associated with the former and the dissonant mayhem often attributed to the latter.
Opener ?Her Shadow Ate the Ground? treads deeply, if slowly, through acid-laced waters. A plodding bass and drum framework is dutifully decorated with gurgling analog synth sounds and otherworldly howling. Donnelly builds intricate textures of sound, only to destroy them once they?ve served their dark purposes. ?Ur? continues down the same path, but is considerably more unsettling. We?ve entered a cavern peopled with creatures that are unseen but have otherwise made their ghastly presence known ? do we make our escape slowly or do we immediately flee the scene?? Donnelly doesn?t give us time to choose, as we?re immediately attacked on all sides by the amazing drum inferno that is ?Ra.? With pummelling drums and overdriven synth and guitar building into an intense blanket of fuzzy static, our minds are veritably melted then and there. Just when it seems like we?re done for, the wall of sound topples and a chiming guitar is all that remains. This is what I love best about Donnelly?s work ? his ability to suddenly shift gears, often in mid-song.
Soothing analog melodies introduce ?Sunrim? before we once again delve into darker territory as a deep bass line and some light percussive clatter carry us onward. The album ends with the relatively short drum assault ?Hoof,? which indeed gives the impression of being trampled by a stampede of wild horses. The briskness of this final song almost makes the album seem to end to soon. Thankfully, there doesn?t seem to be an end to the amazing stream of releases sprouting forth from the Musicyourmindwillloveyou camp, so it won?t be long before Donnelly?s back to claim our souls again. 9/10 -- Bryon Hayes (27 June, 2006)