Medeia are often described as an "alternative death metal band". Now, I must admit that I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. Does it mean that they combined death metal and grunge music? Or perhaps they play death metal with rapped vocals, or does it mean that it's Korn with brutal growls and gory lyrics, or what? I mean the only logic behind that term, I guess, is that they combine alternative rock/metal elements with death metal. Anyway, maybe Medeia combined death metal and alternative rock on some of their earlier releases, but on Abandon All, which came out in May, all of these speculations become irrelevant anyway, because that is unambiguously a death metal release with no alternative metal elements whatsoever (of course, another take on the whole 'alternative' thing could be that Medeia is considered an original band which provides an alternative to the majority of modern death metal bands out there).
The core sound definitely is death metal, but there is also a thrash metal feel (with a lot of references to modern groovy thrash) to a lot of the tunes, and Medeia also draw on metalcore/deathcore in certain places. The tunes one the album are quite varied in terms of riffage, as the album contains both groovy riffs, which are quite simple, and primitive old school death metal riffs as well as mid-tempo thrashy riffage and quite complex riff and rhythm patterns, some of which border on being truly mindboggling (check out the title track, for instance).
Keyboards and synths constitute in integral part of Medeia's sound, and quite often they are used to establish a type of atmospheric backdrop for the other instrumentation, but they also add a dimension of dark lushness every now and then, as in 'The Burning' which is more of an epic goth doom metal track than a death metal track. Keyboards and synths in death metal is not a new or particular original thing anymore (Nocturnus and Darkside did it ages ago), but if it works, then it works, and in this case it works.
While Abandon All has an overall rich sound, which is a plus, I think there could have been more guitar solos on the album, as they would have enhanced the sound texture and the overall listening experience. In any case, there are a lot of headbanging-friendly passages on this album, and a lot of solid riffs, and the production is also quite good. Death metal fans who are not scared of a bit of deathcore and a bit of groove might find this album appealing.
1. We All Fail
2. Suffocation Diuturnal
3. The Ultimate Disconnect From Humanity
4. In Motionless Decay
5. The Burning
6. Abandon All
8. The Will To Dominate
9. The Undistinguished Name