Erlend Caspersen: Abhorrent’s “Reward System Malfunction” Playthrough

Prepare yourself: Erlend Caspersen sent us this playthrough of his band Abhorrent’s song “Reward System Malfunction,” and it’s scary good.

The song comes from their upcoming album Intransigence, and while the band has a vocalist, this playthrough removes the vocals to focus on the instruments. Caspersen navigates the song with incredible agility moving between lightning fast fingerstyle and slap.

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Leave a Reply to Trey Smith Cancel reply

  1. Astonishing playing, no doubt, but not a single interesting or memorable riff.

  2. Bill

    Can’t hear the bass.

  3. Got some interesting shit going on around the 4 to 4:15 mark. The chording brought some flavor here and there, too. The over the top drive and extreme down tuning on the guitars mixed with the low end gutted bass masks some serious support work this guy was laying down. That whole genre is hardly favorable to the assist looking to stand out musically.

    • Fuck you Joshua! Erland Casperson is by far, one of the most influential bassist of the century. He has forgotten more about bass tone, technique, precision and style, than you would ever lean, if you lived to be 3000 years old. Your opinion is the way it is because you could never play like he does. No balls. No passion. No use in staying alive really. Kindly kill yourself in the most painful way possible. Would it kill you to shut the fuck up while you’re at it…? Douche nozzle.
      John Flynn, you speak nothing but the truth, if you don’t play metal bass, your all harder core than thou… To hell with that. How about some solidarity kids…?

  4. Mike

    Technically AMAZING but….melodically and rhythmically, there’s nothing there. I guess that’s what that genre is about.

  5. John Flynn

    The comments on this are going to further prove that the NoTreble community will never keep an open mind for heavy metal, no matter how stellar the bass playing is.

    This was wicked man! Can’t wait to hear more!

    • My favourite genre after progressive rock is black metal, so you can’t say I don’t have an open mind for heavy metal. It’s just that this metal genre in particular (I’m guessing it’s technical death metal or something like that?) just doesn’t seem to have any real substance to it, other than showcasing amazing technicality.

    • Clae

      I fucking love metal. NoTreble just doesn’t. It’s fine, but go around talking about how this week’s obscure fusion bassist you’ve never heard of doesn’t make you feel anything and suddenly you’re a heretic.

  6. Mike Matthews

    Well… this cat IS badass. I must say, I can enjoy this music much more without the vocals. Very dark in chord choices; but straight up f’n badass in bass goodness. Great tone (with the sub woofer plugged into my pc) and his playing is great too for this style. hands down!

  7. Yes this is technically great playing but so what? You could get Victor Wooten to play on Carly Rae Jepsen’s album and it isn’t going to make the songs suck any less. The thoughtful application of skill is the job of an artist. I see little thought or art here.

    • I agree with removing the vocals though, I’m sure they didn’t help either.

    • Mike Matthews

      Come on my brotha-o-bass, think about what you said… of course Victor Wooten playing Carly Rae Jepsen’s album would sound better – Ha Ha. I love all type of music, especially if it is soulful, melodic, and has groove. This dude (Erland) is great at what he’s doing. We should consider being more supportive of our bass brother regardless of genre. If the vocals were on this, I wouldn’t have gotten past 60 seconds of it; but without them, I am able to give credit where it’s do. This might not be soulful/groove oriented music; but the dude is kill’n it at what HE does. That’s all I’m saying. – Enjoy!

      • Erlend Caspersen

        I like your approach, Mike <3 These responses are pretty typical whenever this type of music is covered in sites where most people have little or no relationship to this kind of music. Especially when this most likely ranges 100-150BPM over what people usually listen to, and then is redeemed "garbage" due to it being inaccessible the first time around. I like to think about the first time I heard Stravinsky's Rite of spring, and thought it was nonsense due to its extreme amount of information I had to take in. Years later it's one of my most favorite pieces of music ever made, and this is a notion I tend to see about a lot of this type of music as well.

        This might be an unpopular opinion among bassists, but I really don't think the world needs more "pocket players" or players confining to what originally defined the instrument in the first place years and years ago, as this makes up 99% of the ideology of what bass is supposed to be in the bass playing community. To me it ends up being a rather regressive train of thought, if all you are supposed to do is keeping a beat, make it groovy, memorable and "sing". Mind you I love it when players do fulfill these criterias, but personally I prefer not to restrict myself in such a manner and challenge myself to do whatever it takes to get the job done, as I feel this instrument has a lot more to offer than what "it's supposed to do".

        Either way, it's cool to at least be able to stir up some discussion with what I do. So, I guess I'm doing something right.

        • Steve

          I love the reference to the Rite of Springs! Did it not cause a riot when it debut in Paris? (“Riot” might be an exaggeration, but there was at least a “fracas”. Let us know if you ever play Montreal!)

          I have been a follower of NoTreble for years, primarily because it’s a great place to get myself acquainted with styles I would not necessarily seek out on my own. Thanks to Kevin Johnson and the rest of NoTreble staff for bringing us those amazing/weird/wtf/controversial performances.

          @Erlend: You are doing a lot of things right. Your music is not my usual “cup of tea”, but I will get my hands on you album.

          Keep doing what you’re doing!

        • Mike Matthews

          I can dig. Play on (bass) Playa!

  8. Jamie Mills

    This might be an unpopular opinion among bassists, but I really don’t think the world needs more “pocket players” or players confining to what originally defined the instrument in the first place years and years ago, as this makes up 99% of the ideology of what bass is supposed to be in the bass playing community.

    I 100% agree with this.

    As soon as someone see’s something extremely proficient and technical and little in-accessible due to it’s technicality the automatic response is ‘Yes, but can they play in the pocket?’ OF COURSE THEY CAN. Do people really think you get to this level of technical proficiency without absolutely mastering the basics first. Do you really think it’s possible to play perfectly in time, scalar runs at 200BPM 16ths without having developed an impecable sense of timing?

    What you’ve done above is not something I’d typically listen to, I’m into technical heavy stuff but not at the expense of song writing which I think the above is. I can appreciate the dedication required to be able to play that way though.

  9. stefano lai

    This is not play a bass

  10. Awesome playing!

    I’d like to hear this with just drum and bass. I bet that would expose the song more, and inspire people to write more song into the songs.