Abbath - Abbath (Digibook CD)

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Debut album from ABBATH (post IMMORTAL) with Abbath, Creature and King.

When Abbath announced that he had left IMMORTAL, it sent massive shockwaves through the metal scene. The iconic frontman had long become the "face" of the Norwegian black scene, his image synonymous with this style. Now the legend returns with his new band ABBATH and a crushing eponymous debut album, unleashing all the fury of a Nordic blizzard at full force. Of course the band is equally at home in writing anthemic mid-tempo hymns. Abbath's characteristic riffing shines clearly through it all: heavy, harsh, and yet catchy and melodic with a touch of epic BATHORY, MOTORHEAD, and even KISS. At the same time there is no danger of repeating the formula of IMMORTAL or the mastermind's other project under the moniker I, which was shared with King. The bass player from Bergen has again joined Abbath and brought his impressive song-writing skills to the battlefield. GORGOROTH, GOD SEED, and OV HELL bear witness to King's exceptional talent as a composer, while contributions to AUDREY HORNE and SAHG demonstrate his wide stylistic range. The final keystone to ABBATH lies in the outstanding drumming delivered by the mysterious Creature. The trio has already proved its worth as a live entity at several headlining festival shows as well, where ABBATH were joined by an additional guitarist. 'Abbath' impresses from start to finish. This is exactly the album that all fans of this particular Bergen brand of black metal have been hoping for. Hold on tight or get blown away. ABBATH are here now and ready to conquer the world!

Details

Track listing

  1. To War!
  2. Winterbane
  3. Ashes of the Damned
  4. Ocean of Wounds
  5. Count the Dead
  6. Fenrir Hunts
  7. Root of the Mountain
  8. Endless
  9. Riding on the Wind (Judas Priest cover)
  10. Nebular Ravens Winter (Immortal cover)

Review

The mix is really well balanced, permitting the ballast of the rhythm guitars to shine without obscuring any other component, drums delivering a Sleipnir canter. Gallop. Trot. Charge. Abbath's ugly but often monotonous snarl seated well above the fray with appropriate reverb sending some of his lines to bounce off the roiling storm clouds that the listener will conjure up internally. At least three tunes I thought were excellent..."Root of the Mountain", "Winterbane" (which sounds like it could have been a Northern Darkness outtake) and the intense "Fenrir Hunts", which was my fave mirror to the older Immortal on the record. But there were certainly a lot of give or take riffing sequences throughout the remainder of the material that I hesitate to call this truly great. I think it's more loyal to his alma mater's theater of sound than the Demonaz solo album March of the Norse, to be honest, but I liked the pacing and aesthetic of that more. Abbath is an effective entry into the band's overall canon, but I feel like these guys might be squandering their creative impulses on too many samey projects to the point it could get confusing for the uninitiated. There's a lot of crossover of ideas, so I wish they'd just rein it in to Immortal and I, legal issues be damned. - 4/5