(8/10) One of the albums I was most curious for was the debut of Abbath. The iconic Norwegian musicians, known from his former band Immortal, started his new band a while ago. The debut, simply callad "Abbath", will be released on January 22nd and based on the first songs that have been posted by the band something big seemed to be on its way.
After having heard the entire album a few times I have to say that the first impression got confirmed. Abbath released a mean and dirty black metal album that shows some parallels with Immortal ("Root of the Mountain") but has in the end much more to offer than just being Immortal under a new banner.
"To War!" kicks off the album. The beginning is marked with a heavy riff orgy followed by Abbath rasping vocals. The band opens with this tune the door to darkness and nemesis.
The next tune is "Winterbane" which belongs to the longer tracks on the debut. It has an almost hypnotic repetition and the song is an uncompromissing march through blackness. It's an acoustic winter storm that b;lows directly into your face.
Abbath would be Abbath if he would stay in midpace. "Ashes of the Damned" is a short and fast song with some interesting orchestral samples embedded.
"Ocean of Wounds" pulls you deeper into this sonic maelstrom before some rainy samples introduce "Count the Dead". Being placed in the middle of the tracklist, this song is also the highlight on the album. It's a malicious track that shows Abbath at his best. Might riffing, a pounding bass by King and a constant beat are pushing you through this four minutes long anthem. For me a masterpiece of black metal and a potential blueprint for some other metal bands.
"Fenir Hunts" brings back speed and tempo which are also the chararcteristics of "Endless". The closer of the regular album the harshest track on this excellent black metal disc. It is raw, it is basic, it is black, it is punk, it is metal, it is Abbath.
Hopefully Abbath gets together a full line-up pretty soon since drummer Creature (Kevin Foley) and guitarist Per Valla left end of 2015. He found with King already a new/old companion and the band will hit the road in February 2016. Abbath is back!
- To War!
- Ashes of the Damned
- Ocean of Wounds
- Count the Dead
- Fenrir Hunts
- Root of the Mountain
- Nebular Ravens Winter (Bonus)
Label: Season Of Mist
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date EU: January 22nd, 2016