Abbath - Abbath

Abbath - Abbath

(CD/LP, Season Of Mist, 2016)

There is absolutely no way to talk about ABBATH and avoid mentioning IMMORTAL but what can (should) be avoided is making comparisons that in the end of the day offer absolutely nothing. After all, there is nothing better than having two bands instead of one making the music you like. So yes, Abbath left IMMORTAL and fortunately for us did not go through any legal dispute but got into music-writing, producing eight songs featured in this debut LP, simply titled “Abbath”.

In case this still bugs you, then rest assured that “Abbath” has lots in common with IMMORTAL but this should be expected considering that Abbath is doing the same thing in both bands; guitar and vocals. One will immediately feel this with “To War!” the moment it starts tormenting the speakers; sure, there is a one-minute worth of guitar/drum assault that sounds like an intro but the moment the snare-drum takes over, it is Norse Black Metal all the way. Abbath’s signature guttural vocals will wipe any doubt about the musical direction he has chosen to follow. Ok, maybe the bass-drum sounds too loud in the mix, especially during the guitar solo, but I think this is a matter of personal taste, so I leave the final verdict to you. The rhythm section is granite-solid and even though the tempo is most of the time blast-beat fast, it has the level of clarity I like in this type of Black Metal with the riffs and the vocals being audible and not hidden behind multiple distortion/effects layers. “Winter Bane” is bound to be a crowd pleaser with the massive headbanging groove (and the chorus is super addictive) and the amazing bass action which steps forward in a several occasions with most interesting leads. I guess this was Abbath’s intent to keep a strong footing on the IMMORTAL sound and at the same time embrace a more Heavy Metal approach as he has showed with the “Between Two Worlds” LP. Still, I am sure you’ll get shivers down your spine during the clean guitar arpeggios (again, pay attention to what the bass is doing) which personally woke some “Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)” memories. Then, it’s full-speed ahead with the neck-snapping “Ashes Of The Damned” but be prepared for some horn-sounds which may sound too ‘progressive’ for your Black Metal-oriented ears (I got an almost GWAR vibe here, so the outcome stands on the positive side). After all, a brand new band name gives the musician all the degrees of freedom to go wherever he likes to.

What I like in this album is the slight inclination towards straightforward Heavy Metal, mainly found in the rhythm guitars and the way the album was mixed. Just listen to the amazing “Ocean Of Wounds” and how the rhythm section is structured and you’ll most probably see what I am saying. This song has an epic layer sneaking in via the guitar solo/lead which will bring some BATHORY flavors of the “Twilight Of The Gods” era and this to me is a huge plus. It may be just my idea but the otherwise Black Metal tune “Count The Dead” carries some MOTÖRHEAD blood in the same way VENOM used to do in their early days (they still do, to be honest) in the hard-hitting almost monotonous main guitar groove. In other words, this is a killer headbanger and I think it proves that Abbath knows exactly what is aiming for with his newly-formed band. Of course, the faster break will push back to IMMORTAL, so in the end everyone should be happy. And speaking (again) about the bass sound, let me know if you can resist the leads in the epic (mainly due to these trademark clean guitar arpeggios) “Root Of The Mountain”

“Abbath” has a vinyl-friendly time duration, featuring 8 tracks and for this reason, it flows like mountain water during spring time. There is no filler-song and as far as I am concerned, ABBATH should play the entire album in the upcoming tour dates because live, the music will get more aggressive. Yeah, I am sure that “Fenrir Hunts” will see some serious mosh-pit action... so brace yourself.

8/10 


Links:

www.Abbath.Net
www.FaceBook.Com/AbbathBand


Tracklist:

01. To War!
02. Winter Bane
03. Ashes Of The Damned
04. Ocean Of Wounds
05. Count The Dead
06. Fenrir Hunts
07. Root Of The Mountain
08. Eternal


Recording Lineup:

Abbath - Vocals, Guitar
Creature - Drums
King - Bass