Abbath, the supergroup founded by Norway’s iconic black metal front-man Abbath Doom Occulta after his split with Immortal, hit the web last week and it is killer! The aptly named “Abbath” was streaming in full online and is set for release January 22nd worldwide. I’ve had a chance to have a good listen to this record and right now I can say that it’s a buy!
Already, we were given a lot of samples of what to expect from Abbath thanks to several regular promo videos and leaked songs. So in that sense, we knew the record was going to be a very Immortal like record but has the groovy bite of Gaal era Gorgoroth which shouldn’t be surprising due to the influence of King Ov Hell on bass duties and helping with the writing.
That said, Abbath is less like the duo’s last outing with “I” but more of a black metal statement and a return to the top of the genre. This record is more epic and a lot more aggressive than I think most were expecting. “To War” is a table setter for the album. It has an epic build that shifts into blast beat wonder. It is awesome!
The face-smashing pace continues with songs like “Ashes of The Damned” and “Winter Bane” but we get the brutality eased with epic melodic parts that are very “At The Heart of Winter” Immortal. If I can be critical at all it is that King’s bass tone does bug me a fair bit during these songs.
While on the other hand, “Ocean of Wounds”, “Root of The Mountain” and “Eternal” are the other face of this record becoming a full melodic affair and sounding like great Immortal tunes through and through. Hooky guitar lines, marching drums resting on a solid bassline. We’ve heard it before but it is always great to hear when Abbath is on form like this. The bridge of “Eternal” is frostbitten mastery for one of its creators.
While everything on the album is very enjoyable and extremely repayable. My favourite tracks are “Count the Dead” & “Fenrir Hunts”. With “Fenrir Hunts” being the best combination of the two voices on the album and paying tribute to the more technical side of black metal with some savage riffs and cutting vocal work. Then “Count the Dead” kind of does the same thing. These two tracks make a great double feature on a playlist.
Abbath as a band is nothing new; but that is not a bad thing. Abbath takes his past work fuses it with the writing style of King to create something different from “I” and Immortal. This eponymous release is a punishing yet melodic treat to kickstart 2016. The album is a must have!
Abbath’s debut “Abbath” will be released on the 22nd of January 2016.
Abbath – Vocals & Guitar
King – Bass
Creature – Drums
- To War!
- Ashes of the Damned
- Ocean of Wounds
- Count the Dead
- Fenrir Hunts
- Root of the Mountain