Sabbat (JPN)
The Dwelling


5.0
classic

Review

by oogie0 USER (6 Reviews)
March 6th, 2013 | 52 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


Sit down, shut up and hold on. From the highly prolific Japanese black metal act Sabbat, comes their crowning achievement. With four thrashy black metal full lengths already under their belt by 1996, the band decided that conventional 5 - 7 minute tracks weren't doing it for them anymore. Still, no one would suspect The Dwelling to be a single hour long track. You read right - running twelve seconds short of an hour, 'The Melody of Death Mask' is the sole song to grace this album, and arguably, is their finest.

Single track albums may not be so uncommon nowadays, but for 1996, this was unheard of. If Edge of Sanity's 'Crimson' was a high water mark of death metal (conveniently released in the same year), 'The Dwelling' is a high water mark of black metal. That and it's a whole twenty minutes longer then Crimson.

But anyway, enough of my fanboy gushing, what is it that makes this album deserving of classic status" Marrying thrashy black metal, progressive songwriting and a touch of oriental identity in the form of an hour long composition, The Melody of Death Mask tells a twisted tale of sorcery, bewitching, murder and the obsessions of a collector. That's all you should know of the narrative before entering the album. The vocals leap between whispers, shrieks and shouts, serving as the perfect delivery for the dark tale. There is a lot of depth that won't be picked up from the album on first listen, and it is well worth reading the lyrics separately.

The communication between the band members is top notch, the drums drive the album and are fluid, dynamic, but not showy for the sake of being showy. It is impossible for me to pull out a dull moment from this track, every solo, instrumental part and verse is memorable. It has climatic peaks and contemplative valleys, never straying too long in either to outstay its welcome. The album could be considered around twenty to thirty micro songs, but the way it has been melded together makes the transitions between them seamless. The composition progresses in such an assured way that most progressive rock bands would be jealous. Additionally, this smooth flow does not feel like pointless meandering, it’s a fiercely directed work to the end, and never loses its way in the instrumental parts. The use of keyboards is also praise worthy, as well as the brief appearance of piano. The melodic counterpoints are not lost in the track and it's all the more effective because of it. These instruments only add to the mysterious and tragic nature of the storyline and the composition would not be complete without them. Every aspect of the production complements the others perfectly.

While Sabbat's previous and later albums are also highly recommendable to black metal and thrash fans, The Dwelling stands out as their opus. The band performs with a kinetic energy and communication that is nothing short of brilliant for the full length of this album. If you believe hour long songs are pretentious and a waste of time, listen to this album just once and perhaps you will reconsider.



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user ratings (60)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
itchy
March 6th 2013


247 Comments


Sitting down, shutting up, and listening to this record.

oogie0
March 7th 2013


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLKWB5rofsg

Song in full.

foxblood
June 30th 2013


9491 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is incredible

oltnabrick
September 25th 2013


36696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah



Digging: Absurd (GER) - Totenlieder

Keyblade
September 25th 2013


27020 Comments


:D

foxblood
September 26th 2013


9491 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

:D

ComePlayWithUsDanny
November 26th 2014


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

To me, this record here stands among the bests. A dark, evil, deranged journey. Certain passages are goosebumps inducing.

DikkoZinner
March 24th 2015


5317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Slays

TheSonomaDude
March 24th 2015


6829 Comments


I like the other Sabbat more but this album rules

ChoccyPhilly
April 22nd 2015


11836 Comments


This is pretty shweet

Digging: Pryda - Pryda 10 Vol II

MrNippleLipz
April 22nd 2015


461 Comments


It's good to see more sabbat love on this site.

Valkyrion
April 22nd 2015


1161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

already 3 new ratings since the tourney started

Hawks
April 23rd 2015


69365 Comments


I'll rate later tonight. m/

Digging: Remete (AUS) - Into Endless Night

CaptainDooRight
May 11th 2015


2827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

m/



Digging: Mekong Delta - Kaleidoscope

Kusangii
May 16th 2015


2251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Incredible album. Might end up 5'ing it eventually

Kusangii
May 17th 2015


2251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best riff ever at 16:55?

beeroine87
July 10th 2015


115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It deserves the praise

FirstStrikeIsDeadly
February 24th 2016


998 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

so many good riffs and ideas, just incredible

hal1ax
February 24th 2016


13501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes indeed this jamz

Maco097
November 7th 2016


2999 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Probably their only album worth listening to.



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