Ahab
The Boats Of The Glen Carrig


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Newton USER (49 Reviews)
August 28th, 2015 | 92 replies


Release Date: 08/28/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Somebody lit a fire in Ahab's belly.

Ahab is a band as steeped in maritime mythos as any you are likely to find. Since its first saliferous demos, the quartet has evolved its sound from an otherworldly dirge to a more recognizable combination of largo riffs and ominous atmosphere. The Boats of the Glen Carrig is another step forward for the band after 2012’s The Giant saw the boldest incorporation of clean singing and dual-guitar interplay into its sound, more akin to mid-era My Dying Bride than to Ahab's debut, The Call of the Wretched Sea. “Deliverance” and “Antarctica (The Polymorphess)” showcased a willingness to let songs breathe and grow, and the result was as beautiful as it was hair-raising. Here, opener “The Isle” adds another luminous moment with its pre-climactic break before transitioning seamlessly into thundering growls. Despite the group’s continued use of inhumanly-deep vocals, Ahab is a band whose appeal often lies in the subtler moments of its craft. “I think,” frontman Droste even observes, “we've made some non-doom fans along the way."

Carrying this idea forward, The Boats of the Glen Carrig pushes Ahab’s throttle from “dead slow” to…well, “slow.” While opening songs “The Isle” and “The Thing That Made Search” (baffling title and all) creep and crawl in their opening minutes, “Like Red Foam (The Great Storm)” hits like a rogue wave. Cornelius Althammer (one of the best names in all of music) bursts out of the gate with tom-tom and double-kick rolls, ushering in a series of propulsive riffs that are bound to induce hair-swinging and headbanging with the best Amon Amarth cuts. Bassist Stephan Wandernoth cited the song as “more sludge-oriented than anything on The Giant,” a sentiment that holds true over much of Ahab’s discography. “The Weedmen” follows with a gargantuan opening chord, but takes a more patient approach as it marches onward for exactly fifteen seismic minutes. Thrice in the song, eerie feedback enters from the farthest reaches of the mix to usher in a new thunderclap of guitar, training the listener to brace for impact; by the fourth, the song lets the suspense simply fade into the album’s ultimate track.

“To Mourn Job” showcases Ahab’s bread and butter – funereal riffs that undercut mournful guitar lines, Althammer’s sparse drumming that makes every hit count, and passages of tranquil beauty that stand as harbingers of a coming storm. Another signature of Ahab’s sound – the injection of tritones into arpeggiated minor triads – graces the slower moments of “Job” (see 9:12 – 10:45), while the falling chords of “The Thing That Made Search” harken back to Wretched Sea’s gigantic opener, “Below the Sun.” Glen Carrig continues Ahab’s fascination with maritime literature, as the outfit turns its spyglass to the titular horror novel by William Hope Hodgson (published in 1907, the work would prove an influence on H.P. Lovecraft). Ahab’s interpretation of the material is appropriately more spirited and chilling than its past works based on the interminable Moby-Dick (Call of the Wretched Sea) and the oft-becalmed Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (The Giant), and more than justifies the band’s adherence to established source material.

Ahab is hardly reinventing itself with The Boats of the Glen Carrig, but at this point the band seems to be in a groove that benefits more from adjustments than overhauls. The more vivacious riffs of Glen Carrig are a notable departure from The Giant’s slow-burning core, but one would be hard-pressed to call either approach superior to the other, or even mutually exclusive. In fact, the former’s bonus track, “The Light in the Weed (Mary Madison),” is the band’s first with entirely clean vocals. From its most pummeling troughs to its subtlest beauty, The Boats of the Glen Carrig is an album of uncommon breadth; if you seek adventure and are willing to wade for it, then Ahab has served your next voyage.

A sullen growling from afar –
The dark was full of it, I swear
Aye, no word of which I've knowledge
So well describes this hunger, most awesome to the ear




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user ratings (105)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
pedro70512
August 27th 2015


4167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First review in several months. Comments and feedback appreciated.

Alastor
August 28th 2015


1790 Comments


seems like a good year for doom

Digging: Hedge Wizard - Local Portal

pedro70512
August 28th 2015


4167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, almost forgot. Album stream: http://www.cvltnation.com/cvlt-nation-premiere-streaming-ahab-the-boats-of-the-glen-carrig/

elcrawfodor
August 28th 2015


1264 Comments


Pos'd, excellent review. Would I like this if I found their debut too slow and monotonous at times? The only one I really liked on there was Old Thunder with its clean bits and dynamics

Sevengill
August 28th 2015


7485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this is a lot more varied and upbeat at times. It took their debut a while to set in for me too.

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CaptainDooRight
August 28th 2015


2232 Comments


alex livez

deezer666
August 28th 2015


2852 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

can see my bumping this rating up after time. Definite nods to My dying bride, even opeth, in this record. Superb

Digging: Throane - Plus Une Main A Mordre

Gyromania
August 28th 2015


23712 Comments


wicked album art

Hawks
August 28th 2015


52249 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still have only heard the debut from these guys. I should check this.

Digging: The Body and Full Of Hell - Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light

porcupinetheater
August 28th 2015


2641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To Mourn Job is so unbelievably good. The three minutes when the instrumentation drops off and goes into minimalist acoustics, and then that fucking riff comes roaring back in...

deezer666
August 28th 2015


2852 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah that and track and the Weedman are my faves right now.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2015


882 Comments


That cover is comparatively cheesey. Their last album covers were pretty cool but this seems sort of cartoony.

Digging: Blood Cultures - Happy Birthday

Ashen
August 28th 2015


1403 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

some great moments here but i'm not crazy about it

deezer666
August 28th 2015


2852 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

get outta here, I love the artwok

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2015


5471 Comments


New Ahab? Best be getting on this quiiick ^_^ Review read really well, excited to hear this!

Spag
August 28th 2015


2458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The bonus track is the best thing ever.

OmairSh
August 28th 2015


14340 Comments


That artwork is really cool, and for a death/doom album? Whaaaaaa

pedro70512
August 28th 2015


4167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love the artwork, even though it's a different feel from The Giant's. Reminds me of The Ichthyologist by Giant Squid, which is always a good thing.

deezer666
August 28th 2015


2852 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The bonus track is the best thing ever. [2]

SharkTooth
August 28th 2015


13794 Comments


Loved Call of The Wrteched Sea, so I'll def check this



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