Abbath
Abbath


2.0
poor

Review

by Brandon N. USER (157 Reviews)
January 25th, 2016 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: splish-splash i was taking... a piss.

Abbath Doom Occulta is one of the -if not the most- genuinely likable figures in black metal. A far cry from the stoic façade his peers routinely perpetrate, Abbath is probably one of the only black metal musicians I've seen bear a smile outside the context of a church-burning going well. He cracks jokes, pokes fun at himself during interviews, and lets us know that he too is human, putting himself at a distance that doesn't seem a million miles away from you or I. Over the course of his career his happy-go-lucky demeanor has helped him stand-out in the community, while simultaneously not sacrificing an ounce of his black metal "credibility"; when it came time to adorn his frostbitten warrior of Blashyrkh alter-ego, he played the role flawlessly. In this way, myself -and I'm sure thousands of other fans- were wishing him the best after he left his longtime project to go solo. Long the face and heart of Immortal, the bulk of their fans jumped ship after his departure, eager to see what Norway's favorite Panda would do next.

Predictably, the press campaign leading up to the release of his eponymous solo album was hilarious; with pictures of himself and bandmates (King formerly of Gorgoroth and Creature of Benighted) traipsing throughout London eating hotdogs, frolicking across Abbey Road, and indulging in other tourist attractions, he effortlessly reaffirmed why the world can't get enough of Abbath Doom Occulta. It also didn't hurt when the band released a ripping live rendition of "Fenrir Hunts", a track that encapsulated the wonderful fusion of black metal and thrash that we've come to expect from him at this point. Seemingly poised to reclaim his title as a Son of Northern Darkness, this is unfortunately where the story goes south; despite how likable he is, Abbath ultimately fails to deliver to on its potential, ruined by tedious and stagnant songwriting.

The crux of the matter is that while so much is happening on this album, nothing goes anywhere. You needn't look any further than the opening track "To War"; despite the fact it opens with a tantalizing thrash build-up, the song fails to capitalize on its momentum. Instead, it wanders through riff after riff of aimless black metal-lite guitar lines. It certainly has the "Abbath" stamp on it -fast and unrelenting with his signature wispy tone- but without a hook to grasp onto. The memorable moments are just too few and far between. Songs like the mid-paced stomp in "Winter Bane"' and blistering "Count the Dead" almost succeed in creating something worth returning to, but instead of being implemented with any tact, are driven headfirst into the ground. Repetition, especially in black metal is a double edged sword; here, Abbath unfortunately falls victim to his own blade. The album's tempo does little to help this. Though Creature is certainly an adept drummer, his whirlwind blasting becomes aggravating at a certain point, especially when partnered with the copy and pasted guitar lines. Even during the slower moments, the songs just seem to plod along without any finite destination. Though the album is only 48 minutes, these elements make it feel unbearably longer.

Despite all of this, Abbath isn't without its highlights. The aforementioned single "Fenrir Hunts" is the ideal blend of Morbid Angel-inspired chaos and black metal militence reminiscent of Immortal's Blizzard Beast days. Likewise, the closing track "Eternal" benefits from a more death metal derived sound, driven by brutalizing guitars and Abbath's best vocal performance in years. If the rest of the songs on the album were half as good as these two, the story may have been different. There is too much comfort in this release; Abbath has long since developed his own style which until this point has worked wonderfully, but this is far from his best purveyance of it. One can only hope that his next album will be better, but until then you're better off listening to Sons of Northern Darkness.



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user ratings (228)
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
manosg STAFF (3.5)
Abbath’s debut is predictable yet solid, containing everything that we have come to expect from hi...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Tunaboy45
January 25th 2016


17672 Comments


I still want to check this out, love me some Abbath.

Digging: Every Time I Die - Radical

TheSpirit
January 25th 2016


28745 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I know this is of the unpopular opinion, but I didn't care for this album. I hope I didn't come off too rant-y. Honestly, each song was pretty much plagued with the same problems, so it was hard to show my distaste, without it become distasteful. Anyway, C.C. welcome.

Digging: Addaura - A) siren city (Z

emester
January 25th 2016


8271 Comments


Holy shit that summary is wonderful

Tunaboy45
January 25th 2016


17672 Comments


The review is well written as always man, doesn't come across as too ranty to me.

TheSpirit
January 25th 2016


28745 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Awesome, thank you for the feedback bruv

Archelirion
January 25th 2016


6438 Comments


Mint review dude, the 'let's' in the opening paragraph should be 'lets' but I'm picking holes :3 This is somewhere between a 3 and a 3.5 for me, leaning just towards the latter; it does becomes a bit of a slog after a while, but I still had a lot of fun listening to it.

Nazzadan
January 25th 2016


2333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, I know a lot of people that feel the same. Like Arch I am hovering between a 3 and 3.5 as well

Tunaboy45
January 25th 2016


17672 Comments


Abbath is such a likable guy.

TheSpirit
January 25th 2016


28745 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks guys, very much appreciated! Also, fix'd Aaron ;]



Abbath is the fucking man. I watched his Guitar World interview/lesson for the first time in forever the other day, and it had me rolling. He's such a down to earth dude.

Nazzadan
January 25th 2016


2333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The one where he doesn't actually teach you anything at all but you still watch the whole thing from beginning to end? I fucking love that video

TheSpirit
January 25th 2016


28745 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

YES. He's so fucking funny. **ATTEMPTS PINCH HARMONIC** "zak wylde, how the hell does he do it?1" The face he makes every time he tries is priceless.

Nazzadan
January 25th 2016


2333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Play it slower? Ok I'll try. *plays slow for 2 notes, immediately goes back to full speed*

"I uh, I'm not a teasherrrr."

Tunaboy45
January 25th 2016


17672 Comments


He'll need abbath after wearing that corpse paint all day!

WatchItExplode
January 26th 2016


9392 Comments


I may have to check this just because Sons is like my favorite album I've discovered in the past year...I won't get my hopes up

TheSpirit
January 26th 2016


28745 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Like I said, my opinion seems to be the unpopular one, so you may very well like this more than me.

WatchItExplode
January 26th 2016


9392 Comments


Is your favorite Diabolical Fullmoon mysticism or something?

TheSpirit
January 26th 2016


28745 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

At The Heart of Winter

Tunaboy45
January 26th 2016


17672 Comments


That summary is fucking legendary already.

TheSpirit
January 26th 2016


28745 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

haha thanks :] i was pretty stoked when i came up with it

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2016


11803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, still gonna check because Abbath. That video is so great btw.



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