Abigor/Nightbringer/Thy Darkened Shade/Mortuus
Split


5.0
classic

Review

by Frost15 USER (1 Reviews)
December 2nd, 2021 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An unparalleled esoteric communion creates the best split album ever conceived.

In regards to split albums the general consensus is that bands would work together sharing both the costs and more importantly, the promotion. Usually I'm not a fan of such enterprises since most times bands do not give their best. There are some exceptions to this however, and this split is one of them.
The bands playing here are Abigor, Nightbringer, Thy Darkened Shade and Mortuus, which are moderately successful black metal bands. On a personal level I already loved Thy Darkened Shade and Mortuus. Thy Darkened Shade released one of my favorite black metal albums of all time, Liber Lvcifer I and Mortuus has a superb album out, De Contemplanda Morte…, which, in my opinion is the closest thing to Thorns’s legendary self-titled album I’ve ever heard. Abigor on the other hand is a band I’ve always wanted to love more. After starting as a pretty unique and solid black metal band they started to incorporate industrial and avant-garde elements, resulting in very experimental and interesting albums that often have pretty incredible moments, but end up being a bit chaotic in their own recreation. Their last offering, Tötschlager, is the best and largely cohesive album they have released (so far) in my honest opinion. While Nightbringer is one of the several projects of Naas Alcameth, his music never fully clicked with me although it’s great sounding for sure, but it always lacked that X factor for me to reach the excellent status in my mind. After introducing the artists lets move on to the release on hand:
This is not your typical split album, this is a concept split album that flows like an esoteric ritual beautifully and gloriously carried out. It’s like everyone involved decided to throw their band status apart for the sake of the ritual and let me tell you it did not just work out, it conjured one of the best albums I’ve heard in my whole life. Every song has the distinct style of its artist, but at the same they are all aiming towards a common goal, which results in a very cohesive and smooth flowing album. The four artists are at their peak musically speaking and I have no qualms saying this the best material Abigor and Nightbringer have ever made.

So how does this album sound? It sounds like a ritual performed in the ruins of a huge cathedral under a starry midnight sky. That’s the image I have in my mind whenever I listen to this. It’s black metal with lots of atmospheric value and eclecticism, full of dynamism and tempo swifts, which makes for a unique and immersive experience.

The first track and Abigor’s part is the absolute highlight here. Its melodies are spiritually sinister, cryptic and obscure. The different voices and vocal approaches make it sound like a theatrical play, setting magnificently the esoteric and occult atmosphere that run through the whole album’s veins. The melodic progressions are compositionally state of the art stuff. Along with Mortuus’s part, this song is the most atmospheric centered segment of the LP. I have to mention it’s one of the best pieces of music I’ve ever experienced, and I really, really hope Abigor release a whole album like this someday.

Its slow to middle-paced tempo contrasts with the double bass drumming, guitar driven part of Nightbringer, which enters the scene like a demon swarm with fallen angels doing choral work. At the risk of sounding redundant I can't help but repeat that the way each track flows into the next is mesmerizing. Ending on a slower-paced, almost cathartic tone Nightbringer gives way to Thy Darkened Shade, which plays their unique brand of melodic fast riffing with lots of incredible twists and frantic drumming. Allow me to say that I simply love Thy Darkened Shade. They are one of the best active black metal bands for me and they write the best melodic black metal riffs since Dissection’s sophomore release, Storm of the Light's Bane. It's the fastest track of the album, but again there are some tempo changes here and there and even a fantastic piano interlude in the middle of the song. The track ends with a hypnotizing, religious-like chant to the sigil of Zamradiel.

By the time I reached this point in the album I was absolutely in awe, I already knew this album was something else and Mortuus last track came in to confirm it. Ending on a spiritual death-worship note Mortuus conjures their brand of middle-paced black metal with a very distinct groove and completes the masterpiece. This track, like Abigor’s before it, has again lots of background gregorian chants. They add to the atmospheric nature of Mortuus’s music, and make the album end on a very spiritual note.

This split is so good I have no doubts saying it’s the best split album I’ve had the pleasure to hear in my life. There is only other metal band that made me feel such a spiritual experience through music, and it’s my favorite band of all-time, Deathspell Omega. So if you like esoteric, spiritual experience inducing music this is a must. Also, it’s nice the bandcamp purchase download comes with the lyrics and art in PDF, which is something that should always be included but for some reason most bands don’t do it, so don’t hesitate and get this if you are curious, I promise you won’t be disappointed.


user ratings (7)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2021


17129 Comments


"An unparalleled esoteric communion.." + Nightbringer = clickbait

Frost15
December 2nd 2021


1015 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I have to revisit Nightbringer discog soon. Always wanted to because I feel it could grow on me a lot.

Hope everyone enjoys the review!

Digging: Dolorian - When All The Laughter Has Gone

Egarran
December 2nd 2021


26230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. I'm a massive Shade fanboy but yeah, the others are good too. Abigor is damn impressive.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2021


16179 Comments


Good entry review to the site. Well done! A few points here and there for polishing etc - but I'd simply start by editing those paragraphs apart. Nice choice of a split too.

necropig
December 2nd 2021


6381 Comments


Oh shiz

Digging: Beketh Nexehmu - De Fornas Likgaldrar

Frost15
December 2nd 2021


1015 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

How can I edit the review? you are right Gnocchi.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2021


16179 Comments


--How can I edit the review?--

Go to: my profile

Under your profile pic should be a hyperlink to: edit my albums/reviews

Select which review (long list I know)

Profit.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
December 2nd 2021


21512 Comments


yeah that second paragraph can be broken up into 2 or 3 for sure.

also this looks sweet. love abigor and ive been jamming black metal a lot recently. gonna check asap.

Digging: Cygnus - 100% Dope

Frost15
December 2nd 2021


1015 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Updated review with a better paragraph distribution and some erratas fixed. Any future suggestions are very welcomed.

Yeah Hyperion this is incredible material. I was blown away by this back in 2017. It was my AOTY by a margin

CaptainDooRight
December 3rd 2021


5148 Comments


book

Digging: Thanatos - Emerging from the Netherworlds

Pikazilla
December 3rd 2021


20630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Didn't care for thy darkened shade, always found them pretty average



Nightbringer song is pretty good

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
December 3rd 2021


21512 Comments


idk man this thy darkened shade track is pretty sweet

Egarran
December 3rd 2021


26230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah pretty sure it's an awesome track by all standards.

Frost15
December 3rd 2021


1015 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Updated review with chef's kiss. Thank you very much for your time Gnocchi!

Egarran
December 3rd 2021


26230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's only one F in chef, chief

Frost15
December 3rd 2021


1015 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Updated thanks post with goat's/llama's lick

Egarran
December 3rd 2021


26230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just like that there's another TDS fanboy here. Hope you do Liber Lvcifer at some point.

Frost15
December 3rd 2021


1015 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I could review that one too. It's a hard 5 in my book. The digipak art is pretty awesome aswell

Egarran
December 3rd 2021


26230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hardest of 5s. But maybe it's more occult if it doesn't get a review. Also there would be trolls. So I'm conflicted.

Frost15
December 3rd 2021


1015 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Why so sure about trolls? haha



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