Can a legacy outlast a name? After their recent legal dispute regarding trivial matters everyone’s favourite Black Metal icon Abbath, decided to take the frost bitten high road and go it alone. Enlisting King and the mysterious Creature the man entrenched himself to record his brand new self titled album.
1. To War!
3. Ashes of The Damned
4. Ocean Of Wounds
5. Count The Dead
6. Fenrir Hunts
7. Root of The Mountain
Label: Season Of Mist
Release date: 22nd January 2016
Made up of eight tracks Abbath’s brand new record is a Black Metal maelstrom. A testament to the man’s classic song writing ability each track on the record stands on it’s own imperious legs. Known for its terrible production and traditional steadfast traditions Black Metal can be the most stubborn of genres. Abbath has since pioneered a well produced sound with the rise of Immortal.
The portcullis opens and amidst a moat of chorus and flange we are brought into the tribal riffing of “To War!“. The groove of our introduction swiftly exchanged in a slight of hand to a blistering pace. Always being a firm tool in the Immortal trade the rhythmic pulse of the album is more alive than ever on Abbath’s solo outing. Towering riffs are given slight, subtle dynamics, the inclusion of an extra fill or the slight change in arrangement gives the song a sense of progression whilst holding fast in its rooted riffs.
Owing to it’s organic feel the drums have the power to drive the empirical groove of a chours or blistering bridge section. Bringing to life what could have been a stale verse, instead is given energy and a sense of defiant urgency particularly in single “Winterbane” tethered in it’s earthy acoustic section. Loosening the frost bitten belt on “Root Of The Mountain” the band set up base camp in a slower terrain showcasing the slower more brooding verses where bassist King delivers deliberate and purposeful bass lines. Known for the man’s humouring alter ego Abbath’s debut album is not without its more tongue in cheek moments. A Gollum like squeak of “Count The Dead” leads us into once again into perilous frenetic tremolo picking territories. The addition of seemingly out of place trumpets in “Ashes of The Damned” are jarring at first but soon after become an essential part of the kitch puzzle.
Though some might be skeptical of it’s slightly shorter run time, clocking in at forty minutes, the record is a manageable portion for want of a returning listen. Each of the edificial eight tracks stand proud, having trimmed the fat Abbath has put his focus of delivering devastatingly accurate song writing. Contrary to most that would embrace the monicker of solo artist with limitless room for experimentation, Abbath has instead gone for a back to basics approach, a decisive gamble that will lead the man to forge his own triumphant story now.