Abazagorath – Sacraments Of The Final Atrocity

Abazagorath is something of an underappreciated band; they play pretty cool, riff-oriented USBM that isn’t unique by any means, but it is a step beyond the Ezurate-style melodic norsecore that dominated the scene for a while.  It has a bit more subtlety: creative rhythms, interesting riffs and song structures that aren’t binary, a good grasp of melodic and atmospheric development, etc.  This album in particular is weirdly benighted by the metal scene in general; I don’t understand why since for all intents and purposes it’s a very solid black metal album and doesn’t do anything particularly wrong.  Maybe it just came out at the wrong time.

On the other hand, I guess I can kind of see why people wouldn’t care for it; it’s not music that really comes out and grabs you.  The riffs require you to pay a bit of attention to pick up on everything the guitars are doing and the melodic sequences are marginally longer than usual, so people mostly acquainted with Darkthrone probably find this to be too taxing.  For the rest of the world, it should be appreciated; there’s a lot of excellent, memorable riffs, a very intense vocal performance, and great, clear production that has a solid bass guitar presence while allowing all the other instruments just as much clarity.  The atmosphere is pretty typically USBM; blaargh Satan, nocturnal grimnesssss, you know the deal.

It’s worthwhile because it’s catchy and well-composed and doesn’t fail in any dimension.  Production’s good, playing’s good, writing’s good, lyrics are cheesy but kind of cool.  It’s a good bread and butter album for when you want to listen to ‘black metal’ but don’t want to think of an album to put on, because really, it’ll work in a pinch.  Abazagorath only fails in that none of their music is striking enough to be spoken of in-depth, which gives them the appearance of mediocrity to those unfamiliar with their music.  It shouldn’t be that way!  They do a lot of great stuff with their simple elements and black metal fans should check them out.

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~ by noktorn on July 20, 2008.

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