REVIEW: ABBATH – “Abbath”
Olve Eikemo announced his new project under his own stage name ‘Abbath’ soon after his departure from the renowned black metal band Immortal. Olve (or simply Abbath) is known for his own unique style of composition and arrangements all throughout his musical endeavours. This new offering is literally all things Abbath. From his old signature styles to relatively contemporary flair, it is all here in this new refreshing album.
For starters, this album is no standard for comparison to the Immortal of yore. One would certainly find a lot of essence of Abbath’s musical past in his debut solo album, it is perhaps an attempt to hold tight to innocent beginnings.
The album opens up to the rustic sonic essence of iconic Norwegian black metal in the songs “Winterbane” and “To War”. From here on it is a long trip of a strong sense of reminiscence, only to intensify with the song “Ashes of the Dead”. Abbath certainly prevents the album from sounding monotonous as the album proceeds with “Count the Dead” which strikes a balance between being subtle and aggressive. The album takes a crushing turn with “Fenrir Hunts” and is everything the head-banging black metal connoisseur would ask for. The energy levels are high throughout the album, ending with the catchy “Eternal”.
Abbath has certainly managed to create a remarkable debut album on the lines of black metal. There is a lot in store for seasoned listeners and an appeal for newcomers. Black metal has been and will be about creating an ambient atmosphere in the midst of all its aggression, variations and grandeur; Abbath has captured what is essentially black metal with ease. What is most outstanding about this album is the production. Production quality and black metal have always been a bitter-sweet love story in the pursuit of striking a ‘kvlt’ sound and keeping up with changing trends. Abbath has found that sweet spot in production quality that can set trends in time to come. The album was completed with the involvement of veteran musicians Tom Cato Visnes (King ov Hell) on bass and Kevin Foley (Creature) on drums. Together as a band, the trio have unleashed what might be a start of bigger things to come in good time.