Napalm Records (2012)
Just got done reviewing the swansong album of Candlemass where I admit to not being a huge fan of pure doom while confessing to the same married to death metal as one of my favorite genres. And this here third album from Ahab is a case in point, why I love death/doom genre.
First of all, I am clinically depressed, so this morose, brooding "world sucks, I wish I was dead" music is more than right up my gusto. Some of my favorite bands belong in the genre: My Dying Bride, Anathema (up to "Judgment" only), Daylight Dies, Katatonia, early Paradise Lost (was death/doom on just first 3 albums but I enjoy all of their work), and Isole, to name just a few. I find whenever I am nearing the end of the rope, with the way my brain works, all I need is a heavy dose of seriously depressing metal to start "walking on sunshine" again. I'm not sure how it works, all I know is that it does.
The new Ahab has all these elements I love about the genre in spades and then some: beautiful, heart-wrenching melodies, atmosphere, depth and the SOUND of perpetual despair, profound poetry based on the best romantic and philosophical prose on offer delivered mainly via death growls, epic songwriting, effective use of silence and sometimes agonizing clean croons, as well as powerful, cascading, heavy and mostly simple riffs encased in slow, monotonous gloom and misery with the perfectly balanced production values. Goddamn delicious ear sex.
I'm not sure if Abab has progressed from the two predecessors, but considering my recent commitment to reviewing every album based on its own merits with little or no regard for the past work, I don't really care. All I know is that they have delivered yet again and that I will be revisiting "The Giant" over and over for a while, at least until the new …Bride or Katatonia hits the I-pools.
Although in every sense a masterpiece, it's not perfect, as there's some repetition and it could probably use some minor editing here and there for greater impact, but if you adore death/doom as much as I do you can't go wrong with this one as this is easily one of the best albums this genre ever conceived.
Rating: 5.5 / 6
Composed by Dethster4life