After years of hiatus, Abazagorath has returned in full force. Brand new 5 track ep.
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"Abazagorath were on of the forerunners of the US Black Metal scene and their latest EP does their legacy justice. This is a true work of absolute evil which is being released by No Visible Scars on the 27th Feb (Moved forward from early April due to things moving faster than anticipated).
This EP opens up with some wonderfully dark acoustic playing on the opening track Conjuring. It conjures up images of walking through graveyards on the blackest night. When the full band kicks in, it is a beast of an introductory track with a slow mournful solo towards the end which makes it seem like the after mentioned graveyard has come alive and the living are now dead.
When the EP kicks in proper it is a magnificent piece of black metal, which as I mentioned before, does their legacy proud. As this is their first release after a hiatus, I was expecting the material to be a little rusty, but I was surprised beyond measure, by how intense the music is. This sounds like a band who will take no prisoners.
With songs titles such as The Antigod and Storms of Destruction, you can tell where their lyrical inspiration comes from, and their sound isn’t far from the majestic soundscape which is Behemoth. This is very high praise as Behemoth are one of this reviewers favourite bands.
For people into Black Metal and are looking for some lesser known bands from the origins of the USBM scene, this is the band for them, I can’t recommend them highly enough. They are fantastic, their musicianship is top notch and they are brutal as anything. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about this album, which is rare. I absolutely loved it."
"I've quite taken to the more experimental and progressive breed of black metal grown so rapidly in the past decade, worshiping bands like Enslaved and Klabautamann to no end. Such groups have evolved a genre not known for its technical courage to new heights of creativity and melody, increasing black metal's relevance in the present day. That doesn't mean, however, that a storm of bestial intensity can no longer enthrall the senses in our stuffy, elitist age of innovation equaling quality. Sometimes you just want a consistent torrent of sucker punches to the face, and in that light, Abazagorath has delivered in spades with their self-titled EP.
It would be fair to say that Abazagorath possesses a one-track mind, and luckily for us, that track is a mighty fine one replete with brutal yet catchy finesse. No screwing around is committed here. After a brief, subtle intro, "The Antigod" kicks it up a notch, blasting and pounding its way to the top with some melodic relief provided by the slower sections in between. In fact, this isn't just a voyage made by straight speed and aggression; the band expertly mixes in mid-paced riffs and patterns, making this swarm a bit more memorable and the tracks more distinguishable. Nihilist, if that is his real name, gives an appropriately tortured performance behind the microphone, and his vocal lines complement these tracks well. Sorry, weaklings: no clean vocals or ballads here. Heartbreaking, isn't it?
It's all cloaked in a modern (but not too shiny) production, so Abazagorath isn't exactly a second wave time capsule, not that it needs to be. The highlights are many, even for an EP. "Storms of Destruction" crawls from creation with a haunting and crafty intro, evoking the morbid resurrection of an ancient, evil spirit. The bludgeoning growls thrown in about halfway through only further such a vision as the subtle acoustics elucidate it. "Lapse" is the shortest complete composition here, and it doesn't fail to make a stirring impression with its blazing rhythms. Out of the 23 sharp minutes offered here, I can't really fault one, even if I found "Immortals" to be the least toxic of the bunch; not bad, and it certainly congeals with its surroundings, but it's not quite as memorable as the others.
I won't comment on this EP's place in Abazagorath's discography, as I'm not familiar with the older work of the band, but I really can't see this release disappointing any fan of primal, no-BS black metal. At any rate, Abazagorath should be a clear indication of a band alive, well, and thriving after four years of silence. I might like my black metal stirred with psychedelia and weirdness, but who's to say I can't pour a smooth glass of well-executed, abrasive chaos every once in a while? It's simple, it's relatively straightforward, but it's also sick and easily replayable. What could be wrong with that? A full-length release of this caliber could make some serious waves. Sure to provide a necessary component to your secret cult meetings."
"Well here's a band I haven't heard a sound from in ages, although the reason is obviously my own. I have their full length from 1997, Tenebrarum Cadent Exsurgemus, but while I slept they continued on to produce a few more releases. This is their latest release but before I even get into it I must say this. (oh no he's editorializing again) Many in the present day metal music media are clueless to the greatness which was the early days of USBM. I mean most of the crayola scribbled notes by present day scribes in the media never make mention of the black metal acts of yore which came out of places like Texas, Florida, North Carolina or in this band's case, New Jersey in the nineties. By the late nineties the old European black metal guard was mellowing out. In the states you had a handful of really good bands who were playing music which equaled or exceeded what their overseas peers were doing. ABAZAGORATH's Tenebraum Cadent Exsurgemus debuted in 1997 and quickly became a landmark album for USBM.
So here we have their latest release, a simple self titled five song EP. That's as far as the simplicity goes because this surpasses their past release I have easily with intensity born from Europe but honed to perfection here in the states. ABAZAGORATH comes off sounding like a retro fitted version of EMPEROR with the battle hardened ambiance of cascading melodies meeting the pummeled survivors out around the blasted bomb craters in no man's land. Only bassist Nyarlathotep and drummer Warhead have returned from this band's past. Half of the old band is better than one but I must mention how the newest member with a guitar in his hand, Maelstrom, is incredible. The riffs this man has created are just as savage as the thing on this release's cover. The solo work he adds sounds sick and macabre like. This is raw, melodic black metal which ABAZAGORATH was always known for but there are no keyboards on here. That's definitely a change along with a harsher vocalist in Nihilist.
All in all this EP floored me literally because of it's monstrous sound quality. It starts off with a subtle entrance on the beginning moments of "Conjuring". Twenty five seconds into the instrumental the onslaught has begun. The thing has arrived and loosened upon all the unsuspecting. To me this EP sounds like a concept piece about an apparent demonic summoning gone wrong. Then again the question begs to be asked, is there a right outcome for a demonic summoning? I'll have to look that one up later. While the various cuts on here come forth like detonating artillery explosive ordinance it's the final cut, "Storms of Destruction", which is an absolute masterpiece. Be all of that as it may by the end of the cut I had to have more from this second coming of ABAZAGORATH. Unfortunately all I was left with was a hope that this would not be the last. This self titled EP has set the bar so high for this band that going back to their debut full length would be punishment."
"One rad thing about (extreme) music is that it’s not bound to country borders and time. A good song is now a good song as it will be in 5, 10 or 20 years. A gnarly band is a gnarly band no matter what continent, country or state it comes from. So blistering, aggressive and harsh Black Metal can be written and played 2012 in New Jersey as well as 1993 in Norway. The proof: US Black Metal warriors ABAZAGORATH. They have been around for 16 (!) years now, and with their new, self titled EP they easily mark their territory in current USBM – a demonstration you don’t want to miss.
Leaving aside contemporary tendencies ABAZAGORATH concentrate on classic Black Metal for sure, clearly influenced by the Scandinavian hordes, excellently executed and refined with a thick, super heavy production. By doing this they remind me a lot of the mighty Dissection in their Storm of the Light’s Bane phase, although I know that the classification as Black Metal is, from a strictly musical point of view, questionable for that album.
Anyway, raging blasts, melodic, sinister riffs, superb vocals, varying, smart song-writing and an intense athmosphere add up to a trvly fucking amazing record. And due to the length of an EP it’s all boiled down to only supreme songs – all killer no filler never fit better than here.
ABAZAGORATH may have released a few weaker records in their career, but with this EP they proof that they (still) are a band to be reckoned with. Haters gonna hate."