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Abigor – Totschläger (A Saintslayer’s Songbook) Award winner

Abigor
Totschläger (A Saintslayer’s Songbook)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 December 2020, 9:16 AM

ABIGOR is a Black Metal band formed in Vienna, Austria in 1993. In 2005, P.K. considered reforming without any original members, but ended up reuniting the band with its original line-up a year later after learning of T.T.'s return to the black metal movement. The group's distinctive sound makes heavy use of multiple layered guitar parts by both members. Although bass guitars were featured on most of their recordings, they were mixed to almost inaudible levels, hence the widespread misconception that the band uses no bass. Some of their later releases also feature bass again. All albums before the split were recorded at Tonstudio Hörnix. Since the reformation, the band's music has been recorded in TT's own studio, where bass guitars have played a more prominent role since. The album contains nine tracks.

“Gomorrha Rising - Nightside Rebellion” leads off the album, opening with a very dark piano and key sequence. Bells ring out, and some symphonic elements come into play. Then, a scream announces the Black Metal sound. It’s very full but also very inventive. This is some next level stuff here. The symphonic elements are very prominent, and this is some thoughtful songwriting, with varied vocal styles. The Progressive elements are also quite strong. “Silent Towers, Screaming Tombs” begins with harrowing ambient sounds, leading to a full charge of guitars and drums. It has that familiar Black Metal sound, but there is also something fresh about it. Fast forward to 2020 and this duo have raised the bar. A strange, but pleasing atmospheric passage comes in after the half-way mark, then it’s back to the previous sound.

“Orkblut (Sieg oder Tod)” opens with some Symphonic elements and what comes next is almost too much to keep track of. It’s chaotic, but structured, and the meter is ever shifting. This is quite an accomplishment…how do they manage so many different elements while keeping the core of the song strong? “The Saint of Murder” begins with a powerful guitar sequence and timpani strikes. The layering in the guitars is amazing. It creates this rich and intense sound that you cannot escape from. The lead guitar sequence showcases the band’s musicianship. “Scarlet Suite for the Devil” opens with some odd sounds before it gets going. The vocals are semi-clean and echo throughout the song. Equal doses of guitars, vocals and symphonics are the key to the success of this track.

“La Plus Longue Nuit Du Diable - Guiding The Nameless” begins with some light keys and strings, in a slightly sad affair at first. Some winds and vile vocal utterances announce the coming of the hooded beast. He rides across Hades on a winged, faceless horse, causing pestilence with his every passing. “Tartaros Tides” is a shorter and perhaps more intense and straightforward offering. There is a strong sense of balance here between the vocals, guitars and symphonic elements. “Flood of Wrath” opens with a thick and intense sound, mostly from those galloping drums. The vocal chants bring the song to another level, along with those fat tuba notes.

“Terrorkommando Eligos” closes the album, with a furious opening. The vocals and drums rage, turning the friction to fireballs, while the dissonant guitars hold down the mid-section of the song. It’s so harrowing, it would frighten even the most ardent fighter of evil. Wow. This isn’t your average Black Metal. It’s thoughtful, inventive, and each and every note was placed in the proper area by seasoned musicians, who throw caution out the window and just let the music do the talking here. The symphonic and progressive elements are on full display and at times, it is hard to follow, yet they hold down the center core of their sound quite well. This is intelligent Black Metal.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Gomorrha Rising - Nightside Rebellion
2. Silent Towers, Screaming Tombs
3. Orkblut (Sieg oder Tod)
4. The Saint of Murder
5. Scarlet Suite for The Devil
6. La Plus Longue Nuit Du Diable - Guiding The Nameless
7. Tartaros Tides
8. Flood of Wrath
9. Terrorkommando Eligos
Lineup:
P.K. – Guitars, Bass
T.T. – Guitars, Drums
Record Label: World Terror Committee
     


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