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Battle Dagorath - Abyss Horizons

Battle Dagorath
Abyss Horizons
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 31 July 2020, 3:26 AM

From their Facebook page, BATTLE DAGORATH “travels along the gateways of prophecy, dreams, provocation, and unreality. Echoing the omens of celestial and atmospheric phenomena and the cataclysmic order of the stars that manifests into our collective unconscious.” “Abyss Horizon” contains eight tracks.

“Womb of the Labyrinth” leads off the album. It’s a short, mood-setting instrumental. Dark, ambient passages fill the air, along with some hushed chanting, complete with bells, marking the beginning of a ceremony of the dead. The 16-minute “Incantation of the Vortexx” is next. It too opens with keys and bells. It begins a slow build, to a totally nefarious sound. It’s pretty standard Black Metal, but also done with a bit of melody in the guitar and keys. It takes a 180 at the five-minute mark, going to a new key. The sounds drops around the half-way mark to just clean guitar notes and eerie keys, then it’s back full force. The intensity is relentless.

“Spectral Emanations” is a five-minute track. Cold winds howl and a steady bell strike place you on the staircase down to Hell. “Phantasmal Eye of Dreams” is another 16-minute opus. It’s frightening from the first notes. The wall of guitars and drums are supported by keyboard notes in the background. It takes a brief pause at the five-minute mark, just to work itself back up again. The longer the song goes, I have to keep looking over my shoulder to make sure no demons were summoned while the song played. Hypnotic rhythms abound. “A Voiceless Call” is just over a minute or organ notes. You walk into the church to follow the sound and there is a lich behind the ivories.

“Conjuring the Starwinds” is 14-minutes in length. Judging by what we had from previous tracks, I am expecting a relentless display of instrumentation, and that is exactly what I get. It even sounds similar to the previous opuses. It takes a brief pause after the six-minute mark, but it’s back to that completely harrowing sound in the beginning. “Twilight of the Cold Sun” opens with depressing clean guitar notes, and some nice keyboards. The despondent tones continue until the four-minute mark, when the madness ensues. It then waxes and wanes, providing equal doses of the two sounds. “Saturnian Moons” closes the album. Thunder crashes and then eerie keyboards notes fill the air. The keys build a spooky sound that does indeed sound like something from outer space. It’s calming but scary at the same time.

Overall, this album had enough keys and other elements to hold my attention. The longer songs were absolutely punishing and you have to wonder how musicians can hold on to something to unrelenting for the length of time that they did. But the keys added just that right about of ethereal and spacey sort of sounds in support of the Black Metal madness. Taken as a whole, this “Astral Black Metal” band is just that…they came from a planet far, far away and take you on a journey through space and time to areas that people just weren’t meant to see. Very well done.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8


4 Star Rating

1. Womb of the Labyrinth
2. Incantation of the Vortexx
3. Spectral Emanations
4. Phantasmal Eye of Dreams
5. A Voiceless Call
6. Conjuring the Starwinds
7. Twilight of the Cold Suns
8. Saturnian Moons
BSB – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Drums
Vinterriket – Keyboards
Record Label: Avantgarde Music


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Edited 10 June 2023

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