Another solid addition to the catalogue

By now everyone should know who Abbath is and what he is about. If not, about 30 seconds of research should catch you up. Always recognisable with his vocal croak and distinguishable black metal make up, this is another solid slab of his style of black metal with added touches of the manic magic he continues to inject into his self titled project.

Opening without fanfare, Acid Haze and Scarred Core show Abbath and his band mean business. Never one to be held down by the cultish elements of the black metal crowds, there are guitar solos as well as influence of early NWOBHM amongst the swirling darkness of the riffs. After the speed of this opening salvo, Abbath slows it down almost to a plod as Dream Cull comes slowly through the dark, sauntering in with flamenco guitars lulling the listener into a false feeling of calmness before upping the dread off on a journey that flows steadily into Myrmidon and culminating in the re-adjusted fast pace of The Deep Unbound.

The band are so locked in tight throughout the album that the immense cover of Metallica’s Trapped Under Ice could almost pass off as one of their own tracks before the old man part of my brain piece it all together just before the first verse takes off.

This just leaves the last two tracks of the album and an odd taste in the mouth. Dread Reaver is everything you should expect it from a man with as long a career and established as his, but it all eventually begins to feel the same after a couple of listens. It is an album limited by the fact that it wants to be all the elements of black metal, without the need for pandering to anyone particular kind of listener. Still, another solid addition to Abbath’s catalogue.

1. Acid Haze
2. Scarred Core
3. Dream Cull
4. Myrmidon
5. The Deep Unbound
6. Septentrion
7. Trapped Under Ice
8. The Book Of Breath
9. Dread Reaver