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With their fourth demo, Abigor finally demonstrate a complete embrace of both their abilities and intentions.
Like Ash Nazg and the '94 promo, the music here is highly fluid, self-reflective, full of counterpoints and crescendos - in other words, very obviously inspired by classical. Unlike those two demos, however, Moonrise is also exceptional.
This is Abigor's most straightforwardly melodic work up to this point, and it gains a lot of strength from this core element. Lux Devicta Est is much darker, with many shifting moods and concepts; but this one is where melody ceases to be one concept out of many and becomes a primary emphasis. While this removes some of the space which could be filled by other sorts of musical efforts, it also allows that one effort itself to improve drastically.
Melodic phrasing veers between sharp, stuttering trills of guitar flair and motifs that are drawn out over a minute or longer, though often being even "faster" in sensation than the short trills. The band's fondness for counterpoint shows greater development here than anywhere else in their discography. Related to this, we get the first glimpse of how powerfully they can take a pair of transitional snippets so quiet they almost seem ambient in comparison to the rest of the music, and in so doing set up a glorious, rousing crescendo with a simple, but effervescent guitar solo.
Highly recommended for any fans of black metal. Although the compositional abilities would improve with later albums, they were rarely ever complemented by unity throughout an album. Alternatively, although Lux Devicta Est remains the band's most intense work, and is just as unified as this, it has little trace of the compositional flair which is what most people love most about Abigor. Moonrise provides a solid middle ground between these two extremes between which Abigor would later vacillate, over and over and over again...