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Nacht-Hymen! - 82%

OzzyApu, July 17th, 2009

I always had mixed feelings about Abigor – how I really never could finish any of their albums in one sitting, how I got bored during the songs, and how I could just have more fun watching porn. However, their atmosphere is unmatched as it properly blends evil, melody, and gothic influences together in culminating some sacred art. I only dig the albums with Silenius on vocals, though, since this man is one nasty beast when it comes to gurgling, screaming, and shrieking in the most tortured fashion. The overall sound of the music is comparable to Summoning’s first album, but with more substance and less contrived moments.

Get used to tremolo, because it’s everywhere here. Thankfully, it never gets tiresome because of the sweet interludes breaking up the moment, build-ups to guide the rhythm, acoustics to provide more classical support, and just overall harmonious riffs. The higher the notes go the more thin the guitars sound, but otherwise they’re crunchy and sadistic. No bass at all, but the air of the atmosphere isn't too thin to have it become an issue. Abigor were able to work around the bass-less issue with layering guitars on top of each other, so listening to this doesn't bring up any concerns of lacking bass. Yeah production qualities are typical for black metal, so I really can’t butcher it down in those departments. The quality is enhanced a little bit when acoustics or keyboards play a more central role, though.

What I love about the guitars is how they crash between each other in a concerto; tremolo attacks whiz against each other like sieges between medieval kingdoms. Amidst the incredibly dark atmosphere is an authentic, neoclassical tone that’s more traditional than contemporary. Fears of the occult and the supernatural rub off with each song, couple by mutilated screams and we’re in for a dungeon sleepover. Female vocals are available, but limited to just a few songs and in sparse scenes, and thankfully they’re not terribly operatic.

I must say that the drum sound is mighty weak, since the double bass just gets clobbered in the mix. You’ll barely hear it and the cymbals crash out every other piece of the kit. The toms do have a natural receiving beat, so I’m not too worried about that part. Blast beats are the norm, but otherwise there’s a decent amount of catchy patterns employed.

So yeah, it’s a royal sounding album with some classical inspirations and dark undertones. Probably the best mix of such during the golden years of black metal, and from the heart of Europe this time.