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Ancient Prophecy - 95%

Taliesin, March 3rd, 2008

A shorter piece in Abigor's long career, Orkblut also remains a highlight. The album tells a story of a Pagan warrior rising up with his tribe to fight and die in battle, bringing a nihilistic resolve to his story that much like Cuchulain he shall fall and perish but shall destroy his enemies until his death. The music that flows through this concept revolves between fast paced shifting black metal attacks, acoustic and ambient breakdowns and some slower paced more melodic or moody sections. Interestingly the breakdown of the recording is such that though each piece is a seperate track, it is almost impossible to listen to it as anything less then a piece in of itself.

Beginning with the Prophecy which sets the stage of the record, we go into the Overture, which actually carries pieces of the emotion and notes of every section of the recording. After another interlude we go into the true heart of the album with The Rising of Our Tribe. Silenius' vocals are a highlight of this album, as they are on nearly anything he is on. His screams seem to come from some beyond, filled with anguish and hatred.

Every song on this EP seem to take turns and pathways that are at times unexpected, and yet they always seem to flow together, which seperates them from some bands with a similar, more technical style. Like Emperor's early works (particularly In the Nightside Eclipse) Abigor manage to integrate a fine whole into smaller pieces, and a fluid songwriting aesthetic.

Keyboard work, when used is effective, and is often most effective because they do not overload their songs with keyboards. They are used to highlight certain moments, or to add dramatics to the sections that need it. I feel the ambient and acoustic interludes provide a great clue to the atmosphere of the recording, like Ulver's Bergtatt or Satyricon's Dark Medieval Times, the acoustic/ambient sections manage to create a breathing space to let the mind wander into the fantasy world the band seeks to create. I believe the keyboards and in particular the ambient sections were done by Tharen, ex-vocalist and leader of Dargaard, which explains the high quality of all these pieces.

The combination of melodic, epic and blasting, at times atonal guitar riffs, all usually in one song, was not new to Abigor, and yet they had a way of refining it down to an art, creating black metal that truely reached a different higher level then many bands could ever approach. Their works are often neo-classical in its layers of composition, but they combine such artistry with also a love of hateful blasts of noise, which is in my opinion the place metal should be for the most part, somewhere between artistry and noise, with always with a sense of style, consistency and songwriting.

The atmosphere of the album is of a dark medieval past, paganism rising again, and a beauty in warfare. As such it represents much of what black metal should. A combination of the ancient and the modern, which is also reflected in composition. Most will hopefully find as much to like in this work as I do, but it requires careful listening, and an open mind. It took me a few listens to understand and enjoy all parts of this EP. It may be short, but it is a mighty recording.