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Have you ever thought what lies beyond the stars, and beyond the universe itself (if it's limited)? I have and it makes me feel uneasy. I am not alone with my thoughts. The 6th Abigor ascends into the stars and beyond them. And what is found? Evil, of course.
Abigor's previous album 'Channeling the Quintessence of Satan' (1999) was a total mindfuck and the experience of pretty chaotic black metal. 'Satanized...' has a clear production, but still it is chaotic, in a good way. The sound is raw and simple, typically Abigor-ish, actually very ugly and in-your-face (not much echo this time around) and doesn't sound 21st century. Abigor were influenced by Emperor (epicness, peculiarity, coldness and evil combined). Familiar sharp guitar tone is accompanied with heavier (or lower) rhythm guitar than on the previous releases from the band. Sometimes the riffing gets nicely thrashy, reminding me of older thrash legends (Abigor's 'In Memory' mini-CD from 2000 includes Kreator and Slayer covers). Therefore the songs stick better into a listener's brain. And I'm not complaining about that! Yeah, something like Voivod gone black... Not quite, but hopefully you catch my drift. This is not an easy ride, but one nasty trip and during a single song, the band travels through many a wormhole. Still, there are some "acoustic" parts where twisted atmospheres whirl around. The spacey feeling is accomplished with the synths and some truly low-tone hum, which add atmosphere, but still stay on the background. However, the drums are blunt, demo-level sound-qualitywise. which in the contrary do diminish the spacey feel at times.
Of course the satanic theme is present, as you can read in the title of the record. But also the word "cosmic" is there. These two are mixed and while I personally love sci-fi and all things space, I'm an atheist. Therefore the satanic part does not touch me. But hey, it's always healthy to fuck with all religions in this world! Wonderful works of H.P. Lovecraft are also used as an inspiration, and this gets two thumbs up from me. Vocals are harsh black-ish rasp for the biggest part, but there's some clean vocals too. The clean ones work sometimes and sometimes they don't, because sounding like drunk singing. Besides that, the vocals are rhythmically good, like not fitting into songs. Covers include, together with the lyrics, some fitting graphics, but those lesbian sex pictures embedded into cover and back cover pictures are beyond me...
Still familiar Abigor, I personally enjoy more of these space lyrics when compared to the satanic themes, but also the music is good, thanks to new touches. I both enjoy and dislike listening to 'Satanized...', because there are a lot of goodies, but also more lame things to be heard (especially bad vocals syllabication). However, after all, this is a portal to experience the infinite darkness.
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2002)
OK every time i go to the Abigor page i see a horrendous score for Satanized, and frankly i feel it's a slap to the face of these Austrian black metal legends so the 34 % average ends today...
Firstly, I'm going to mention that this CD is the steal of the century. You can buy this puppy all day long on Ebay for 5 bucks!!! That's right kids for the price of NPR088 you can save your lunch money for 2 days and purchase this fine piece of ultra cosmic blasphemy... Like the reviewers before me i will say that the lyrics are well written and are what most black metal is all about: cold, emptiness, occult topics, and of course we also have plenty of cosmic bullshit (after all it is the "Journey Through Cosmic Infinity".)
Now the music. Here we have an excellently produced and well mixed release. When i listen to metal i listen to it loud, and in my opinion this is the only way to listen to metal to get the maximum "effect" of the music. Satanized is fuckin' loud that is for sure, everything is very audible and this is definitely a release where you can say, "OK the guitars are doing this, OK and the drums well they are blasting like hell, alright the bass it's doing it's job and so forth." What i mean is you can individually listen to each instrument very easily. The music is constantly starting and stopping and when i first heard this CD i was wasn't really into it too much. It reminded me a lot of this crazy technical death metal that's going around these days where you are just like, "OK that dude rips the shit out of his guitar but i want to bang my head." After a few listens though i really enjoy this release and i don't mind revisiting it every couple months or so that's for damn sure.
So the drums are blasting almost relentlessly starting and stopping with a bunch of fills thrown in the mix, good cymbal work. I play drums and i think it would be pretty difficult to find rythms to match some of these riffs, So i would say this Moritz N. has spent a couple hours on the kit to say the least. The drums are probably my favorite part of this release.
The guitars are pretty well written i think also. They remind me like i said before of a lot of technical death metal guitars with a fair amount of palm muting and way more tremelo picking...I personally don't care too much for palm muting in my black metal but i don't straight up hate it neither. The bass is audible which everyone seems to enjoy. It has a pretty good tone I think as well.
Alright the vocals. Well the clean shit is kinda lame i can't deny that, but i like the way they start out the track "Battlestar Abigor" the off key cleans fit pretty well matched with the screams of Thurisaz. All and all I would say that the dude screams his ass off in a standard black metal fashion. So i will not complain about anything but the cleans, which aren't even too terrible.
So after all is said and done... It's 5 dollars on Ebay dude and this is way better than anything Dimmu has put out recently, don't let the reviews from these previous guys scare ya
Abigor. A name which always stood for well done chaotic black metal. Stood.
Although I do not know the older releases of Abigor, I know when I listen to a bad album and here we have one of those. Chaotic and blasphemous is what it wants to be, completely without structure and ridiculous it is.
Let me get more into detail, athough I do not really want to, but I am doing this to keep you away from this release. So I can start with the good things, of which I found two: At first, the lyrical concept of cosmic infinity and chaos is kept straightly and in an intelligent and original way. Every song has many lines of vocals, which is good in terms of submitting a message, but simply leads to a loss..but more of this later. Secondly, the sound is considerable. Every instrument can be heard, starting with the drums, heading over to the guitars and basslines, finishing with the synths. Here also I have to complain about the rather thin guitars, which could have been a bit more present.
But: The childishly cried vocals are placed in a way I cannot comprehend, completely out of any rythm or logic structure and they sound as if someone tortures a baby with a hot lighter on it's feet. Worse, they last the whole songs, because of the long lyrics, which are completely accomodated in every song. Sounds to me like the syndrome, Carpathian Forest has also fallen into: To hook the whole song on the vocals. And another problem exists, the vocalist sometimes tries to sing cleanly. Do you know "Death Cult Armageddon"? In comparison, the clean parts in there are done well - and they are off-key.
Now the music. I really wanted find something good in all of this uninspired chaos, but I failed. It is okay if you insist to create something chaotic or disturbingly unstructured, but then you have to stick to the atmosphere. But where is it in here? Nowhere to be found yet. All you can hear are lashing drums, some melodious basslines, riffing which does not deserve it's name and the grueling vocals. I did not mention the synths and keyboards because they deserve to be mentioned, because they use to annoy this much. Running in the opposite direction as all the other instruments it sometimes tries to imitate the riffing and sometimes just tootles in the back- or foreground, depending on the song, trying more or less to sound as if you were entering Dracula's tomb in a b-movie of the 80s.
Meanwhile, all atmosphere is destroyed. The songs do not have any structure, or at least I cannot detect them, which would have been good for the album and its effect. I usually do like pieces of work that need a bit of concentration, that are chaotic and evil, but if I cannot find something behind the first curtain of chaos, something that makes it artistically worthwile, I consider it weak. This paradigms do not apply to every album I like or listen to, but in the chaotic sector, they do.
Abigor. I hope no one will take a look at the bad bandpicture, with cute weapons and digitally added blood, that does not look like such.
This is the only agony the whole thing can communicate, sadly.
First off, I am a HUGE fan of all things Abigor, and have enjoyed all thier material from the obscure buzzing tones of 'Orgio Regium' to the almost industrial-tinged avant-black sounds of 'Channeling the Quintessence...' but I must say I find this release largely a letdown.
While there is nothing terrible here, and in fact the whole album is solid black metal with decent melodic and harmonic lines; the fact is I find it incredibly tiresome, uninsteresting, and worse...very predictable. For me a large part of Abigor's appeal is thier sheer creative power to keep a listener on thier toes, to craft organic complex songs that demand multiple listenings just to get a feel for what is going on amid the baroque layers of harmonies and counterparts and microtones all adding to the rococo aesthetic of thier genius magnum opus.
This release features none of that creativity or unpredicability. It's almost like they were stuck by a contract they didn't feel like finishing and slapped together a few riffs held together by conventional strains and refrains of minor chords, and told their agent to get lost. At least I wish that's what happened.