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Much in the same vein as other similar acts like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord, the Austrian trio Abigor plays a very dark, eccentric and chaotic brand of black metal. Although many will have been introduced to the scene of black metal through the classic 'raw' acts like early Bathory or Mayhem, Abigor takes the melancholic and intense sound and runs with it in an entirely different direction here, with their 2010 album, entitled 'Time Is The Sulphur In The Veins Of The Saint.' Essentially a forty minute long composition divided into halves, there is an undeniable sense of ambition here that seems to run through almost every idea they employ, and I find myself quite impressed by what the satanic Austrians have compiled here, even if the record may be a bit light on adhesive.
Abigor's earlier material was much more straightforward and to-the-point, and it should come as quite a surprise to someone who has not heard them since then to come across this record, which is very quick to set aside the rather concrete conventions widely held by black metallers. There are still raspy vocals, quickly strummed guitar rhythms and aggressive drum work, but it is the sense of eccentric dynamic that sets Abigor aside from merely being another clone. Although it is difficult to distinguish any particular element of this massive composition, it is quite common for the band to go from a heavy section of orthodox black metal to an eerie choral section, ambient soundscape, electronic beat, or even a hint or two of pop music. All of this variety is bound together by a rather similar mood and theme that prevails throughout 'Time Is The Sulphur'; commonly being darkness, and aspects of satanism respectively. Unfortunately, the concept of hailing Satan in black metal has been overused to the point of being a joke, and Abigor are not able to pull it off without it sounding a little cheesy in parts.
As often occurs with longer pieces of music, 'Time Is The Sulphur' is a challenging piece of music to get into, and takes quite a few listens before the majority of its layers unfold before the listener. Even many listens in though, Abigor's music retains an aspect of novelty, due in no small part due to the fact that they have crammed about as many musical ideas into this album as they could have likely hoped for. The downside to this is that there is a lack of overall cohesion to the album that I would associate with a masterpiece. That being said, the music is always kept very interesting, even if some of the ideas may not entirely work to the band's benefit.