Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Listen to the opener and the second half - 63%

Caleb9000, April 30th, 2016

This album makes me wonder if Abbath is just trying to do something else so that his music will not be compared to that of Immortal. Some of this just tries so hard to be original that it loses touch with charisma. A lot of this is boring. Not that just because something is not catchy, it is worthless. A lot of my favorite music doesn't really stay stuck in your head. This is just an overall album that I would describe as "meh". I was really hoping for something that I could label as "great". I wanted to be able to say, "He doesn't need Immortal to help him"... but this album could be used as a rather decent argument against that. Well... the first half at least. The second half of this album is actually very good. The riffs are epic and can either pound the listener right into the ground or give them very strong feelings of epicness. The rest of the music is there to complement this. It is very riff-based. I wish that there was just a little bit more variety within the other instrumentation, but it is still extremely enjoyable, especially the sixth track of the album, "Root of the Mountain". But the first half, with the exception of "To War", is almost entirely void of anything interesting. There are some good riffs here and there, but they can't save it from the rest, which is basically one big bore.

I would guess that the main problem with it is that the riffs possess little to no substance whatsoever. They have practically nothing to be remembered. I have listened to it three times and I can only remember the opener. I remember picking up a little bit of a Children Of Bodom-ish influence from it. That song sounds quite a lot like something off of "I Worship Chaos", which was a very good album. This song has a pummeling main riff that was stuck in my head for days. But the rest seems like useless filler. It does nothing special with the guitar work and everything else is there to simply keep it going. The guitar is a false idol. Abbath can do far better than this. Anyone who has heard his riffing on the previous four records by Immortal knows that. I can't necessarily find an actual big issue with the songwriting, all that I can say is that it's ungodly boring and very non-captivating.

The second half is where the fun begins (a little too late). It starts with a huge highlight, "Count the Dead". Very memorable riffing and the drums are basically all of the ingredients for the mammoth that crawls within this track. Every blast beat sounds as though another victim was shot in the head and then thrown into a pile. I do not like the overall production of the drumming, but I will cover that in a little bit. Abbath's vocals are absolutely ferocious on this track. His snarl sounds quite a lot like a demon commander giving orders (for lack of better description). It can't quite compete with the wailing that he bestowed upon the Immortal track, "One by One", but it is still very well-done. But my favorite track would have to be, "The Root of the Mountain". This is Abbath's songwriting style that we all know and love. Epic riffs and pummeling drums fill this track to the brim. As furious as this track is, I would have to say that the best moment of it (as well as the entire album) would have to be the one towards the end, containing no percussion. One of the best riffs that I have heard this year is present, as well as some very sorrowful, even MOURNFUL harsh snarling from Abbath. It sounds like a big battle was just waged, then lost. "Eternal" is a very fast and memorable track, but it has a riff that is very similar to the one in the opener. It is a very good track, just not quite at the same level.

Now I wish to get my thoughts of the drum-production off of my balls. The drumming is done furiously, just the way that it should be, but the fact of the matter is that the production has tamed it back much too far. At certain times, they sound like they are made of fucking cardboard! Black metal has never been very heavy, but this doesn't live up to the rest of the music. I wanted to be killed as a whole, not just my interest. This is by far the most annoying thing about the music. At least the rest of the negativity isn't less than bland and boring. The aggressive nature of the actual drumming itself simply cannot save it. With the latter portion of the Immortal discography had a very loud and thick drum production (just like the rest of the music), this is loud, thick and plastic. It only makes up for it with the way that the drums are played during the second half of the album. This album would have at least been given a review score in the later 60s, possibly even the early 70s (though probably not) if it had not been for this.

This is an album that you have to divide into two parts to not dislike as a whole. While the songwriting is great in certain areas, the rest is pretty much like an unpopular TV dinner. People buy it because the picture looks good and the history (possibly the brand, when being compared in this case) sounds promising, but when you consume it, it is bland as hell. It was actually hard for me to even review this album, as some of it was just so unmemorable. You do not know the definition of struggle until you attempt to recall what you have heard in the weak areas of this record. What I desperately hope for is that Abbath Doom Occulta himself realizes just how superior the second half of what he has delivered is and he attempts to make music at that level on his next release. But here, it seems as though he was trying so hard to take his music to the "next level", that he forgot how to make the music interesting enough for his listeners. This is by no means a bad album, but it isn't all that good either. I feel as though I would have enjoyed this a bit more if the track listing consisted of a good track, then a boring track. In that case, I feel as though I would have been much quite a lot more captivated the whole way through this record. Although "The Root of the Mountain" is one of my favorite songs to be released this year, overall, I see this record as a highly inconsistent release which contains high disappointment.