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Experiments in Sound - 88%

Soushikigekijou, November 8th, 2008

For the longest time I just "didn't get" this album. When I first got this album, my favorite Abigor release was "Supreme Immortal Art." I liked its rococo, orchestrated quality and it's towering bombast. WHAT, though, in the hell was this? As I came back to the album later, I began to really take in its unique sound a lot better.

"Channeling the Quintessence" is a bit like the older "Apokalypse" EP- taking a lot of the moodier and more atmospheric aspects of Abigor's sound out of the picture in favor of a much more frontal, relentless metal attack. But this album takes a few unusual routes from there. The guitars have an unusual quality to them, not just the kind of staticy treble-intense roar used by a lot of black metal bands to pare down the sound, but a warbling sound high in middle-treble frequencies, not very overtly different but enough to give the whole album an...odd quality. The vocals, too, are mixed in an odd way, consistently at two pitches ever so slightly off from each other, close enough that they sound like a single voice unless you listen closer.

And then there are the SAMPLES. Suddenly, the music is interrupted by...some kind of undescribable sound not belonging in nature. There's often a rather sci-fi feel to them, and the subtle popping and crackling of analog. It's entrancingly weird and comes out of nowhere.

For someone used to the moodier and more melodic "classic" Abigor, something like this may be a little hard to swallow at first, but it's really great experimental black metal.