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A Noteworthy Reunion - 85%

CannibalCorpse, January 27th, 2007

I just recently heard that Nergal had reunited. It was pleasant news since I enjoyed their debut album "The Wizard of Nerath" to some extent and I was interested in what they archived in their 11 year break.

They achieved exactly what I was hoping for - they had nice ideas going on their debut, but often failed to keep them on the foreground, due to shitty vocal work and lack of memorable riffs.

"Absinthos" is still as Greek as it's predecessor, but this time around, the amount of memorable riffs is much higher. So is the album's speed - lots of tremolo picked passages, only seldom interrupted by awesome slower, palm-muted riffs (Deliverance by the Tyranny of Life). Another huge improvement are Horrendous Infernal Graves vocals, he belts out great shrieks and growls in a fierce manner and they surely complement the music well.

Some classical instruments are used here and there (I must say it again - the awesome passage in "Deliverance by the Tyranny of Life") to full effect. The piano parts in the last song "Dark Prevalence" are very well played, as are the great choirs in the background. The production does help those instruments a lot since it's quite clear, while it doesn't lack the aggressive edge the guitars need.

My only complaint here is the drum-machine. It is varied and does some excellent stuff for a machine, but sometimes it sounds horribly fake and sadly disturbs the focus of the listener once in a while. At times though, the drums sound too human for a machine, so I'm a bit confused. Just shoddily produced sterile drums? I have no idea. This is not a major complaint though and my excitement about this album never went away.

Overall though, "Absinthos" is a pleasant surprise and will hopefully be heard by many people. Fans of Greek black metal should definitely pick this one up, as it contains lots of classic riffage and a few bits of well-done experimentation. I just wish the album was longer than it's mere 31 minutes.

Pick this one up, especially if you were disappointed by Nergal's debut.