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Wow... just Wow... - 97%

Derfos, May 12th, 2010

I will start by saying that I came across this album with absolutely no knowledge of Sabbat other than 'they are a japanese black metal act'. About 5 minutes into The Dwelling, I tossed that label aside, since this album is too good to just be labeled. This band manages to achieve something that I am always looking out for in any album I get: A wonderful blend of the emotional side of music and the technical, guitar-oriented side of heavy metal. This is not an album you listen to, but rather an album you experience, and those are the ones that stick with you for years to come.

As I said before, until I heard The Dwelling, I was completely unfamiliar with Sabbat's sound, so I will make an attempt to describe it. The best way I can approach the music of Sabbat is by calling it Music, with a capital M. music, without capitalization, is a mix of instruments combined to create a certain sound. The Music I am talking about, capitalized, is an art form that flows and is intertwined with the instrumentation, but lives as an independent entity. When I listen to this album, I don't go 'those are some nice guitar riffs' or 'look at that thrash beat they threw in there', I listen to it as a whole, and in this case the whole is more than just the sum of its parts. Whether it is the sorrowful guitars, the original basslines, the creative but not over-the-top drumming, or those ever-evolving vocals, none of the individual elements can really sum up what their combination achieves.

I would also like to add that this is not your standard hour-long song. You can go and listen to Sleep's Dopesmoker and you will get a lot of droning repetitive riffs, and a song that could have easily been 20 minutes. With The Dwelling, the length is just right. It feels like watching a movie: the Music is constantly pushing itself forward, and there is never a dull moment. What you get instead is an album that keeps you on your toes, always willing to change and progress, never settling for a riff when there could be another in the horizon.

My recommendation then, is listen to this album. Listen to it if you like melodic pieces, listen to it if you like thrash. Listen to it if you like long songs, but also if you like the short ones (you might be surprised). Just listen to the album, cause I promise it will be worth your time.