Album Review: Abbath ‘Abbath’
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MP3 | CD | Vinyl | Cassette
Label: Season of Mist
Release date: January 22, 2016

Abbath may be one of the most recognizable people in all of black metal. The singer/guitarist has been one of the staples of the scene ever since his former band Immortal burst onto the scene at the dawn of the second wave in 1992. He definitely possesses the best sense of humor in the genre which, along with nearly 25 years of cranking out excellent music, has endeared him to fans across the globe. So it was a devastating blow when he announced that he had parted was with Immortal last year.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Abbath immediately set out to assemble another band and gave it his own name, so now we have Abbath, the band, as well as Abbath, the man. A few short months later, the band has released its debut record. Care to guess what it’s called? If you said Abbath, you’re starting to get the pattern here.

So, how does Abbath (the record) bode for Abbath (the band) living up to the legacy of Abbath (the man)? The answer, in short, is that it stands head and shoulders with the man’s best work, including Immortal’s landmark album Sons of Northern Darkness and the record that he released with his metal supergroup I called Between Two Worlds.

The album kicks off with the pummeling declaration “To War” and never lets up the pace. There are a few surprises along the way including a very startling synthesized horn flourish in the chorus of “Ashes of the Damned” and excellent covers of Judas Priest’s “Riding On the Wind” and Immortal’s classic “Nebular Raven’s Winter” to close out the album.

It’s impossible to pick a single “best” track, but a few of the standouts include “Winter Bane,” “Ashes of the Damned,” “Count the Dead” and “Root of the Mountain.” Be sure to check out the videos for “Count the Dead,” “Fenrir Hunts” and “Ashes of the Damned” here below.

Ultimately, it seems any concerns that fans had regarding whether or not Abbath would be able to live up to his own very high standard of quality should be laid to rest with this monumental debut from his new eponymous band.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Abbath “Fenrir Hunts” (Live, September 2015)

Abbath “Count the Dead” (Official audio)

Abbath “Ashes of the Damned” (Official audio)

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