Sunday, September 14, 2014

Abigor - Leytmotif Luzifer

Austria's Abigor is a band that is most well known for it's mid 90s output. Their first two albums are lauded by the metal community as black metal classics. It's also the band that contained Silenius of Summoning fame. It seems the band ended in 2003 only to be brought back to life in 2006. Their newest and tenth full length album, Leytmotif Luzifer, brings the band full circle as the vocals on this album are provided by original vocalist Silenius, although he is only listed as a session member and is not back in the fold. This album shows is a more mature band but with a renewed energy and aggression. The album's subtitle is The 7 Temptations of Man and each song is titled after each temptation. So with the album title, subtitle, and vocals provided by Silenius, expectations are high. Well let me tell you that you won't be disappointed.

Let me tell you straight up that there are no synths, electronics or other influences at play here. This is pure black metal at it's finest. The album opener, "Temptation I - Ego" slays from the start with some serious guitar work and evil as fuck vocals. the riffs here go from thrashers to tremolos. The layered guitar sound is a staple for this band and is one of the things that makes this a return to form for this band. The tempo is a mixture of blast beats and pummeling double bass speed. There is an evil chaotic part in the middle that just gives this album such an atmosphere. There are so many layers to this band as you have this pummeling first song, then you have a darker and more sinister track "Temptation II - Stasis." This song slows it down a bit but does not let up on the aggression and sounds so fucking evil. There is some killer soloing going on in here as well as some evil sounding vocal chants in the background. This song is all over the place without being the least bit incoherent. Instead it shows the band's creativity on this album.

"Temptation IV - Indulgence" is pure evil through and through. This song has so many elements that make this one of the standouts. Although not as fast and aggressive as some of the others, it has this slow eerie sound that invokes sinister feelings. There are deep clean vocal chants and some strange guitar sounds and riffs. But it also has some melodic parts in the middle of the song. It speeds up towards the end adding yet another layer to the song. Then you have "Temptation V - Neglect" which is a classic black metal song if I ever heard it. Speedy and loaded with tremolo riffing this song is has some of the most eerie vocals I've ever heard in a metal release. The deep cleans show up again on this song but, for me, the guitars are the stars of this song. The riffing and the leads are just in your face and the tremolos add melody to this song making this a great example of how to mix aggression and melody into a song and make it sound believable.

The greatest temptation on this album is the final one, "Temptation VII - Excessus." This is an eleven minute epic that could be one of the best songs this band has ever done. It begins with such an evil sound with the vocals sounding like they are coming from the fiery pits of Hell. It starts a bit slower then speeds up with the tremolos added to give it more atmosphere as well as a bit of melody. It even sounds a bit incoherent in places adding to that feeling of madness that shows itself in places here. But when taken in context of the entire song is not incoherent at all. Instead it necessary for this song so you get the feeling they are trying to convey. All of it is building to a climax that is just massive in it's approach. After the midway point the chaos subsides and some melody shows up. There even seems to be a doom vibe going on here but with some beautiful tremolos. The clean vocal chants are just perfect for this where this song is at this point. It's almost as if they are trying to convey the message that out of chaos comes order.

This album is just one roller coaster of emotions from beginning to end. Some places are bit more chaotic than others and there are some that are just too chaotic for me, but they are far and few between because I get the overall vibe they are giving off here. Bottom line, this is possibly the best black metal release of this year. The combination of melody and aggression; of chaos and order shows that these guys are rejuvenated and have found their creative niche once again. If you have ever been a fan of this band, this album is essential and if you are a black metal fan at all, you should devour this album. I did.


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