ABBATH // Dread Reaver // Album Review

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The almighty ABBATH is back!

With his now third album “Dread Reaver” the legendary titan is bringing his signature cosmic black metal to cvlt masses yet again.

Since splitting from Immortal in 2015 ABBATH has been on a musical tirade. Releasing his debut album “ABBATH” to a huge critical response.

The follow up “Outstrider” showed that it wasn’t just a fluke & that ABBATH had what it took to stand alone & even showed that he could write some of the best music of his career to date.

“Dread Reaver” is marvellous. As a body of work ABBATH has been able to surpass his first two efforts and create an album that will stand as a landmark in not only his own discography but in the realm of black metal total.

“Acid Haze” the opening track bursts open with a boom of sound & texture. Spacey in theme as the echo of drums & ABBATH’s legendary guitar tone start to creep in getting louder & louder before the track takes a quick breather to introduce the thumping speed that the song carries on until its finish.

ABBATH’s piercing like vocal style & performance is still here and is the best i’ve heard in years. As well his vocals being top notch what songs ABBATH does play guitars & bass on are ripping. Each track has thick & different textures to them which keeps that album always surprising.

For instance the second track “Scarred Core” has a more heavy metal vibe. If ABBATH’s love for Motorhead is on this album this is one of the tracks. Featuring a ripping guitar solo from Ole André Farstad. It’s rare to find a black metal track you can bang your fist to but this is that 100%

“Dream Cull” one of the lead singles on the run up to the album’s release is one of the most anthemic on the record.

Dipping its toes into the more atmospheric side of black metal.

Ukri Suvilehto’s drumming on this track is superb. A tribal constant beat keeps the track going straight ahead like an unstoppable locomotive while etherial guitars echo in the listeners ear. The perfect cave dwelling soundtrack.

At the midway point of the album “The Deep Unbound” shows that there is no slowing down. A barrage hits your senses. A full on assault if you will. This tracks for the war metal die-hards. Crack this track full volume!

A highlight of many highlights of the album is the fantastic cover of Metallica’s “Trapped Under Ice” smack bang in the middle of the record. I’m a huge fan of when a band puts covers in the middle of the album rather than at the end. It shows that they are passionate about the song they choose to cover & think it stands up with the rest of the record. Extra points to ABBATH for that!

Closing the album is the self titled track “Dream Reaver”.

As a track it honestly feels like a combination of all the textual elements from the album as whole. It might not have been ABBATH’S intention but as a listener it’s a truly perfect way to end the album. Using moments similar to “Dream Cull” as dream-like qualities but still hard & sharp like “The Deep Unbound” the final track leaves a huge impact & gives the album  satisfying end to the listener.

“Dread Reaver” is ABBATH’s best work to date. Not only has he been able to merge the brilliance that was his first 2 records he has been able to write a ripper of an album from start to finish while still giving the listener little unlikely surprises that work perfectly!

Joseph Mitchell

Dread Reaver is out via Season of Mist on 25th March 2022

Tracklist:

1. Acid Haze (04:51)

2. Scarred Core (03:29)

3. Dream Cull (04:15)

4. Myrmidon (04:33)

5. The Deep Unbound (04:05)

6. Septentrion (04:30)

7. Trapped Under Ice (03:59)

8. The Book of Breath (04:35)

9. Dread Reaver (04:43)

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