• ABBATH - Abbath LP
SEASON OF MIST
2016 France Pressing (SOM 366LP)
Olve Eikemo isn't a familiar name to metalheads, but his pseudonym Abbath, short for Abbath Doom Occulta, has been known globally by extreme metal enthusiasts for more than 20 years for his work with IMMORTAL. Even further back, Abbath was cutting his teeth on dark American death metal-inspired bands with Old Funeral, which included Varg Vikernes at one point, and Amputation. IMMORTAL, then, followed Euronymous's sage-like guidance and influence like many others did in the burgeoning Norwegian black metal scene. The band's music helped pave the way for the second wave of black metal and the majority of black metal-influenced music today.
IMMORTAL progressively incorporated aspects of traditional heavy metal in terms of structure and tempo in the late nineties, a path Abbath carried forward into his 2006 project I. Following his 2015 departure from IMMORTAL, that triumphant old-school heavy metal essence has snowballed forth with his eponymous new band. Where his music was once traditional heavy metal-influenced black metal, it's morphed into something that some hardline black metal purists may scoff at. However, it's a robust and confident take on modern heavy metal rooted in the black metal energy that's seemingly inextricable from Abbath as an artist. He has indeed followed the trajectory engineered by his career's development. There are no left turns or surprises with his latest release, which isn't a bad thing. ABBATH, the band and its music, proves to be reliable rather than predictable.
The self-titled album packed with his signature razor-sharp riffs and black metal anthems. Stellar cuts "Winter Bane", "Ashes of the Damned", "To War", "Fenrir Hunts" and more are nothing short of true heavy metal thunder. 'Abbath' is the black metal album of 2016, and returns him to his rightful place as the face of the genre.