Monday, February 23, 2015

Black Metal History Month: Abhor- Rituale Stramonium

The first thing that makes this band really stand  out are the vocals that are belched  out in a  froggy gurgled croak. The first song impressed me with synths adding to the melodic qualities with out compromising the heaviness. This works in a similar manner to Mortuary Drape, who these guys might remind you of from time to time. Italian bands are supposed to be obsessed  with the horror movie soundtrack thing and I suppose if that's what you want to hear, then there is enough evidence to justify that case, but I also hear some Emperor influence. Put through the band's filter is comes out much  slower, despite the fact they are able to hit the blast beats when the notion hits them.

I prefer the more deliberate doom pacing of  the third song. You would think the vocals would have grown old for me by the third song as they are pretty much one dimensional, but the music keeps  you distracted from them. The horror movie elements continue to pile on the creepiness almost to the point of making sound more like doom than what we might typically think of black metal, so there is a strong depressive element to this. "Soul's Poison" finds this taken to extreme and the synths droning you out until the drums build the song back up in the final minute. They break from this with the more Darkthrone paced "Circle of Stones". Compared to what they have thrown at you earlier in the album tihs sounds like they are taking the easy way out. "Wine of Sabbath" splits the difference taking the middle road between the Darkthrone route and the horror doom.

They keep a more deliberate pace , but with plenty of drive on " The Chant of the Owl".At over eight minutes  things need new life   they break down into a more ritualistic atmosphere three and a half minutes in. The album closes out with pipe organ , it comes across more like the Phantom of the Outro rather than a free standing song. I like the feel of this album, the step backwards into the more black n roll roar of the Darkthrone like song, is the only song on this  album  that didn't totally gel with me, so I will give this album a generous rounded up 9, as I think much like Mortuary Drape it will grow on me.

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