Review: Abigor “Totschläger (A Saintslayer’s Songbook)” [W.T.C. Productions]

Review: Abigor “Totschläger (A Saintslayer’s Songbook)” [W.T.C. Productions]

- in Reviews
Score 86%
86 %
User Rating : 5 (1 votes)

“When all worship is done, when all candles burned down, it’s time to claw at knife and sword again”.

With 27 years of existence, Abigor stands as one of the most criminally underrated black metal acts out there. Since their 1994 debut album Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age and year later follow up Nachthymnen (From the Twilight Kingdom) the band held a very firm grip of what then a young genre is and for what stands for. But at the same time expanded the very genre with the bands ever-growing musical competence which was evident in later albums like in the frenzied nightmare of Opus IV or in the technical mindfuck masterpiece of Fractal Possession.

Needless to say, the quality of the bands discography are quite high, even in the less inspired albums, which leads to their newest opus: Totschläger (A Saintslayer’s Songbook) that is a closest thing to a bands compilation of Abigors entire musical history.

The first thing to notice is the return of the classical elements and intros that was introduced in Abigors catalogue back in Orkblut days in 1995. That is evident in the album’s excellent opener Gomorrha Rising – Nightside Rebellion; it’s relentless, eerie and goes 600 miles per hour. In short, it’s Abigor.

It does retain Leytmotif Luzifer song structure and that fat relentless riffing but is very much soaked in the band’s albums from the olden days. So much that it feels like it was written and recorded before the mentioned record.

Same goes with the production and sound; it is fine balance between that raw and clear sound so you can hear everything that is going on, which in Abigors case a norm. If that was not the case it would pretty much be criminal offense; I could not stress enough how much of a deadly (and criminally underrated) duo are Peter Kubik on guitars and Thomas Tannenberger on drums. Warning; if you are in a metal band or a composer there is a good chance you want to hang up your instrument after listening a few of their albums. They are that insanely talented. I could not stress that enough.

The album continues strong with Silent Towers, Screaming Tombs which last three minutes of the track are maybe the best part of the album; it has that deadly cocktail of frenzy and emotion that Abigor excels at.

It’s also very worth mentioning Silenius third vocal endeavor after his return in Leytmotif Luzifer record which I still think it’s his best performance if we are not counting the old albums. He had that evil roughness in his voice that in times is sorely missed in this record. Not saying he is bad in Totschläger (A Saintslayer’s Songbook), but sometimes his cleaner vocal parts overstay their welcome. Besides that, he is a beast and his voice flawlessly flow with the music, mostly.

But, same goes with the music; after 23 years and 10 albums (which 7 of them are fucking masterpieces) it is excepted that the band will not have the same amount of brilliant ideas and there are parts that you have a feeling that they are chasing their own tail, especially in the second part of the record. Nevertheless, for every Guiding The Nameless there is Tartaros Tides and Scarlet Suite For The Devil that takes album back on track.

It is rough on its edges but it is a crimson jewel nevertheless.

Cain would be proud.

Release date: December 8, 2020

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