Abigor - _Nachthymnen (From the Twilight Kingdom)_
(Napalm Records, 1995)
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Still available (in North America) only as an import, this is the much-awaited follow-up to the 1995 MCD _Orkblut: The Retaliation_, on which Abigor advanced from the rawer sound of their full-length debut into realms at once speedier and more melodic. _Nachthymnen_ builds confidently upon that progression, weaving together an even more complex pattern of time changes, different voices, speedy guitars, creepy interludes, and synthesizers galore. Especially notable are the occasional contributions of vocalist Elisabeth Torisen, whose crystalline tones can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. The overall sound is quite similar to that of Emperor's _In the Nightside Eclipse_, but with a -much- clearer production. For my money, though, the songs on this release often disappoint. My main gripe, I guess, is that there just aren't that many hooks - there are probably a hundred different riffs, but only a few are really engaging. Abigor definitely create a rich and varied sound on this CD, but the spine of the whole structure is often a riff that doesn't grab your attention. Still, I definitely do like "Revealed Secrets of the Whispering Moon" and "A Frozen Soul in a Wintershadow". If you're into the more musical black metal bands like Emperor and Enslaved, then this outfit is definitely worth checking out. But if I were you, I'd try out _Orkblut_ first. (I rate that one an 8.)
(article published 4/18/1996)
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