Ahab - _The Divinity of Oceans_
(Napalm Records, 2009)
by: Quentin Kalis (
Funeral doom can be a hard genre to evaluate; like black metal, it is at the extreme musical periphery, with an inherently narrow vision that permits little exploration or deviation. Ahab sticks firmly within its claustrophobic boundaries and do not expand beyond the template of slow oppressive riffs, despairing leads, ultra-guttural vocals and economic drumming, relying on a "nautik" theme to separate them from their peers. This statement would not do them justice, suggesting an over-reliance on "done that, been there, got the T-shirt" techniques that lack the capacity to captivate or even entertain when nothing could be further from the truth. It's dark and surprisingly atmospheric, despite having only arpeggios as a deviation from the funeral template, without descending into the comically overwrought. Their ability to pace themselves over ten, twelve minutes allowing their despairing hymns to gently unravel ensures Ahab will attract and sustain the attention of the listener in a manner akin to that of their namesake and the Great White Whale.
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