Ahab - _The Boats of the Glen Carrig_
(Napalm Records, 2015)
by: Dan Lake (
Now four albums deep, Germany's Ahab have become the premier powerhouse of nautikal doom. From the relatively coarse but focused debut, _The Call of the Wretched Sea_, through the steady refining process of _The Divinity of Oceans_ and _The Giant_, Ahab have never presented us with anything but their most earnest readings of the darkest seafaring literature. This time inspired by a fan's suggestion of William Hope Hodgson's _The Boats of the Glen Carrig_, Ahab again furnish a record of far-gazing crooning, imaginative waves of melody and swaths of ravaging heaviness. Most of the songs take between ten and fifteen minutes to spin out their tales, though "Red Foam (The Great Storm)" has its say in a succinct, sludge-inspired six-and-a-half.In a 2013 interview, the members of New Jersey groaners Evoken suggested that the difference between death/doom (which they play) and funeral doom (which they claim not to play) is that "funeral doom is boring". Occasionally on past recordings, Ahab might have been described as boring, but it's hard to imagine anyone levelling that complaint at _The Boats of the Glen Carrig_. Daniel Droste's baritone wail might drag on some listeners' enjoyment of the album, but chords shift and tempos vary in defiance of expectations placed on this slothful subgenre. Don't be fooled -- this is still often slow and spacious music -- but surprising note choices, textural accompaniment and turns in mood elevate Ahab's saltwater visions to impressive heights.Band members indicate that they've had some difficulty finding further stories to inspire their work. You know what that means. Fans, get out there and start writing your own deep-sea accounts -- fact or fiction, doesn't matter -- before Ahab end up writing their next album about _Life of Pi_.
(article published 1/8/2015)
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