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Abigor - Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age CD (album) cover



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2 stars The debut album from this Austrian black metal band.

It is pretty obvious that Abigor had got some tapes of Burzum in the house. Obviously, they had even listened to them too. This album is pretty much influenced by Burzum. In particular, the vocals. The usual Venom references are also here. But mostly; Burzum. ..... And some Zeuhl references too. I guess the latter one by accident. The end result is grim, cold black metal.

Unfortunate; grim cold black metal without the qualities Burzum and the other great black metal bands from that time had in them. I have always regarded Abigor as a third rate black metal band and this album confirms my views. Some sound effects punctuates the music now and then. But wait....... Hang on a minute...... A song like the eight minutes long Kingdom of Darkness proves that there are light in the tunnel here. This is actually a pretty good song. Hopeless, Abigor was not on this album. But this album is still an album only for the diehard black metal fans. In ProgArchives, it is like a fish in the Sahara desert.

2 stars (being generous)

Report this review (#279975)
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age' - Abigor (6/10)

The early 90's were arguably the golden age for black metal, as anyone remotely familiar with the genre will attest. Abigor were a band that jumped on the bandwagon in 1993, and by the following year, their debut 'Verwüstung', or 'Invoke the Dark Age' was released. While much of the black metal years before had not amounted to much more than blastbeats and speedy chord work, Abigor used that mainframe to create something a little musically deeper. This Austrian trio takes the black metal aesthetic to the next level on the debut, although the journey is wrought with faults.

Some black metal bands who did something 'new' with black metal could be often defined in one word. Emperor, for example, brought the 'symphonic' sound to black metal. Abigor are not truly innovators, but they are taking a number of different fresh elements and sweeping them together. Among those, Abigor brings Teutonic chanting, orchestral flourishes and folky acoustics to light. Each of these is done fairly well, particularly in regards to the acoustic guitar playing, which remains subtle. Sadly, the rest of the progressive ideas that Abigor brings to the table are somewhat gimmicky. The fake orchestra sample only appears for a brief moment, and jarringly so. It's moments like this that rob the excellent concepts of Abigor of some of their prowess.

In terms of songwriting, 'Invoke The Dark Age' is best defined by a series of great moments and ideas, rather than overall structure and composition. Abigor's sound is divided between the unconventional elements, and a straightforward black metal sound reminiscent of their Norwegian contemporaries. In regards to atmosphere, Abigor lack the resonance of Mayhem, or the epic gloom of Burzum. One aspect Abigor does excel in is their performance, however. The production is painfully typical, but the guitars and drums play beyond many second wave black metal acts. Thomas Tannenberger displays a profound use of the doublekick, and Peter Kubik's use of melodic guitar lines and powerful solos is very beautiful. 'Invoke The Dark Age' is a very good black metal album, but as one could guess, Abigor would still had much to learn here.

Report this review (#590164)
Posted Saturday, December 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars After releasing a string of demos in 1993 and early 1994, Austrian black metal outfit Abigor finally took advantage of the full-length album format with 1994's Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age. Gone are the shoddy production values and average songwriting that plagued their early demos, and in its place is some pretty impressive and even mildly experimental black metal music. Although Abigor doesn't do quite enough to substantially differentiate themselves from the more renowned second-wave black metal bands, they do exhibit an ambitious attitude on Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age; and for the most part, they deliver their sound with great success. This album isn't flawless, but it's a highly promising debut from an unfortunately overlooked band.

Though this may sound strange when we're discussing a black metal record from 1994, one of the first things that grabbed my attention about Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age was how tight and precise Abigor sounds from a musicianship perspective. Drummer Thomas Tannenberger is especially on fire here, and in addition to dishing out plenty of lightning-fast blastbeats, his fills are also some of the most impressive I've ever heard. It's clear that Abigor has really honed in on their craft since their sloppy demo tapes, and their abilities as songwriters have also much improved. Although I don't think Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age entirely captures the dark atmosphere that Abigor was aiming for, there's no doubt in my mind that this is a great black metal album from beginning to end. The mildly technical style of songwriting immediately sets Abigor apart from the Burzums and Darkthrones of the world, and a few folky acoustic sections and synthesizer parts do further give the band a name of their own. I wouldn't say that the synthesizers are used particularly well, and they do often give off a bit of a cheesy vibe, but it is clear that Abigor is a somewhat unique band, even if they don't stray from the norm too often.

All in all, Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age is an impressive and pretty original debut from Abigor. The complex riff structures and twisted sense of melody are a clear signal of a band with a lot of promise, and I'll be looking forward to brushing up on the rest of Abigor's discography in the future. Although I'm missing any truly mesmerizing atmospheres on Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age, the band does deliver enough memorable riffs and progressive flourishes to make this a worthwhile experience for black metal fans. 3.5 stars are well-deserved for this impressive debut.

Report this review (#610683)
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012 | Review Permalink

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