|Release Date:||25th of March, 2022|
|Released via||Season of Mist|
|Cover Artwork ©||Abbath, 2022|
With conviction, I still belong to those who always look forward to a new album by Abbath. His first two works he has released since the separation from Immortal have convinced me entirely and accompanied me for a long time. Accordingly, my expectations naturally were high for his third album, Dread Reaver. To my and your luck I can say: It stands up to them! Fans of the Norwegian cult panda can once again take a big bite and I want to tell you briefly why I am once again excited and already had a lot of fun with the album.
Let’s start right away with “Acid Haze“, where the only thing missing is the cannon blast after the short, let’s call it intro. An astonishing opener for this album, which really leaves nothing to be desired. I was instantly on board and was happy about the rest. I was rewarded for that with “Scarred Core“, which is just a brutally fast hit and almost everything Abbath‘s voice has to offer. The song really has been played from front to back lately. “Dream Cull” begins somewhat contemplatively-dark afterwards, until it loses itself in a storm of violent headbang passages. The drums especially pound the listeners here, while the vocals get increasingly nasty. “Myrmidon” then reveals the clear signature of the former Immortal mastermind: Icy riffs, dense, wintry atmosphere and the call of cold longing, mixed in an alternation of leisurely pacing and sheer frenzy. “The Deep Unbound” bangs really bad afterwards, a dissonant blizzard, which you have to resist so that it does not sweep you away. Sounds trite, but it is. “Septentrion” and “The Book of Breath” give the feeling of the classic At the Heart of Winter, even if the latter is much nastier than all the songs on the album. Nonetheless, I’ve been missing just such songs since I first heard aforementioned album and I am all the happier to finally get something like this. Finally, the title track is a rounded conclusion with heavy earworm potential, which in places sounds like a successful homage to Bathory during Nordland times.
However, between all these great original creations there still is a small highlight hidden. Covering songs from Metallica‘s second and third albums is always a bit risky, as we all know, since both releases are a twenty out of ten. Abbath, however, has finally given “Trapped Under Ice” the icy atmosphere that this song has always needed and made it heavier by another few tons. Big time, honestly.
I think I’ve made my point clear: Dread Reaver has once again become really awesome. I’m completely happy with it. The massive sound, the unique vibe, like trudging through high mountains in a snowstorm, and the hit potential from song one to nine speak for themselves. I had high expectations and they were exceeded. As soon as I’ve listened to the album enough in three years, I’m already looking forward to the next one.