Abigor is a name that demands respect. Whatever anyone may think of their music, this much is true. And here, with their tenth-full length album, they prove that statement true once again.
Höllenzwang… is not easy listening music, even if you count yourself as a devout follower of the black metal genre. Schizophrenic rhythms and broken vocals abound. The band cannot settle for one riff when they can fit more into the space at hand. And although this album is more simplistic than many in the bands canon it still demands undivided attention to make sense of it all.
The band have cleared the decks of extraneous noise for this album. This decision focuses the ear to the lyrics being sung by session vocalist Silenius. The lyrics are a testament to the glory of Satan, and Abigor implores you to take them to heart. Ancient Fog of Evil in particular succeeds in this task.
The album in it’s entirety lasts just over thirty six minutes. In this time the band explore and use every avenue and facet of black metal stylistics. Opening track All Hail Darkness and Evil is perhaps the most straightforward; some might say prosaic. The Cold Breath of Satan is probably the most accessible song to feature. Melody and songcraft are used to strong effect.
However the most consistently impressive track featured is track three, Black Death Sathanas – Our Lord’s Arrival. The song features samples, massed backing vocals and a labyrinthine compositional approach. Despite lasting for less than three minutes, the track feels like an epic, so packed is it with content. To achieve an effect like this takes consummate skill and application. Certainly Abigor can feel satisfied with their work on this one track alone.
I feel some long term fans of Abigor may find this album a disappointment in terms of orchestration and ambition. I certainly do not, and feel it is a worthy addition to the band’s already-impressive ouvre.