Monday, January 21, 2013


Abîme - Échos De Gloire
Oaken Shield, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. Intro
2. End of Hope, Begin of the Conquest
3. Renaissance des Abysses
4. Death for the Slave
5. Constellation du Sens
6. Ode a la Haine
7. L'Appel du Sang
8. Outro

This is a completely random purchase on my part.  The only thing going for this band was that Oaken Shield put this out.  Since I like a lot of the material they have released, I decided to give this project a try… at the very least I might wind up owning all the Oaken Shield releases.  Besides, the album cover has a tank on it and tanks are pretty cool.

The tank on the cover of this album may be the best part of the CD.  This is a horrifically generic project and they’re not even doing something well within the realms of generic.  The guitar riffs don’t seem to be very terrible, so it was tough for me to figure out why I disliked this as soon as I heard it.  I think it has to do with the guitar tone.  The distortion setting on this album feels extremely “noisy”, which detracts from the kinds of riffs they are playing.  If you listen to Blut Aus Nord’s “Mystical Beast of Rebellion” you’ll hear an example of a guitar tone which sounds very good.

As I said before the riffs played on the guitar are actually fairly decent, but they are played far too much.  They’re fairly standard well done riffs, but they’re not epic or awe encompassing, so when you play them for eight minutes you’ve heard them too much.  I think that if the songs were half the length they are on this album it might not be such a daunting listen.  Or, an even better option put some killer lead parts over these riffs.  You can easily make these riffs into some really expansive Black Metal, but that never seems to happen.  All we ever get from Abime is the rhythm guitar and that just isn’t enough to hold this music together.

The drums on the album are also programmed, as far as I can tell anyway, and they are not programmed well.  For whatever reason there is simply no high-hat in the mix.  So when you go into a blast beat section that features the high-hat all you hear is snare.  I can’t tell if there are any crash cymbals in the mix, because the only cymbal I ever seem to hear is the ride, which shows up quite well.  I don’t know how this went wrong in the mixing process…

In the end I feel like this is a fairly lazy album.  There’s really no excuse for this kind of thing in 2005.  Even the booklet is fairly lazy.  It has a tank on the cover, a picture of Yggdrasil on the back and then the interior is all black with the lyrics printed.  That’s all we get for spending money on this.  Perhaps if they had spent more time with this it could have been quite a good album… but that is not the case.  Honestly, I would recommend skipping this, there are better things out there.

No comments:

Post a Comment