Totschläger (A Saintslayer's Songbook)
Review by Michael on December 14, 2020.
Abigor actually released a new album secretly, without me noticing anything about it. This year, Inquisition and Beherit have already managed to do that (although I would have been better off not knowing about "Boredom Lives" either). Very strange, I think I'm getting old.....
Well then, before I also forget to review the CD, I'd better get started. The cover is very nobly designed and shows the young Cain with a crown of thorns, who is in a flaming inferno. Fits quite well to the title Manslayer (A Saintslayer's Songbook), because that's what he was with his little brother. And according to the bible also the first murderer of mankind. I actually thought that the cover was designed by Eliran Kantor, but on inquiry the band informed me that it was "only" designed by an acquaintance of the band who paints and restores frescoes.
Musically it remains with the Abigor-typical elements in the first three songs. The first track ('Gomorrah Rising') starts after a short orchestral prelude with a hateful scream and raging guitars and drums. However, Abigor again ensure through many breaks and tempo changes that the song is very varied throughout and thus surprises again and again. In the further course of the disc I was reminded again and again of Deathspell Omega, because Abigor also sometimes uses these dissonant sounds (for example at the beginning of 'Silent Towers, Screaming Tombs'). What I had to smile about was the beginning of 'Orkblut (Sieg oder Tod)', which sounds like a boss battle melody from Final Fantasy, but then the song rises to a real inferno. Sometimes the characteristics of the old Abigor outputs (especially the first three albums) appear in the songs, be it the acoustic passages with flute or also from the guitar riffs and the drums. Also the slightly disturbing song structures they used on their newer albums are used again and again, which thus results in the album becoming their strongest so far in my opinion. Abigor creates a rather oppressive atmosphere that rarely gives you a sense of hope or warmth. Only 'La Plus Longue Nuit Du Diable - Guiding the Nameless' germinates a little hope at the beginning like a small ugly plant (most likely a cactus), which, however, by the vicious growling its leaves or needles directly loses again and at the latest when Silenius roars "Destruction...!" is torn from the ground. The beginning reminds me quite a bit of King Diamond, maybe it's because of the spinet or the somewhat macabre atmosphere it creates. The penultimate track 'Flood of Wrath' often brings back memories of old Emperor, on one hand by the use of keyboards and on the other hand by the vocals, which remind me a bit of Ihsahn.
In the further course Abigor still provides for two thick surprises. On one hand 'Tartaros Tides' sounds quite punky and I somehow have the feeling to have heard it somewhere before. Anyway, the song already sounds a bit like a party (sorry if that sounds inappropriate) but pretty cool in any case! Definitely the catchiest song on the album. 'Terrorkommando Eligos' clears pretty much everything and everyone out of the way and paves its way into the brain of the inclined listener as a crowning conclusion and without mercy. An absolute killer that crashes through a little more than 6 minutes.
My dear colleague Felix, who as you know also writes for MetalBite and Metal Archives, is of the opinion that Abigor makes music for schizophrenics. I definitely don't think so! And neither do I!!
So I have to state, after I already chose the new Sorcier des Glaces as the best black metal album of the year, that Abigor is at least on the same strong level. They have written an incredibly intense album that does not let go in the least and that will probably be heard by me many times in the coming weeks and months.
Rating: 10 out of 10948