High quality reissue of the album plus bonus LP of instrumental version of the same album. Comes in thick gatefold jacket with metallic gold printing and colored vinyl.
(Review borrowed from Metal Archives)
Abigor are a classic example of 90's progressive/technical black metal at it's prime. They were often overshadowed by the Norwegian scene bands like Emperor, Enslaved, Satyricon etc. and also by fellow countrymen Summoning with their more conventional approach, but all of Abigor's albums contain at least some merit. Songs utilize jigsaw-like technical guitar work which often counterpoint between each other at odd tempo's and songs sprawl out like mini impressionistic masterpieces, many riffs which repeat only a few times per song and interrupted at various points with keyboard/ambient interludes that invoke either paganisitic/medievalish atmospheres and/or cosmic spaciness. It usually takes me some time to digest an Abigor album as their songs aren't as immediately grabbing as other aforementioned bands but I personally think that's part of their strength as there is so much going on this is really sophisticated and ultimately rewarding music that I can return to time and again. Here we have Supreme Immortal Art, an album which follows the very streamlined and straightforward Apocalypse EP by doing the exact opposite. The keyboards here are at full blast which is I suppose in keeping with the time period 1998 when every band was getting the keyboard treatment and reminds me a bit of releases from Limbonic Art, Summoning (naturally due to the excellent and distinctive vocals of Silenius) and of course Emperor in it's complexity and symphonic majesty. While the keys might have turned off some fans I think they are very well suited to the material which utilizes more classical structure than before. There are plenty of arpeggios and interplay between guitar riffs and keys which all goes very well with the longer melodic phrasing that this band likes to utilize. While Abigor never returned to this style again, I see it as ambitious and an interesting experiment for a band that never wrote the same album twice. The guitars here also have the beginnings of an avant garde leaning that they would fully embrace in later releases but here it is still firmly in the black metal tradition with generous nods to the carnival sounds of bands like Arcturus. While they are sometimes criticized for being a band of riffs rather than songs I also think that's a trait common to mid 90's black metal bands like Satyricon or Enslaved who also used to use a ton of riffs per album but in my opinion there is enough compositional cohesion in this to make it work. Where the album really falls flat is the production. It's absolutely horrid and took me quite awhile to get used to. Guitars are muddy (hissy?), the drums almost non-existent and the release overall sounds foggy so as a result I passed it by for years until later realizing it's quality. Not that any of the Abigor releases ever had great production, most sounding like demo quality at best, but oh how I wish the band would remaster this album as I feel it's highly underrated and deserved better as some of the power of the material is buried by the weird production. They've released several demo's and a re-working of Soil of Souls recently (albeit without keys) which show what the album could have been with the right production and might one day be if they decide to fully rework it (hint). If you are a fan of aggressive symphonic black metal then this album is one of the best I've heard. I'm not sure I would say this is superior to the masterpiece that is Nachthymnen but it's pretty close and showcases the bands incredible growth as musicians from the early days. That being said, internal strife between the musicians at this time suggests that the bands consistent vision which started with Verwustung and perfected with albums like Nachthymnen and the almost equally excellent Opus IV had possibly begun to falter here a bit (with Silenius and T.T soon exiting the band and production duties being handled solely by P.K.), but both this and the following album Channeling the Quintessence of Satan (even Satanized to a degree), are very worthy of praise for their evolution, complexity and intelligent songwriting despite their productions being varying degrees of fail.
Abigor "Supreme Immortal Art" Double LP
- Brand: WTC
- Product Code: LP
- Availability: In Stock