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Ahab: The Call of the Wretched Sea

While the cover painting of the new CD from Germany's Ahab might remind you a lot of Mastodon's Leviathan, other than the depiction of Moby Dick, the music on The Call of the Wretched Sea is quite different indeed. Calling themselves purveyors of German Funeral Doom, Ahab are just that. The trio of Daniel Droste (guitar/vocals/synths), Stephan Adolph (bass/backing vocals), and Christian Hector (guitars) have created a huge wall of sound here (no mention of who plays drums on the CD) with mindbending doom riffs, bulbuous bass drones, pounding drums, and deep & slow growling vocals. Instantly I was reminded of early Amorphis and Cathedral, especially due to the use of the growls, slow crushing riffs, and occasional use of keys. Almost every song on the album is epic, not only in scope but in length, as six of the seven pieces are over the 9-minute mark. For some, this might be somewhat of a negative aspect of The Call of the Wretched Sea, as most of the songs meander on and on endlessly at times, with one ponderous riff after another and incomprehensible growl after another. Overall that's often the problem with many of these funeral doom bands. While it would be nice to be able to grasp the lyrics which are obviously about Moby Dick, there's no understanding what's going on here, especially without a lyric sheet. That being said, Ahab certainly conjure up some monstrous riffs here and plenty of creepy atmosphere, especially on tracks like "Old Thunder" and "Below the Sun", each solid examples of powerful doom complete with Gregorian chants, melodic harmony guitar passages, mammoth riffs, and haunting vocal growls. What was really refreshing to hear is the band approach almost Candlemass intensity on the bruising "The Sermon", a song that had moments where they kicked in a little speed amongst the doomy intent. The chilling synths on "Ahab's Oath" add a nice touch to an otherwise ponderous piece, and again I'm left wondering if some of these songs were shortened a bit it might help. That's basically the main problem on this latest from Ahab-there's too much of the same tempo and style here from song to song, and at ten minutes or more for almost every song, it all gets a little monotonous. However, the band is on to something, and they certainly have talent and can create some ominous sounds. My suggestion would be to add some varied tempos and vocal styles, shorten some of the songs, and they might be on to something. Still, it's a promising release, so it will be interesting to see where Ahab goes from here.


Track Listing
1) Below The Sun (11:45)
2) The Pacific (10:07)
3) Old Thunder (9:54)
4) Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales(1:52)
5) The Sermon (12:36)
6) The Hunt (11:13)
7) Ahab's Oath (10:11)

Added: August 20th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Ahab Website
Hits: 4573
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Ahab: The Call of the Wretched Sea
Posted by Anaconda [ITA] on 2007-11-22 03:04:34
My Score:

This album is great, no matter who wrote the review. Excellent debut, I wait new material from these german!

Ahab: The Call of the Wretched Sea
Posted by Lecho on 2006-12-25 17:45:02
My Score:

Man I see that you are not too long in metal scene, and you know nothing about doom metal. How can you compare this album to Amorphis. It is like comparision of Cradle of filth and Dark throne. It means that you are layman. So you should not to write about doom metal.




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