Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ahab: The Giant

One look at the cover art of this release reveals that this is going to be a little bit different than Ahab's previous works.  Where the past two albums had stunning and realistic paintings for their covers, this one features more of a psychedelic and mythological artwork.  It just did not really look like the Ahab I had grown to love.

But it's not just the cover art that is different.  Ahab has changed things up in the sound department as well with this release.  Where the past two albums were morosely slow and monolithically heavy, this one has moments where it veers dangerously close to traditional doom metal and has a much cleaner overall tone.  It is still slow and heavy, but not in the same bleak way that their past albums were.  This is by no means a complete departure for the band, but there is enough of a change to make it quite obvious.

The album starts off with the very typical slow and haunting build.  Ahab has always used this.  But instead of a crushing riff immediately, the acoustic music continues on for awhile and the singing is done in sorrowful clean manner rather than the gruff roars done in the past.  That heavy riff does kick in eventually.  As do the deep vocals, but the cleaner parts are there to stay, popping up frequently throughout the album.  Ahab definitely focused their attention on adding some melodies to this one.  The riffs are cleaner as well as the vocals.

This album is not nearly as bleak as Ahab's previous works.  There is almost a glimmer of hopefulness with each track, something lacking on their other albums.  Oh it is still very funereal at times, just not as hopeless.  I do not want to give off the impression that I dislike this album.  I like it very much.  It just does not measure up to the other albums in my eyes.

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