Abhor – Ab Luna Lucenti, Ab Noctua Protecti
Label: Moribund Records
Ab Luna Lucenti, Ab Noctua Protecti by Italy’s Abhor is somewhat of an oddity. Take the first song: Softly strummed acoustic guitars, guttural rattling vocals, and minimalist, yet elegant piano shifts into arpeggiation and makes play with strange key modulations. A couple minutes into it, the song changes into more traditional black metal, the piano becomes a cheesy synth, and the drums enter, sounding very artificial. Overall, it’s sloppy, yet not so bad that you want to switch it off (at least on this song)—interesting, even if poorly executed. The organ offers a bit of Castlevania appeal, which makes for vivid imagery, but the production sounds way too digital.
The album is heavily driven by the keyboards throughout. Sometimes it works, but other times it feels out of place. It could be because of the production, but the integration of the synth in songs such as “Echoes of Desperation and Hate” sound disjointed and amateurish. But, funny thing: the album would be super boring without the keys, because the guitar riffs are unimaginative, the tempo is slow and unchanging (probably the worst part), and the songs just go nowhere and blend into each other with perhaps a fadeout being the most interesting transition.
The only redeeming part of the album is the note it closes on. “Aura Ignis Aqua Tellus” is a quiet acoustic piece with retching black metal vocals and atmospheric background ambience. It’s very well done and it was the only song on the album (besides the first track) that I wasn’t waiting to end. If Abhor releases another album, I truly hope they stray from stereotypical symphonic black metal and concentrate on forming an acoustic niche. They were definitely trying to do something different with the synth-infused compositions, but they failed. But perhaps they found something else that’s better?
01. Golden Path
02. Hearing Without Fear
03. Echoes of Desperation and Hate
04. Paranormal Mantric Experience III – Ostium
05. Scent of Sulphur
06. De Vermiis Mysteriis
07. Seven Magic
08. Wind Between Fingers
09. Aura Ingis Aqua Tellus
~Breath of Mozym