There’s one glaring problem in deciding who is the evilest black metal band in the land; namely, most of the bands from the sub-genre are just circus performers at best. Of course, talking about authenticity in the world of performing arts is obviously fraught with philosophic potholes anyway, and that’s not to say that all the unholy theatrics embedded in black metal aren't endlessly enjoyable.
I’m all in favor of stoking the pyre with plenty of inflammatory material, but black metal bands that actually get under your skin are rare. Funeral Mist are a great example of a band that does that well, because the band shreds the nerves, and fellow black metal terrorizers Abigor are another band that sounds seriously and genuinely diabolic. Abigor are most famed for a series of villainous and sacrilegious releases in the 90's, and the band's vocalist during those early years was none other than Silenius, who exited the band and went on to a much-lauded role in Summoning. Silenius is back on board for Abigor’s latest album, Leytmotif Luzifer – although he is listed as a guest, rather than formally joining the ranks – and along with the band’s long-time multi-instrumentalists, T.T and P.K, the trio have crafted Abigor’s best release since their prime.
The essence of pure evil distilled on Leytmotif Luzifer is impressively discomforting. Each song on the album is prefaced with the "Temptation-” tag, should you be in any doubt about the iniquity on offer, and Abigor sound more energized and angry than they have in years. Album opener, "Temptation I - Ego", bursts from the gate with frantic guitars, blast beats galore, and a fiendish vocal line that crawls right up the spine, and on it goes. Sonic chaos is piled on top of thematic horror. Right through to the 11-minute blood-curdling finale, "Temptation VII - Excessus”.
The key to Abigor’s sound has always been in the band’s layering of guitars, and they’re stacked high on Leytmotif Luzifer. It’s all a pyramid of dastardly sounds, with Silenius’ vocals (chanted, spat, croaked and growled) adding to a singular wall of demonic aggression. Even when those walls of noise fall away on Leytmotif Luzifer, and riffs and vocals are less fevered, the album is still deeply unnerving in its overall malevolent mania. Much like the aforementioned Funeral Mist, it’s that sense of black-hearted insanity that pervades all that ensures Abigor remain a credible force for evil.
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