Review ABBATH ‘Dread Reaver’

Norwegian black metal veteran Abbath went through a rough patch in the 2019, including a cancelled South America tour and battling with addictions. Things didn’t really go well at the time and after having left these times behind, Abbath returns with a new longplayer called ‘Dread Reaver’.

The new album features in total nine songs and a glimpse on the tracklist unveils that one of them is a cover version. Metallica’s ‘Trapped Under Ice’ got a blackened Abbath flavor. The frontman doesn’t move away too much from the original version and still gives the song an own touch. Rougher and with the same level of energy, the Metallica classic belongs to the cover versions that honor the original rather being a desperate attempt to gain attention.

Abbath starts with ‘Acid Haze’ into the album, a song with racing speed and a hard-working rhythm section. After such a raging start it is up to ‘Scarred Core’ to keep up the pace, and the following songs deliver. There are no compromises and what Abbath delivers is straight to the point.

The acoustic start of ‘Dream Cull’ acts as an intro to the song and pretends harmony. The moment the guitars take over, the hellish grin returns. The song is a bit slower than the previous two tracks and still carries a lot of heaviness. Driven by a devilish groove, the track unfolds a sinister atmosphere that is more intense than the sheer speed of other songs.

‘The Deep Unbound’ is a ruthless metal smasher with the hard-hitting ‘Septentrion’ being next in line. With ‘The Book of Breath’ and ‘Dread Reaver’ there are two songs at the end of the album that surely belong to the better ones on the album. Especially the thundering title track is a great musical finishing line on the album.

‘Dread Reaver’ shows Abbath again in good shape. The album is a savage metal assault, an unpolished and rough metal release that might not be the best record Abbath was ever involved in. It is more of a well-crafted and heavy return of a key figure when it comes to Norwegian black metal.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Acid Haze
  2. Scarred Core
  3. Dream Cull
  4. Myrmidon
  5. The Deep Unbound
  6. Septentrion
  7. Trapped Under Ice
  8. The Book of Breath
  9. Dread Reaver
  10. Make my day

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: March 25th, 2022

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