ABIGOR — Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age

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ABIGOR - Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age cover
3.65 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1994

Filed under Black Metal


1. Universe of Black Divine (6:58)
2. Kingdom of Darkness (8:13)
3. Beneath a Steel Sky (1:53)
4. Eye to Eye at Armageddon (5:24)
5. In Sin (4:20)
6. My Soft Vision in Blood (5:51)
7. Weeping Midwintertears (4:45)
8. Diabolic Unity (3:01)
9. A Spell of Dark and Evil (2:04)

Total Time 42:29


- P.K. / Guitars
- T.T. / Guitars, Drums, Bass, Keyboards
- Silenius / Vocals

Guest/session musicians:
- Rune / Keyboards

About this release

Released by Napalm Records, November 1st, 1994. CD limited to 5000 copies.

US pressing had a full colour cover artwork which was also used on the second pressing in 1995

Vinyl version released by Chaos Sacrum Records in 2006. Alternate cover art. Limited to an undisclosed total amount. The white splatter version is limited to 200 copies.

Cassette version released by Division Nordwolf in 2007. Alternate cover art.

Remastered CD version released by Irond Records in 2008. Alternate cover art.

Thanks to adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

On the debut album Abigor might have originally presented a front cover reminiscent of a second-rate trve kvlt black metal outfit out to mimic Darkthrone or whatever (later editions have somewhat more dignity), but the contents took a very different approach. Whilst their demos had been somewhat lo-fi, this was born of necessity rather than a deliberate and aesthetic, and as soon as they had their hands on a proper studio they used to craft this whirling vortex of black metal fury. Early-to-mid 1990s black metal tended not to put a high priority on musicianship, but Abigor were always one of the significant exceptions.
Conor Fynes
'Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age' - Abigor (6/10)

The early 90's were arguably the golden age for black metal, as anyone remotely familiar with the genre will attest. Abigor were a band that jumped on the bandwagon in 1993, and by the following year, their debut 'Verwüstung', or 'Invoke the Dark Age' was released. While much of the black metal years before had not amounted to much more than blastbeats and speedy chord work, Abigor used that mainframe to create something a little musically deeper. This Austrian trio takes the black metal aesthetic to the next level on the debut, although the journey is wrought with faults.

Some black metal bands who did something 'new' with black metal could be often defined in one word. Emperor, for example, brought the 'symphonic' sound to black metal. Abigor are not truly innovators, but they are taking a number of different fresh elements and sweeping them together. Among those, Abigor brings Teutonic chanting, orchestral flourishes and folky acoustics to light. Each of these is done fairly well, particularly in regards to the acoustic guitar playing, which remains subtle. Sadly, the rest of the progressive ideas that Abigor brings to the table are somewhat gimmicky. The fake orchestra sample only appears for a brief moment, and jarringly so. It's moments like this that rob the excellent concepts of Abigor of some of their prowess.

In terms of songwriting, 'Invoke The Dark Age' is best defined by a series of great moments and ideas, rather than overall structure and composition. Abigor's sound is divided between the unconventional elements, and a straightforward black metal sound reminiscent of their Norwegian contemporaries. In regards to atmosphere, Abigor lack the resonance of Mayhem, or the epic gloom of Burzum. One aspect Abigor does excel in is their performance, however. The production is painfully typical, but the guitars and drums play beyond many second wave black metal acts. Thomas Tannenberger displays a profound use of the doublekick, and Peter Kubik's use of melodic guitar lines and powerful solos is very beautiful. 'Invoke The Dark Age' is a very good black metal album, but as one could guess, Abigor would still had much to learn here.
After releasing a string of demos in 1993 and early 1994, Austrian black metal outfit Abigor finally took advantage of the full-length album format with 1994's Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age. Gone are the shoddy production values and average songwriting that plagued their early demos, and in its place is some pretty impressive and even mildly experimental black metal music. Although Abigor doesn't do quite enough to substantially differentiate themselves from the more renowned second-wave black metal bands, they do exhibit an ambitious attitude on Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age; and for the most part, they deliver their sound with great success. This album isn't flawless, but it's a highly promising debut from an unfortunately overlooked band.

Though this may sound strange when we're discussing a black metal record from 1994, one of the first things that grabbed my attention about Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age was how tight and precise Abigor sounds from a musicianship perspective. Drummer Thomas Tannenberger is especially on fire here, and in addition to dishing out plenty of lightning-fast blastbeats, his fills are also some of the most impressive I've ever heard. It's clear that Abigor has really honed in on their craft since their sloppy demo tapes, and their abilities as songwriters have also much improved. Although I don't think Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age entirely captures the dark atmosphere that Abigor was aiming for, there's no doubt in my mind that this is a great black metal album from beginning to end. The mildly technical style of songwriting immediately sets Abigor apart from the Burzums and Darkthrones of the world, and a few folky acoustic sections and synthesizer parts do further give the band a name of their own. I wouldn't say that the synthesizers are used particularly well, and they do often give off a bit of a cheesy vibe, but it is clear that Abigor is a somewhat unique band, even if they don't stray from the norm too often.

All in all, Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age is an impressive and pretty original debut from Abigor. The complex riff structures and twisted sense of melody are a clear signal of a band with a lot of promise, and I'll be looking forward to brushing up on the rest of Abigor's discography in the future. Although I'm missing any truly mesmerizing atmospheres on Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age, the band does deliver enough memorable riffs and progressive flourishes to make this a worthwhile experience for black metal fans. 3.5 stars are well-deserved for this impressive debut.

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