AHAB — The Call of the Wretched Sea (review)

AHAB — The Call of the Wretched Sea album cover Album · 2006 · Funeral Doom Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
German Funeral Doom trio Ahab reveals a plodding sound that gives an impression of the vast depths of the Ocean during this full-length debut. Inspired by Herman Melville's oft-influencing novel Moby Dick, Ahab explores the depths of the blackest of waters, in turn coming up with one of the most impressive interpretations of this tale of the murky depths to date.

You'll recognize both Daniel Droste,(the group's vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist) and guitarist Chris R. Hector as being known for their contributions to both Midnattsol and Penetralia. These two talented players join with bassist Stephan Adolph (who also contributes guitars and vocals), in order to form this behemoth of plodding doom. As the near twelve-minute "Below The Sun" sets the stage for the album with thick, weighty resonations and mournfully melodic guitar work, Ahab articulates sounds of despair that are in a word, massive.

While Ahab is not as slow as many of the Funeral Doom acts hailing from Europe at this time, the fact makes their sub-sonic buzzing and pounding that much more digestible. While "The Pacific" emotes the very essence of what the voices from below the turbulent waves must sound like, Ahab are at once mighty and foreboding.

Meanwhile the mournful, liquid harmony present during "Old Thunder" is surely sufficient to gain the respect of any lover of melancholy, saddening sounds. On "The Sermon," the group opts for more saturation than during other instances and the playing of Droste is highlighted well on the album’s closer "Ahab's Oath."

It must be said that the production here is commendable; especially the tone of the drums, there’s a lot of emphasis on a good kick drum sound, which is a crucial factor in doom, being that individual sounds, while expansive, are much easier to dissert from one another.

Ahab breaks the mold of the general theme of Doom Metal on The Call Of The Wretched Sea, and putting such a well-known story line behind this type of music certainly conjures up a lot of great mental images while listening to the record. Standard-setting in terms of creativity and delivery, this is the album that can bring Funeral Doom Metal before a much wider audience.
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