SABBAT — The Dwelling (review)

SABBAT — The Dwelling album cover Album · 1996 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
I have a three way tie going when I think of the best 'metal' album ever, between Edge of Sanity's Crimson, Ictus's Imperivm and this somewhat obscure masterpiece. If you are not aware, all three albums are single song ones, of quite massive length. This album however, clocks in at the imposing length of 59 minutes, 48 seconds. That's a lot of time to ask of a listener, and you'd have to expect that it would be worth your time to sit for an hour and listen.

In my humble subjective opinion, yes. Yes it is. The Dwelling stands out amongst Sabbat's discography, not only as an anomaly in its single song structure, but in its progressiveness. There are no real repeated segments, and it all flows as if it is a single continuous track, as it has been mastered as one. That's probably why I've insisted a few times that this album should also be on Progarchives, even if it is a majorly different can of worms to most of Sabbats work.

In an hour length, you'd expect there to be parts of the album that drag or deviate into monotony or predictability, but there are none to be found here. Although I am not as musically literate as some, I will say that the way the album has been made ensures that not a single moment of its impressive length is wasted. Even in the 7 minute instrumentation that fills the middle of the song plays out as a nessersary progression to the story, and remains constantly involving.

The story itself, is probably the weakest point, at least at the beginning, where it seems like a typical bewitching/black metal jam in a sense. However, on closer inspection of the lyrics, the album results in a twisted morality tale, where the actions of the 'protagonist' in the end leaves him haunted and 'doomed', at least, this is the impression I got from reading them.

Black metal, being as niche a genre as there is, tends to have quite incomprehensible lyrics, and in this albums case, this is no exception - however unlike some black metal where the lyrics do not complement the other musical elements, I feel that they are not out of place in the slightest.

If I had to step back and justify my perfect score, I would say there are minute segments that do not work completely for me - such as the interesting vocal approach 7 minutes in. However, being such a short niggle, there's no sense in holding that against the album, and in terms of the flow, it still works to progress the narrative and in the grander scope of the story.

Overall, I think from the black metal albums I have heard, this stands as a distinctive high point, and its obscurity even 15 years after its release is something that should be remedied. Even for those who do not generally like Black Metal, I recommend this album to. It's a good transition album if anything, and is quite a lot more accessible then its single song structure may imply. The time really does fly when you listen to it.

It's on Youtube in its entirety now, and it deserves more views/listens then it has had. But really, buy this album now, it deserves more then the occasional download.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

The Nameless Cry Folk Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
At Glory's End Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
A Dream Of Sailing (Live At Garret) Melodic Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Rebirth Deathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Like The Candles On The Grave Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Tuatha de Danann - United
Tupan· 23 hours ago
Tuatha de Danann- The Nameless
Tupan· 23 hours ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us