Abigail - The Final DamnationRemember that awesome review of BarbatosStraight Metal War a year ago? Remember those silly lyrics and song titles? Remember checking out all the bands referenced because you’re a sick son of a bitch? Well, here’s Abigail, another one of Yasuyuki Suzuki’s sick and twisted metal outfits. Well, technically, Barbatos is one of Suzuki’s other bands—considering Abigail has been destroying eardrums and sexual fantasies since 1992. For these last twenty-four years, Suzuki, et al. have made a career out of old-school black/thrash/punk metal that will (for better or worse) exist forever. For those new to this Japanese monstrosity, you’re either gonna love it or hate it. And if you do end up hating it, just keep in mind, Abigail hates you too. That being said, feel free to hate the shit out of this. Because, let’s be honest, most of you will anyway.

If you do choose to take the plunge into Abigail‘s discography, know this: not a single one of Abigail‘s albums are worth a damn. Even so, I can’t help but adore their first two releases (Intercourse & Lust and Forever Street Metal Bitch“). Forever Street Metal Bitch, in particular, is an enjoyable exercise in Venomism. Unfortunately, the band chose to steer away from the filthy, punkish Darkthrone/Venom sound following that release; instead, focusing on a more black/thrash approach. Fucking Louder than Hell wasn’t too bad, but Abigail‘s exploration into the piss-drunk world of thrash and black resulted in two full-lengths and 176 splits that reeked of a beer-fest latrine. I can’t say their newest album, The Final Damnation, is much better, but at least their return to a more black/punk sound makes it enjoyable.

With the redirection to a blackish/punkish sound the band is actually “good” at, songs like “Sex & Metal” and closer “Holocaust by Evil” actually rule. And that’s saying a lot considering that “Holocaust of Evil” is seven-fucking-minutes long, but it’s the most complete song the band has ever written. It has blood-thirsty rasps (as only Suzuki can deliver), vicious guitar work, melodic segues (wait, what?), and kickass guitar solos. “Sex & Metal” also partakes in the melodic qualities of The Final Damnation. Opening the song with some gentle guitar leads and impressive soloing, the track heads off to a chorus styled around a Fenriz vocal delivery. It’s actually done well, producing a nostalgic, old-school murmur in my sick, old heart.

Outside these two tracks, everything else is pretty standard stuff. Opener “The Final Damnation,” “Open the Gates of Hell,” and “No Pain! No Limit!” bash your brains in with a black/thrash barrage, while “Whiskey Coke and Bitch” and “Sweet Baby Metal Sluts” will have your eyes rolling in your head. If you already know the band, you know what to expect. The guitars are nasty, the vocals even nastier, and there’s no accountability for anything said or done.

Abigail 2016Unfortunately, the vocals on The Final Damnation drive me crazy. Not so much because of Suzuki’s vocal style (you get use to that over the years), but because of the way they were recorded and produced. They’ve been doing this since 2005’s Ultimate Unholy Death and every time I hear his voice I long for the raw vocals of their debut. But if you enjoy the sound of a dull hacksaw cutting through galvanized roofing, you’ll be good. The other thing that stands out is the band’s need to end every song with a solo. And there are two problems with this: first is the predictability it creates across the album and the second is that the solos are way too good for the music. Obviously, it’s not a bad thing the band has a capable guitarist. But, excluding the album closer, it’s comical that all this impressive shredding exists on The Final Damnation. But, predictable or not, these solos do make the album better.

Abigail may never make a masterpiece, but I have to admit I’m kind of impressed by their newest offering. OK, so maybe the word “impressed” is too much in this case. I suppose it’s the kind of “impressed” I would feel if I saw a bicyclist getting pitched over their handlebars and somehow manage to break every bone in their body while leaving their face unscathed. If you never liked Abigail, then don’t bother. But, if you’re as sick as I am, you’re going to have fun with Abigail‘s newest Damnation.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Websites: nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/ABIGAILBARBATOS
Releases Worldwide: August 22nd, 2016

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  • Reese Burns

    No link to the lyrics? Those were the best part last time.

  • Dead1

    It starts off reasonably promising but then the vocals kick in. Musically it’s very cool though.

  • Iain Gleasure

    Did the Dr. review this because he thought it was a King Diamond Tribute band? That’s what I thought when I saw the name…

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Haha!! The whole staff thinks that. But no.

    • :))

  • chitownproud85

    I can accept the fact that “this” exists. I cannot, however, accept the fact that Barbatos(the band), exists. This review, led me to that one, which led me to the embedded track, which led me to WHO THE FUCK EVEN KNOWS WHERE WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT…

    This embedded track was fine though. Sounds like some 80’s Bathory worship stuff, nothing new, something old, and something alright with me. The ridiculousness of the whole thing, though…fucking priceless. Heavy. Fucking. Metal. This is why we are here, folks.

    • Dead1

      Not sure why it was ridiculous?
      There’s plenty of retro/blackened speed/punk thrash metal bands out there.

      • chitownproud85

        “OK, so maybe the word “impressed” is too much in this case. I suppose it’s the kind of “impressed” I would feel if I saw a bicyclist getting pitched over their handlebars and somehow manage to break every bone in their body while leaving their face unscathed. If you never liked Abigail, then don’t bother. But, if you’re as sick as I am, you’re going to have fun with Abigail‘s newest Damnation.”

        k?

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          I’m not bashing. This is fun stuff and I love it.

        • Dead1

          Glad you like it.

          I think the music’s great but the vocals suck. Production’s a bit muddy too but it’s tolerable.

          I’m a fan of retro/blackened speed/punk thrash by the way.

  • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

    Is anything on this going to top “Fly to the Sexual World”? Seriously, I still rock that one out about once a month.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Sadly, no.

  • Martin Knap

    Reminds me I have one of their albums on tape and never listened to it
    :-P

  • Ciprian Ouatu

    Off topic: hitting the refresh button hoping to see the “Sorceress” review. Since friday.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      If AMG writes it, I’m calling it now. 3.5/5.0. Something along the lines of “follows in PC’s pursuit, a little less cohesive and consistent but has wonderful moments strewn throughout. Production doesn’t reach the glorious highs of PC (insert Sir Mix-A-Lot joke about the low end) but is solid enough. A fun time, no alcohol required. Will probably get an honourable mention at the end of the year or appear in the lower half of the top 10 because it’s grown on me.”

      • GardensTale

        I’ll raise you a 4.0.

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          I’ll say I was torn between predicting a 3.5 and a 4.0. PC was a royal gush-fest

          • Reese Burns

            Haha, y’all are crazy, Blackwater Park’s where it’s at. That said, I agree with almost everything you just said. They’ve got an incredible bunch of musicians, who never get a chance to shine.

      • SuzyC

        I wouldn’t want to venture a guess as to AMG’s assessment, but seeing as I’m about the Angry One’s age (I was 12 when Iron Maiden the Album came out), about his metal-temperment, an unapologetic fanboy of all things 70’s prog, and I’ve been along for the Opeth ride for 19 years, I can offer my opinion. Seems as good a place as any…Ghost Reveries was a redoubtable 4.5 for me, Watershed a spottily good 3, Heritage an unfocused 2.5, Pale Communion a very satisfying 4.5, and Sorceress is a frustrating 3. The songwriting is much better than on Heritage, and Mike’s vocal performance is the best of the post-Watershed records. However, vast swaths of the record are just the man and his acoustic guitar, which I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t have such a stellar group of musicians working with him. I’m left wanting songs to “kick in”, and mostly they just don’t.

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          Interesting insights. I’m a considerably younger listener (I was 10 when Watershed came out), and my views on Opeth’s discography are thus wildly affected by current trends. Ghost Reveries is undoubtedly my favourite release, with Pale Communion not too far behind in the order, and I agree that Heritage is not a great album by any standards. That all being said, I hardly feel like Sorceress is poor enough to warrant being a frustrating 3 in light of the incredible PC. The acoustic passages are executed near-flawlessly, and ultimately suffer less issues than the full-band sections (namely production and disjointed songwriting). There is a lot of acoustic tomfoolery for certain, but that in essence made the full-band segments feel even more emphatic (personally) than they would have been devoid of these dynamic shifts (Strange Brew being a great example, and also being one of the best Opeth tracks I’ve heard in a good while). I did some comparison between PC and this, and PC is rife with acoustic passages and interludes. Both have roughly 20 minutes of segments either acoustic driven or not including the whole band. This is excluding the two live tracks on PC. Sorceress simply chose to on average opt for shorter tracks, and give a few more of the interludes titles, rather than push them into longer songs as seen on PC, on which the 8 studio tracks span 56 minutes. Sorceress has 11 tracks spanning 57 minutes.

          This is a bit rambly but hopefully my points are clear enough. Honestly felt some of the segments on Sorceress kicked in nice and proper, and would also say the interludes here are better than those on PC for the most part.

        • AndySynn

          I’d possibly agree with a 3. Maybe even a 2.5 (which is, literally, “average”). There’s some good moments, but most of it is just… ok. It’s neither particularly inspired nor particularly inspiring. Which is unfortunate as PC had raised my hopes quite a bit!

  • OzanCan

    The band photo actually says it all…
    xD

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Bah! Humbug! You don’t know what you’re talking about, this is great.

  • Treble Yell

    I… I think I need to buy this. It’s kinda awful but strangely compelling. It also makes me think of Detroit Metal City which brings a smile to my face.

    • Zadion

      SATSUGAI, SATSUGAI SEYOOOOOOOO

  • Excentric_13073

    I don’t know if I want a whole album of this, but it’s fun owing to the atmosphere dripping with sleaze and booze.

  • Bart the Repairman

    Leads at the beginning are painful. Tune tour guitars, f*&^ers!

    Also, DR5 which sounds like DR2. I will pass this time.

  • brklyner

    This wouldn’t be half bad if the production wasn’t such absolute shit. I have very little time for bands that sound like shit on purpose. Why bother?

  • Treble Yell

    Alright, I bought this on Bandcamp and have just just finished listening to it… it’s good! You know, attitude goes a long way and there’s something strangely endearing about this drunken mess. The “fuck it, one take is good enough” live-in-the-studio recording adds to the fun. This is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Nothing amazing but it does make me smile. I would love to see ’em live.