Ahab – The Coral Tombs

8/10

Maybe it’s just me getting old but I honestly must say that opening the new Ahab album with one minute of blast beats and “Black Metal”-screaming, although holding some shock value, wasn’t the best idea, at least when it comes to me. Following that outburst of aggression, all things do calm down though, as one of Ahab’s, now day trademarks follows with a calm, jazzy, interlude and all is back to normal on the Doom Metal-ocean again, as the raging storm fades into a soothing breeze!

Those calm jazzy parts seem to take a larger part in Ahab’s sound for each album, and I can’t help to draw a parallel to Swedish progressive Death Metal-band Opeth who, over the years, have become very little Death Metal and very much Progressive Metal, and although Ahab haven’t travelled as far from their original sound as Opeth, I can’t help to feel a tiny bit worried with the development of the sound.

With that said, the calm parts are of course a very important factor to why Ahab, in my book, is such a great band since it sure helps to create that feverish, surging feeling that goes so vell with Ahab’s nautical theme and most importantly create that mighty contrast when, and they still from time to time do, Ahab decides to crush the listener with some ultra-heavy riffing!

Another thing that reminds me of Opeth is that guitarist and vocalist (and captain of the ship) Daniel Droste, for each album, seem to use less growl, in favour of clean vocals, even in the heavy parts and although he, having a magnific voice, manages to create really beautiful melodies, like in the chorus of “The Sea as a Desert”, I sometimes kind of misses his Mariana trench-deep growls that fits Ahab’s Funeral Doom so well.

In the end though, one must admit that Ahab holds an exceptional high-quality level, with not one single bad album, not one single bad song, over the years and “The Coral Tombs” is no exception. With the majority of the seven songs clocking in at over ten minutes, maintaining a high level, is of course of great importance, since there isn’t much room for falter if you want to keep the listeners attention and interest alive.

With seven well written and varied songs, topped off with the highlights in the magnificent “Ægri Somnia” and the earlier mentioned “The Sea as a Desert”, two songs that alone delivers almost 25 minutes of first class Funeral Doom, siting through a lengthy album like “The Coral Tombs” thus isn’t a heavy chore but a delightful pleasure and although I would have loved some more of the really heavy stuff, I can’t do other than ascertain that with “The Coral Tombs” Ahab once again shows that they are unbeatable when it comes to (not only limited to nautical) Funeral Doom!

Artist: Ahab
Title: The Coral Tombs
Rating: 8/10
Label: Napalm Records
Playing time: 1:06:16
Date of release: 2023-01-13
Place of origin: Germany
Standout track: The Sea as a Desert

Ahab – The Coral Tombs

February 8, 2023

With the majority of the seven songs clocking in at over ten minutes, maintaining a high level, is of course of great importance, since there isn’t much room for falter if you want to keep the listeners attention and interest alive.

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