May 082012

(TheMadIsraeli recently went on a reviewing rampage. We may have one from him every day this week. Today’s review focuses on “The Giant”, the new album by Germany’s Ahab, which will be released by Napalm Records on May 25.)

Doom metal is a genre that is often hard for many to accept or buy into.  I get why.  I didn’t even start to appreciate it until only last year when I forced myself to sit down and really listen.  In the end, I found it to be ideal contemplation music, music to which I could meditate about my life.  It’s not so much depressing as I find it to be the soundtrack to introspection, often the introspection of one’s mortality and shortcomings.

Funeral doom, however, is where my love for this style really shines.  If you aren’t going to be chaotic and frantic, you best be as morose and macabre as possible.  Four bands have accomplished this for me with the most powerful of results: Mournful Congregation, Colosseum (R.I.P), Pantheist, and Ahab.

Ahab’s new album The Giant continues their tradition of seafaring melodic death doom.  Their music has always penetrated my soul to its very depths, but The Giant is a whole other beast entirely.  An added strong presence of stoner vibes is evident throughout, creating something of an otherworldly experience akin to drowning yet not feeling or experiencing any of the fear, pain, or frantic desperation.  You are simply accepting.

The Giant is only six songs long.  That may not sound like much, until I tell you the shortest song is about eight minutes and the longest is about thirteen.  Ahab have taken a much more introspective and dynamic heavy approach this time around, crafting a journey that leaves the listener feeling like that lone shipwreck survivor holding onto a single plank of wood, floating in the middle of the ocean, hoping he’ll find land soon. Continue reading »

May 022012

Here is a typically random round-up of interesting items that cleverly captivated my eager eyes during my ludicrously limited last break from the jacked-up job that plentifully puts bread on my tilted table, unlike this NCS job, which only feeds my spirit. And the pleasurable purveyors of entertainment in this post are: Ahab (Germany), Nachtblut (Germany), Stam1na (Finland), and Ne Obliviscaris (Australia).


NCS writer TheMadIsraeli turned me on to this German doom band at some point last winter. Doom is still a taste I am slowly acquiring, and I can’t say that I’m yet able to consume it in large quantities at a single sitting. However, at the right time and if properly prepared, I do find it tasty. And though I haven’t explored the discography of Ahab in depth, I’m interested in their new album, The Giant.

The band have used their music to explore dark literature with a nautical theme. The Call of the Wretched Sea (2006) was devoted to Melville’s novel Moby Dick, and The Divinity of Oceans (2009) was a soundtrack to the 1820 sinking of the whaling vessel The Essex, an event that partly inspired Moby Dick and was also the subject of a great more recent book, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. It appears The Giant will follow at least a somewhat similar nautical path. Continue reading »