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Review: Ahab - The Call of the Wretched Sea
The Call of the Wretched Sea

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 67:38
Tracks: 7
Genre: Funeral Doom

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: February 25, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
The Call of the Wretched Sea

Rated 4.27/5 (85.45%) (22 Votes)

OK, so how come someone didn't think of this sooner? The marriage of Funeral Doom with lyrical topics surrounding the story of Herman Melville's Moby Dick I mean. What better could capture the monolithic sound of funeral doom than a lyrical topic incorporating the vast expanse of the ocean, the untamed mysticism of its colossal environment and the monstrous creatures that were rumored to have lived within its waves? Ahab are certainly on to a winner here, and they most definitely have the music to back it up.

Ahab have managed to capture the remote loneliness of the book and the bleak misery of Captain Ahab's adventure to kill the monstrosity that was the great whale Moby Dick, so much so that it actually makes a great accompaniment to reading the novel (if you're so inclined), mirroring its emblematic utilization of the book's true meaning of mankind's struggle for deliverance against almost immeasurable odds. Crushingly depressive chords chug and crash from the low tuned guitars while the secondary guitars twist almost eastern sounding melodies over the taunting desperation, showing a glimmer of hope. This doesn't hold back on the overall feeling of blissful hopelessness however, which places a stranglehold on the listener for the albums near 70 minute length. There's a great use of acoustic interludes which exacerbate the oceanic feel of the album (see 'The Hunt' in particular, used throughout the best part of the song and coupled later on with dramatic synthesizer), as it instantly helps you to visualize the yawning vastness of the ocean, with notes hollowly ringing into the distant fog with no sign of land for days. The vocals reflect perfectly the secluded joyless atmosphere of the book, with torturous muted growls of utter wretchedness in the main, mixed with the occasional cleanly sung passage, giving an almost dual personality to the narrative of the vocalists.

For a fan of Funeral Doom, this offers a new aspect to the usual lyrical topics; and when taken in hand with the music offered up it makes for an excellent combination. Whether they can back it up year after year with similar topics remains to be seen, but for a debut album from a relatively new band, this is more than impressive - and you must check it out. Now.

Other related information on the site
Review: The Boats of the Glen Carrig (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Call of the Wretched Sea (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: The Divinity of Oceans (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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