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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: 3.5/5

Review online: March 19, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating
The Call of the Wretched Sea

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

Ahh, the wonderful world of Funeral Doom Metal. While I don't often delve into the pits of unspeakable, gray-tinted sorrow that this genre typically offers, there are times when I am inclined to put on Thergothon's epochal Streams from the Heavens or perhaps, in my darker hours, Wormphlegm's excruciating, bone-chilling take on its typical sound. It's a mood genre for me, though, and I am usually inclined to play more Traditional Doom styled bands instead.

However, that isn't the point of this review; Ahab is, and The Call of the Wretched Sea, their debut effort, has been making waves (ha ha) amongst fans of this sort of music since its 2006 release date. For those who, gasp, don't already know about this band, their thing - I won't try to call it a gimmick, as it's woven into the music well enough to suggest otherwise - is that they're obsessed with Herman Melville's literary classic Moby Dick, using it as both a lyrical topic and a jump-off point into a watery, serene musical landscape created out of what would've otherwise been a pretty generic Funeral Doom band. Ahab have all the trappings of Funeral Doom firmly in place, from the rolling crescendo of heavy, distorted doom riffs (played at half the usual speed for the Doom genre), the echoing, Earth-shaking drums, and the low, underwater-styled gurgling vocals, with additional flourishes of oceanic melody that makes this a pleasant listen, but aside from a few more "upbeat" sounding riffs and the sound clips on "The Hunt," this really isn't that special, albeit being very listenable and enjoyable for fans of this kind of music.

I like this album, but it's not as good as some people make it out to be. I cannot fault Ahab for simply being what they are, though, which is Funeral Doom Metal, so I'll just say that this album has all the strengths of its genre and all the weaknesses as well. If you've heard Tyranny, you've heard mostly everything Ahab has to offer. The lyrics are excellent, though, I will give them that.

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 Lars Christiansen)
Review: The Divinity of Oceans (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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