Abgott - Fizala
Helvete Rec.
Black Metal
11 songs (30:17)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Charles
Archive review
Here is the predecessor to 2006’s Artefact of Madness, one of the more overlooked black metal albums of recent times. Whilst that album can be difficult to listen to at times, at the time it presented a pretty distinctive vision of black metal, and indeed it continues to do so today. Featuring flamboyantly technical musicianship and densely complex song arrangements, it would be an exaggeration to say it took the genre into new territory, because at present they seem to be covering that new ground all on their own. Of course, if you value the more obscure and spectral, atmospheric characteristics of black metal, why would you want to follow them in the first place?

Fizala is a different proposition, although no less odd. The virtuosity here is far less developed, with the music occasionally sounding clumsy, and it is far less extravagant than what was to follow it. It amply compensates for its occupation of this lower technical plane by embracing unpredictability and general weirdness in its songwriting, comparable to fellow Italian purveyors of the peculiar, Ephel Duath. Songs such as Lanrutcon Nyarlathotep seem almost formless, at times sounding like someone whistling arbitrary tuneless fragments to comfort themselves on a dark night’s walk, if they had a fully amped up black metal band inside their mouth.

It’s not all like this, of course. At the heart of this strange procession of quirky riffs and slightly unnerving ambient filler (such as the piano-jabbing closer invoking everybody’s favourite ancient tentacular horror, Cthulhu) is a black metal band that is more classically recognisable as such than the group would become on their next album. The oddness on Fizala, unlike that on Artefact is that which has always lurked in the background of this type of music since the early 1990s, with Fleurety seeming a particularly apt comparison. Abgott, on this record at least, have the same bass-heavy, murkily melodic riffs that reek of mystery.

This is an interesting, rather than inspirational, black metal record, by a band that deserves to be listened to more. Artefact of Madness is a stronger album, but Fizala is more than capable of standing alone as a sick little monument to the bizarre beauty of black metal.

Killing Songs :
Lanrutcon Nyarlathotep
Charles quoted 73 / 100
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Abgott that we have reviewed:
Abgott - Artefact Of Madness reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
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