Abigor - Fractal Possession
End All Life Productions
Post-Black/Industrial Metal, Avant-Garde
10 songs (52:44)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Heard the one about the two Black Metal bands that made very similar albums in the same year? In 2007 Norway’s Dødheimsgard and Austria’s Abigor released albums within two months of each other that followed a very, almost suspiciously samey path – taking the whir and atmosphere of Post-Black Metal and tying it to an Industrial Metal sound. Cue outraged Black Metal purists everywhere, and indeed if you disliked DHG’s Supervillain Outcast then you will not appreciate Fractal Possession at all, so stop reading this now. If you did like it, read on.

It doesn’t help Abigor that DHG got there first, and it’s taken a good few listens to both to decide this, but Fractal Possession is the slightly better album, and it’s down to the main difference between the two: approach. Where Vicotnik and co. took a quirky comic-book villain style and song titles like The Snuff Dreams Are Made Of, the Austrians stick closer to the dissonance of Post-Black, sacrificing catchiness for looser song structures and an Avant-Garde feel which can be very disorientating until you’re familiar with the album. It’s also significantly darker, a visit to Abigor’s website confirming the suspicion that they view themselves as an experimental Black Metal band rather than a Blackened experimental band. Yes, there is a difference, and Fractal Possession proves it from first track proper Project: Shadow, the Black Metal rhythms overriding the experimental moments, as frequent as the latter are. Really however, it cannot be stated enough, you won’t find anything approaching old Abigor here.

What we do have is more than worthy of attention, however. The mashed riffing of Cold Void Choir wildly twisting on itself, a Black Metal moment soon switching to what at first appears to be a chorus, but which surprises you with its inability to remain still... you’re never sure where exactly you stand with this album. When that track finally finishes and you’re faced with the momentous build-up of Lair Of Infinite Desperation, it charges you with Blackened percussive patterns whilst electronic effects swirl all around. The bursts of ‘pure’ Black Metal that are summoned here and there are never what they seem, usually harbingers of something even weirder, whether it’s electronica or a particularly weird vocal line. As mentioned, there’s very little of catchiness here, and the album as a whole seems designed to keep the listener guessing, whether it’s the pseudo-carnival atmospherics of 3D Blasphemy which soon change to progressive blackness, riffs coming from all angles and just as quickly fading away, or the initial headbangableness of Vapourized Tears, again, becoming anything but by the time it ends. Songs are not memorable, the album blurs into one long track; all depends on the listener to make sense of it.

Whether Abigor succeeded here or not in their goal is up to you; for me, this is a kind of bastard creation of that great nonentity, Modern Black Metal, something which has an atmospheric drive yet which wrongfoots the listener constantly, never doing what was expected of it, never settling into a recognisable pattern for long. The band obviously wanted this to be an underground experiment rather than their ticket to the mainstream, and yet it’s difficult to see where they’re going to take their sound from here. Fingers crossed that it’ll be as listenable and fascinating as this is, whatever they come up with.

Killing Songs :
Lair Of Infinite Desperation, 3D Blasphemy, Heaven Unveiled
Goat quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Abigor that we have reviewed:
Abigor - Höllenzwang (Chronicles of Perdition) reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Abigor - Leytmotif Luzifer reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Abigor - Opus IV reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Abigor - Nachthymnen (From The Twilight Kingdom) reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
Abigor - Orkblut - The Retaliation reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
To see all 8 reviews click here
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