Ahab - The Giant
Napalm Records
Doom Metal
6 songs (61:00)
Release year: 2012
Official Myspace, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Jaime
Album of the year
For every type of music there are "feeder" bands. Introductory bands. Bands that you can recommend to people who're neither comfortable nor familiar with a particular genre. Doom metal can be a little bit like that, and funeral doom even more so. With their latest album The Giant Ahab is poised to be that band for what can be an intimidating subgenre. Their continual push towards using their (stronger) clean vocals over their harsher styles is one factor in this, but also the fact that they write some damned good songs that never meander on for the sake of being long and slow. The nautical themes that run throughout their lyrics also seep into the music itself, going from the calm, still waters of Further North's opening strands, lapping across the bow, before setting sail into the grey unknown with its squalls and maelstroms, to Antarctica the Polymorphess, complete with the respite before the twisted storm hits and its weary aftermath. Bonus points are awarded for uttering "adorable" in the chorus here as well. Not that you'll care too much, as the strained, weeping clean vocals that build up to and cry through it. It's that hit that only doom metal can bring, the My Dying Bride of old, Patrick Walker's depressed yet uplifting cries in Warning and 40 Watt Sun, and, here, Ahab.

The latter part of the album kicks it up a notch, if you can call it that, with Fathoms Deep Blue swinging in straight away, almost entering that joyful realm that While Heaven Wept manage to conjure up before growling through the prechorus and sinking into the eponymous sonic abyss. A nice little touch in the "sinking" section (if you will) is the little aqualung breath sound tucked away behind each snare hit before the band comes crashing in. Small, just noticeable, but adds that extra sparkle that ties together the band whole modus operandi. The title track doesn't exactly take things slowly either, with their leviathan riffs forging onwards before the same calm that opens the album breaks the surface for air, and the band take that last dive into the deep.

As a whole the album is difficult to fault. The weakest element is the really low growled vocals, especially when the band has its stronger styles to display, like Aeons Elapse’s withered and weathered shouts, but even so they work for this sort of stuff, slow, gurgling and half the time indecipherable. Production wise the band sound fantastic, with each song given the room to breathe and asphyxiate when required. As a doom fan you need this, not just to listen to, but to get others into the genre as well.
Killing Songs :
All
Jaime quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Ahab that we have reviewed:
Ahab - The Boats of the Glen Carrig reviewed by Andy and quoted 88 / 100
Ahab - The Divinity of Oceans reviewed by Charles and quoted 78 / 100
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