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Review: Ahab - The Divinity of Oceans
Ahab
www.ahab-doom.de
The Divinity of Oceans

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 67:36
Tracks: 7
Genre: Funeral Doom

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: October 2, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
The Divinity of Oceans

Rated 2.91/5 (58.18%) (11 Votes)
Review


I was a big fan of Ahab's 2006 debut The Call of the Wretched Sea. Here at last was a band doing something thematically different as well as musically ambitious. True, going to Melville for inspiration may be a bit pretentious, but at least it hasn't been done to death. So I was looking forward to their sophomore release with great anticipation. Initially I found The Divinity of Oceans to be a disappointment and set it aside. Now revisiting it more than a year later I still find it a disappointment, but better than I initially gave it credit for.

This is Funeral Doom, so the stylistic variations are only within a narrow range. The riffs are slow, the melodic ideas take their time developing, and the vocals are a rather staid grunt. I find this album less involving than the debut because the band uses much more direct riffs that do not build tension that is held throughout the song. Tension and the suspension of resolve helps carry the music in long compositions, and this album has a rather flat emotional line throughout, so the album never seems to build any suspense or anticipation. Rather than waiting breathlessly for the next part, you are waiting impatiently, wishing they would just get on with it. I don't think the recording is as good here either. The sound is less studio-enhanced, with a more organic sound, but it is also a flatter sound, without the orchestral space of The Call of the Wretched Sea. This also serves to reduce the excitement, making the whole effect of the album rather flat and uninvolving.

I wanted to really love this, but a different songwriting approach and less lively production has produced an album that is hard to really pay attention to. The constraints of Funeral Doom mean there is constant danger of producing boring music, and that has sadly happened here. Individual parts of this are quite good, but overall the album is too drawn out and uninteresting.


Track Listing:
  1. Yet Another Raft of the Medusa (Pollard's Weakness)
  2. The Divinity of Oceans
  3. O Father Sea
  4. Redemption Lost
  5. Tombstone Carousal
  6. Gnawing Bones (Coffin's Lot)
  7. Nickerson's Theme
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 Call of the Wretched Sea (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
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