I’ll keep the introduction of this band short, for you can find any additional information in any of my former reviews for this stunning project. But it would be kind of me, don’t you think, to add at least a small acquaintance, so here it is. Abigorum is the name of an outfit by Aleksey Korolyov, a very talented and dedicated musician and promotor (and above all: a mostly sympathetic personality, which I truly adore!). He’s the person behind a couple of open-minded and permanently growing labels, such as Symbol Of Domination Productions (currently based in Moldova!) or Satanath Records (from Georgia!), amongst others. The Russian roots – nope, I won’t go into that matter.
Aleksey is a musician as well, being involved with e.g. Satanath or Taiga. About a decade ago, he also started the outfit Abigorum in his former home-city Saint Petersburg. During last decade, some interesting recordings came up (links for the reviews: see below), amongst which two highly interesting collaborations, and at the very end of last decade, two German musicians joined forces. As from then on, Abigorum evolved from a solo-project towards a ‘band’, with Tino Thiele and Sandra Batsch at its ranks. A first result of this collab was the excellent full-length Exaltatus Mechanism, released on Aleksey’s main label Satanath Records in a partnership with Death Portal Studio.
Meanwhile, Sandra left, but Aleksey ‘Satanath’ (drums & percussion, keyboards) and Tino ‘Fluch’ (voices and strings) (also involved with e.g. Trond or Phreneticum [Sandra is part of this band as well, by the way]) decided to continue as a duo. They did compose five new tracks that made it to their second full-length, which got called Vergessene Stille (which means ‘forgotten silence’). The stuff was recorded at the Hell At Satan Studio and got released once more via Satanath Records on compact-disc (also as extremely rare digi-book version), on vinyl (two versions, i.e. ‘normal’ black as well as a limited golden one) and digitally. In the vein of most efforts on this label, it’s another partnership; this time including Duplicate Records and Black Blood Records. And it had been pressed on cassette too (very limited, of course), taken care of by Void Wanderer Productions. The result comes with remarkable (cover) artwork, once again courtesy of the famous / fabulous visual artist Luciana Nedelea.
Vergessene Stille clocks forty minutes and comes with texts in German. Vocalist Tino is this band’s lyricist, so it makes sense, doesn’t it, seen his German roots. These ones deal with life and death, loss and victory, introspection and persuasion, ignorance and arrogance, denial and naivety, translated in a semi-poetic sense. It goes extremely well with Tino’s vocal timbre, which is caresses the listener’s ear-drums with sardonic pleasure. His throat is quite raspy, somewhat wretched and blighted, and damn, that fits so perfectly to the whole concept. There’s so much depth and emotion, despite the rusty, almost nasal tonality.
In the vein of its predecessor, Vergessene Stille is quite doomy in approach. It does not mean that Abigorum do perform ‘Doom’ whatsoever in the first place, but the mainly slow tempo deeply obscures the whole journey. Most of the time, the tempo is slow; varying for sure, but slow. Seen the length of the tracks (with exception of the last piece, the compositions last in between six and eleven minutes), that variation in speed is a surplus, with well-thought yet organically sounding speed-reductions and accelerations. Once in a while, everything seems to burst too, yet not one single time such explosive moments totally blasts towards exaggerated annihilation. In combination with the aforementioned vocals and the droning sound-quality (see further), that pace sort of works hypnotizing, even claustrophobic at moments.
The nucleus of Abigorum’s Black Metal is created around a mesmerizing, dismal and secretive core, often funereal in essence, then again delving deep into dimensions of the mystique. The whole is not purely guitar-driven; the whole instrumental (and vocal) interplay acts like one huge organic entity. Little more than before, the whole comes with a monumental droning attitude, with a pounding rhythm section (those drum and percussion patterns are mind-blowing, the whole rhythm-guitar escort covers the whole in an enchanting mist, and the carefully used synths lift the whole up towards a dimension of wonder and revelation) and well-balanced, addictive leads and melodies. Another fine evolution is that this album comes with a persuasive sense of audacious epic somehow, with a couple of fragments that enter the sphere of victory and valiancy. Alles was geschieht und zerstört hat deshalb einen Sinn; everything was done on purpose, meant to enter the aural realm of advanced eminence.
In a competent way, Vergessene Stille gets injected - unobtrusive and semi-imperceptible, yet with a massive importance - by hints / interludes of Ambient nature. It strengthens the ethos of overwhelming dominion and prestige, canalizing the sonic complexity into majesty and elegance. The craft of the production expands and intensifies that solid result with ease. Actually, the sound-quality stands miles away from clinical decency or surgical grace, yet it never loses its delicate equilibrium behind the album’s mix (the mix of all instruments and voices, evidently). I mentioned the droning sound before, which is sludgy, roaring and prodigious in effect and result. Yet still the album maintains a certain flair of delicacy and equipoise at the same time.
I don’t do EOTY-lists, but if I would do one for 2021, Abigorum’s Vergessene Stille would surely be part of my top-10, maybe even my top-5 list!