Rating:
9.2
Ahab - The Call Of The Wretched Sea
2006


01. Below The Sun
02. The Pacific
03. Old Thunder
04. Of The Monstrous Pictures Of Whales
05. The Sermon
06. The Hunt
07. Ahab's Oath


Have you ever sat in your back yard at night staring up at the stars when you suddenly come to the unfortunate realization that your life is completely pitiful and insignificant? What? You haven't? Then I assume you have never heard this album!

Funeral doom... that's that really boring genre with no face-melting solos and the guitars going too slow, right? Wrong! The name of the game here is atmosphere, and never have I heard a band set up such a perfect atmosphere. Being a man who generally appreciates ferocious riffs above anything else, the word "atmospheric" generally doesn't attract me to an album, but after hearing "The Call Of The Wretched Sea" my eyes were opened to a whole new power some music can have. The tranquil, yet ominous, grandiose guitar leads, interspersed with the occasional heavy chugging "heave-ho!" type rhythm based sections would have made a great instrumental album on its own, but it doesn't end there. Laced in between the fantastic guitar work is some grotesque (albeit fairly unremarkable) growls, and some Gregorian-chant like clean vocals, that both really do justice to the type of scenes they are trying to portray. Now lets not forget the drumming! Though it usually plays its part effectively, yet fairly predictably - slow and thundering, occasionally you'll hear some great speed put into the drum work, while managing to maintain the tempo at a crushingly depressing crawl.

What could possibly be the most impressive aspect of the album is the production. So often it's easy to completely overlook the detailed work of production and mixing in an album, but with "The Call Of The Wretched Sea" its something that is almost impossible to ignore. Great care was obviously taken in having certain riffs faded to give the songs the ocean-like depth they possess, also having certain instruments come forward at certain points, as well as laying vocals behind the music at a lot of points, instead of just lying the vocals flat on top as so many bands do. This album wouldn't be half of what it is without this jaw dropping production.

I honestly couldn't say anything bad about this album that wouldn't be a judgment of the genre itself. Let's face it, this album is just downright depressing, but even if that isn't your thing, at least tip your hat out of respect to the musicians for being able to so effectively put forth this type of atmosphere. If your musical tastes are generally based off of the angriest, fastest riffs, Ahab (and doom metal in general) will probably just bore you. If you're open to being blown away by abilities other than the speed of a solo, then I highly recommend this. All in all a great eye opener, for people such as myself, who are still just beginning to scratch the surface of the world of doom metal.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Band profile: Ahab
Album: The Call Of The Wretched Sea


 


written by Doc Godin | 30.06.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
DerRozzengarten

Rating:
9.4
I bet many of you know the story of Moby Dick that traumatized Ahab and eversince Ahab swore to lead this whale to its doom for all the suffering it caused him, yet the only doom that was lurking was his own and his men that followed him in this dreadful journey in the shadows of the sea, to finally find themselves in the depths of the ocean, in oblivion. But how would it seem to you if a funeral doom metal band covered musically and lyrically this story? I believe it would seem obscure to most of you, but not until you listen to Ahab's debut album, "The Call Of The Wretched Sea". All the answers lie in there and all the signs lead to only one conclusion, this German trio knows how to create overwhelming funeral doom that will strike you down to the lowest parts of the sea.

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published 04.10.2006 | Comments (33)



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BitterCOld - 01.07.2009 at 09:20  
I love the album's peaceful intro before it slams (albeit at glacial speed) into action. nothing like going to bed hammered, hitting play on the iPod, being lulled to sleep, then falling, startled out of your wits, off the bed when it kicks in.

a fantastic album, whose follow-up is perhaps the most anticipated extreme doom release this year.

nice work on the review.

glad to see you've contracted the opening strains of the doom disease. welcome to the club.
Dangerboner - 01.07.2009 at 12:42  
This album is scary as fuck, just like Evoken. I think the originality rating is too high, but I agree with everything else. Good review
Mr. Doctor - 02.07.2009 at 16:13  
Man... I remember when the cd came to my door and I closed my beedroom's door and I listened to it at night.

The intro, damn... I remember how I was loving the beautiful yet eerie as hell intro and the the massive riffs slams me like a huge tsunami, that experience is one of the first thing I remember everytime I hear about this band. No band left me that speechless and afraid like that moment.

And I agree about the production... it helps a lot to get that sea-like atmosphere, when the album stopped I felt so heavy... Like a mass of water was on me and I couldn't move beacuse I was so afraid to drown jajajaja.

And also one more thing... The drummer is AMAZING. When it gets fast it sounds so scary... specially on Old Thunder and The Sermon
Doc Godin - 09.09.2009 at 11:27  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.07.2009 at 16:13

And also one more thing... The drummer is AMAZING. When it gets fast it sounds so scary... specially on Old Thunder and The Sermon

He is. When I saw them live the band had to stop for a few minutes due to technical difficulties. The drummer kept the crowd entertained by playing the intro to Judas Priests "Painkiller". You should have seen the smile on his face when he saw the crowds reaction.
BitterCOld - 28.06.2010 at 09:14  
Not sure if the production is a perfect "10", but in listening to this album (yet) again, it is one of the strongest points.

i love the weight of the drums/guitar riffing/bass... and how the melodic lead bits seem really distant in the mix. the net result is almost as if the listener were sinking ever deeper into the briny deep... getting crushed by the immense weight and pressure of the ocean (the crushing riff/drum production) while the lead is the sunlight glimmering far above off the surface as you slowly plunge to your doom.

"Old Thunder" perhaps best captures this, although it's omnipresent through-out the album.
Dangerboner - 28.06.2010 at 09:22  
Written by BitterCOld on 28.06.2010 at 09:14

the net result is almost as if the listener were sinking ever deeper into the briny deep... getting crushed by the immense weight and pressure of the ocean (the crushing riff/drum production) while the lead is the sunlight glimmering far above off the surface as you slowly plunge to your doom.

That's what I've always said. That, combined with my fear of deep water, makes this a pretty intense listen.
BitterCOld - 28.06.2010 at 09:31  
Written by Dangerboner on 28.06.2010 at 09:22

That's what I've always said. That, combined with my fear of deep water, makes this a pretty intense listen.


it is. personally, i'm more terrified of space... just trying to comprehend the vast distances, dangers and forces at play. the ocean is basically the closest thing we have to deep space within the confines of our home, so it is like "terrifying concept 1b" in comparison. and thus perfect subject matter for a doom band.

SAIL AND KILL!
Cynic Metalhead - 09.03.2012 at 12:33  
It's been fucking 6 years and this album JUST RULES!. Everytime you spin this disc...and Maaan! feels like you've been thrived down by some overweight, behemothic crushing "never seen object" and you dawn in some vociferating slumber..kinda erratic journey...sweating as fuck....and wakes up see yourself YOU STILL ALIVE! and thank Jesus for that. Absolutely brilliant stuff.
R'Vannith - 09.03.2012 at 12:49  
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 09.03.2012 at 12:33

It's been fucking 6 years and this album JUST RULES!. Everytime you spin this disc...and Maaan! feels like you've been thrived down by some overweight, behemothic crushing "never seen object" and you dawn in some vociferating slumber..kinda erratic journey...sweating as fuck....and wakes up see yourself YOU STILL ALIVE! and thank Jesus for that. Absolutely brilliant stuff.


Yeah and it does it again and again no matter how many times you listen! Immense! I hope the new one will be like that.

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