Ablach – Aon

Ablach, from Aberdeen / Obar Dheathain, Scotland, uses a traditional rune (in the style of a tribal tattoo) on their album cover. I like this because it disengages the normal picture of the band or of some other scene. The image has 6 sides, reminiscent of the Star of David, but still, by its inclusion of the death heads at the end of each point, also evokes the pentagram. Strange mixture. I don’t know what it means. But please recognize there is an understanding of personal violence and earth ending trauma in this band’s style.

The band describes themselves as a crust band in part. To me, “crust” is a label that implies leftovers or something unintentional. I reject that. The band has a systematic sound from track to track. Their guitar riffs do sometimes stand out as guitar riffs, but this band is much more hard-core in its structure than metal. The guitar riffs do not bleed high spectrum noise in a lead style or even much bounce off the wall from either a strum/pluck style or playing through distortion in line with the bass. I noticed this particularly on tracks, “Whisky Violence” and “Bootlicker.” “Bootlicker” and a few of the other tracks do have “guitar” sounds but they are not layered in a way that draws them out as distinctive. I think most of the time I would find this uninteresting. But I have listened to this album about 15 times and find that it gets better with each listen. I think it must have something to do with the consistent hard-core style when the drums play that does it for me.

I also appreciate he alternating vocal style – another element that encourages me to label the band as metal-core and not just metal. I mean this clarity of description as a compliment for sure. The slightly less growly vox make me think of a faster Prayer for Cleansing or Crimson Spectre (a great Marxist hard-core/punk group from North Carolina, USA). But the low end growl vocals are just solid metal growls. I can’t quite figure out a band that it sounds like particularly because they are not totally innovative vox. It is the overall drive of this metal-core band and their reliance on the two styles together that truly exhibits this band’s creativity.

The band is unsigned but their CD is available from Blastwork Records: http://www.myspace.com/blastwork

  1. Gibbetted
  2. Obar Dheathain
  3. Jus Primae Noctis
  4. Na Fuadaichean
  5. Master Faith
  6. Unchallenged Hate (cover Napalm Death)
  7. An Unforgiving Disposition
  8. Whisky Violence
  9. Bootlicker
  10. Confessit & Declait Furth
  11. End Of The World
  12. Fir Alban
  13. Corporation Pull In (cover Terrorizer)


Blastwork Records
Reviewer: Jesse
Dec 3, 2009

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