Article by Johan P.
The Final Damnation could be Abigail’s most worthwhile release since their sleazy blackened speed metal debut Intercourse and Lust twenty years ago. After tons of insipid punk/speed metal releases, more vicious black metal elements have once again made their way into Abigail’s repertoire.
That doesn’t add up to much though, since the band stick to their old songwriting formula of using their patched denim vests as compositional mind-maps. A Bulldozer-oozing part is stitched together with a Black Sabbath-chorus, which in turn leads into a NWOBHM-styled guitar solo and so on. After three or four songs it all begins to drag, as they’ve plundered every possible aspect of Eighties metal without managing to channel their influences into a coherent voice. At this point, the superfluous black metal embellishments, the dirty production, and the annoyingly catchy beer metal choruses do not help.
This album is hollow and shouldn’t even appeal to the nostalgic crowd as Abigail can’t figure out which type of underground music they want to mimic. This indecisiveness is easiest to spot by listening to the singer; he changes his intonation between each tune and sometimes even within a song. Like an insecure teenager he changes his voice depending on his surroundings: is he Chuck Billy? No wait, Bruce Corbit? Nah, that must be Gezol!
Unlike Intestine Baalism, who managed to forge their influences into something both unique and listenable on An Anatomy of the Beast, Abigail fail – like most Japanese metal bands – to express something of their own. Instead they hide behind the usual metal tropes, idioms, and guitar candy. Let’s hope Abigail stick to their words and make this their Final Damnation.