Picture of Abigail

Descending From A Blackened Sky EP

Abigail - Descending From A Blackened Sky EP ©1994 HSB Records
1. Swing Your Hammer
2. The Lord Of Satan
3. Mephistopheles
4. Descending From A Blackened Sky
5. Count Barbatos

When one thinks of extreme metal in Japan, one usually thinks of Sigh. However, there have been other instances of black metal bands from the land of the rising sun, one of which is Abigail. The band's initial EP, a seven inch record called Descending From a Blackened Sky, finds the band in an appropriately raw and developing stage. Considering black metal was essentially still in its early stages in 1993, this record fits in quite nicely. Without a doubt, influences from the likes of early Bathory can be heard throughout. Granted, a massive percentage of black metal bands boast that influence, so perhaps I'm just wasting precious electrons by stating the obvious. Abigail also demonstrates the black metal need to have ominous keyboard intros, such as album opener "Swing Your Hammer".

Descending From a Blackened Sky has a typically thin production, but relatively decent songwriting. This seven incher may not be as mandatory as some other early 90s black metal releases, but for the more dedicated fans of the genre, this is worth tracking down.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2006

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Intercourse And Lust

Abigail - Intercourse And Lust ©1996 Modern Invasion Music
1. A Witch Named Aspilcuetta
2. Confound Eternal
3. The Crown Bearer
4. Attack With Spell
5. Strength Of Other World
6. The Bonehunter
7. Mephistopheles
8. Intercourse & Lust
9. Hail Yakuza

It could be said that Abigail pays homage to all the thrash/speed/whatever metal bands of the 80s, or that Mayhem was a staying force in the band members’ teen years. It could also be said that Abigail is committing blatant acts of thievery. I’m inclined to believe the latter. Their super-speed drumming, death metal-esque riffing, and vocals that sound as if they were recorded through a pillow, put them in league with any extreme metal band of the late 80s/early 90s. Unfortunately for Abigail, this commands less attention nowadays. Their creativity is kept sufficiently in check to allow them to have released a fairly monotonous slab of metal. There are moments of relative innovation, which I’d like to see the band develop; at about the three-minute mark of "Strength of Other World", the band goes acoustic and melancholy. Unfortunately, about 30 seconds later, the riff changes to an inside-out version of Slayer’s “I Hate You”. The worst thing about this album is hearing fleeting moments of potential, waiting for them to be realized, and being utterly disappointed. My favourite part of the album is the too-short title track, which includes xylophone tinking, background “aah” synths and some guy speaking Japanese. The one song, however, doesn’t make up for the remaining thirty-eight minutes of rehash, but if you enjoy death metal, old thrash metal, or Mayhem, you just might like this.

Review by C. LeRoux

Review date: 04/2000

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