Abbath needs no introduction. His work with Immortal was some of the most prolific in black metal history. Dread Reaver marks his third solo album since he left that legendary band and his first since 2019’s Outstrider.
The same crew returns for this disc including bassist Mia Wallace, recent member of international metal band Nervosa. Abbath’s solo style is very reflective of Immortal’s sound from At The Heart Of Winter going forward, a lot of melodicism within the confines of black metal.
Abbath’s famous froggy vocal style is heard on the entire album plus his excellent axe work. He’s even been referred to as the “Elvis of black metal” by High on Fire’s Matt Pike.
The heavy riffing doesn’t stop for the duration of the album as “Acid Haze” is just as prominently heavy as “Dream Cull” and the late title track. “Dream Cull” has a little bit of the Motorhead fire and after a soft introduction comes off as muscular motorcycle ride through hades, flanked by Abbath and crew. It’s certainly one of the more well-rounded tracks on the album, giving you all the proper heavy metal foundational feels.
The latter half of the album also features a cover of the classic Metallica track “Trapped Under Ice”, feeling somewhat fitting for our grim and frostbitten black metal friend to cover in context of the album. It sounds a bit darker and distorted than the original, but still extremely heavy and expertly executed.
Abbath is not one to sit idly by and have extreme music wait for him. Dread Reaver marks the return of the undisputed king of black metal doing what he does best, riff with the best of ‘em and leave ‘em wanting more. Dread Reaver is exactly the kind of record Abbath fans would want to hear in 2022.
(released March 25, 2022 on Season Of Mist)
Heavy Music HQ Rating:
Watch Abbath – “Dream Cull” Video