Abu Lahab
(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions)
When the Face of the Lord Is Split Asunder (2010), 6/10 (demo)
Conversi ad Dominum (2010), 7/10 (demo)
As Chastened Angels Descend Into The Thoracic Tombs (2011), 6.5/10 (mini)
Moths from the Silver Reich (2012),
We Beheld the Last Contraction of the Seraph (2012), 7.5/10 (mini)
Humid Limbs of the Torn Beadsman (2012) , 7.5/10
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Morocco's Abu Lahab emerged as one of the most original acts in the field of industrial black metal with a series of devastating lo-fi demos.

Actually, When the Face of the Lord Is Split Asunder (2010), with no drums, was in the vein of Dead C's wall of noise, notably the anthemic prayer Accursed Are the Compassionate that is completely covered in distortion. The most intriguing piece was the eight-minute As Daylight the Beneficent Creeps In that, instead of sheer madness, opted for an eerie soundscape built around sound effects and samples.

Conversi ad Dominum (2010) was a bolder statement, emphasizing the extreme elements over the moderate ones. The brief abstract gothic overture Hellish Spheres already signals a shift towards the irrational. The outbursts of black metal in Izraak Rbbi Ibogd get entangled in a jungle of industrial noises. From here to the unabashed chaotic noise of Mephitic Asymmetric Halos, worthy of the power electronics of the 1980s, the step is trivial. The hellish blastbeats of the brief Eyeless Gaze seal the unholy mass.

The six-song mini-album As Chastened Angels Descend Into The Thoracic Tombs (2011) marks Abu Lahab's official debut.

Moths from the Silver Reich (2012) only contains three brief futuristic vignettes: the android vision of The Void Resonates, the floating drones and samples of Grasp the Abyss with Petrified Palms and the expressionist melodrama The World is a Sea of Blood (that ends with a folk song). This EP represented the peak of Abu Lahab's anti-musical side. This was not rock music, not metal, not industrial. It was a visionary art of pure sound.

The five-song mini-album We Beheld the Last Contraction of the Seraph (2012) contains the super-twisted dissonant epileptic swirling tribal And No Health Was Left in Us, one of the most delirious dances of the era, interrupted by desperate cries only to indulge in a grotesquely distorted pounding coda; and Sharpen the Tooth of Thanatos, a combination of musique concrete and industrial metronomy.

Humid Limbs of the Torn Beadsman (2012) topped even their wildest aberrations. The six-minute Carve Hope Out of their Bellies is a supersonic blender of spastic blastbeats, monster bass, squeaking guitar, electronic noise, and mentally-insane screams. Burden of Senses juxtaposes a limping drumbeat, an ear-splitting electronic hiss, an angelic choir and an anti-melodic distortion. After the brief vignette of industrial machinery Jeed II, the frenzied free-jazz jam Dissolution is devoured alive by psychotic vocals and laptop-like dissonances. The otherworldly noise and tribal drums of Apathy Chord ambush a child's nursery rhyme before the morbid vision is engulfed in galactic drones. The eight-minute instrumental Cope with the Third Eye is a prolonged hallucination that does not employ violence or extreme noise as much as repetition and tension. Each element is somehow out of order (the irregular drumming, the looped guitar riff, the subaquatic electronic sounds) but the whole is actually unusually compact and geometric. It's their version of minimalist music. The closer, Thanatos Persists, is a futuristic android techno for post-human discos. There is little metal left in these chaotic pieces, and even fewer industrial overtones. There is simply an impressive amount of neurosis and hysteria. The world has rarely looked so ugly and hostile.

(Translation by/Tradotto da Davide Carrozza)

I marocchini Abu Lahab emersero come uno dei progetti industrial black metal più originali con una serie di devastanti demo lo-fi.

In effetti, When the Face of the Lord Is Split Asunder (2010), senza batteria, seguiva la falsariga del muro di rumore dei Dead C, soprattutto l'inno-preghiera Accursed Are the Compassionate, tutta coperta di distorsione. Il pezzo più intrigante era As Daylight the Beneficent Creeps In, di otto minuti, che optava, invece che per la follia totale, per un'atmosfera inquietante costruita attorno a campioni ed effetti sonori.

Conversi ad Dominum (2010) fu più ardito, gli elementi estremi prevalevano sui moderati. La breve ouverture gotica astratta di Hellish Spheres segnala già una sterzata verso l'irrazionale. Le esplosioni di black metal in Izraak Rbbi Ibogd si impigliano in una giungla di rumori industrial. Da qui allo sfrontato rumore caotico di Mephitic Asymmetric Halos, degno della power electronics degli anni '80, il passo è breve. L'infernale ritmo a raffica della breve Eyeless Gaze sigilla la messa profana.

I sei pezzi del mini-album As Chastened Angels Descend Into The Thoracic Tombs (2011) segnano il debutto ufficiale degli Abu Lahab.

Moths from the Silver Reich (2012) contiene solo tre brevi vignette futuristiche: la visione androide di The Void Resonates, droni e campioni che fluttuano in Grasp the Abyss with Petrified Palms e il melodramma espressionista di The World is a Sea of Blood (che finisce con una canzone folk). Questo EP rappresentò il picco del lato anti-musicale degli Abu Lahab. Non era rock, né metal, né industrial. Era arte visionaria di puro suono.

Tra i cinque pezzi del mini-album We Beheld the Last Contraction of the Seraph (2012) abbiamo il supercontorto, epilettico, dissonante turbine tribale di And No Health Was Left in Us, una delle danze più deliranti dell'era interrotta da urla disperate solo per indulgere in una martellante coda grottescamente distorta, e Sharpen the Tooth of Thanatos, una combinazione di musique concrete e metronomia industrial.

Humid Limbs of the Torn Beadsman (2012) superò ogni aberrazione più selvaggia. I sei minuti di Carve Hope Out of their Bellies sono un frullatore supersonico di battiti spastici, bassi mostruosi, chitarre cigolanti, rumori elettronici e urla da manicomio. Burden of Senses associa una batteria zoppicante a un fruscio elettronico spaccatimpani, un coro angelico e una distorsione antimelodica. Dopo la vignetta per macchine industriali di Jeed II, la frenetica jam free-jazz di Dissolution viene divorata viva da voci psicotiche e dissonanze da computer. Il rumore ultraterreno e le batterie tribali di Apathy Chord fanno imboscata in una filastrocca per bambini prima che droni galattici inghiottano questa visione morbosa. La strumentale Cope with the Third Eye è un'allucinazione di otto minuti che impiega tanto meno la violenza o il rumore estremo quanto più la ripetizione e la tensione. In qualche modo, ogni elemento è fuori posto (la batteria irregolare, il riff di chitarra in loop, l'elettronica subacquea) ma il tutto è insolitamente compatto e geometrico. È la loro versione del minimalismo. Il brano in chiusura, Thanatos Persists, è techno futuristica androide per discoteche post-umane. È rimasto poco metal in questo caos, ma ancora meno industrial. C'è solo molta nevrosi e isteria. Raramente il mondo è apparso così brutto e ostile.

(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions)
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