Ahab have definitely evolved over the years from a Funeral Doom band to a Progressive Doom band. Add in their obsession with everything nautical and they are really a fascinating listen. Their latest opus “The Boats of the Glen Carrig” has them building on their last release “The Giant.”
For me, Ahab are a prog metal band that plays doom. What does that mean? The overall structure and pace of their music fits within the doom genre, but the nuance and epic feel of their music could only be done by a prog metal band. Listen to the opening of the second track “The Thing That Made Search” to hear what I mean. They alternate between a melodic beautiful sound which is like a serene, almost still ocean surface on the opener “The Isle,” before the big waves crash into you with super heavy riffs. Ahab are slow, methodical and still quite doom but not even close to being Funeral Doom anymore.
At times, they remind me of another progressive doom band, The Prophecy who have also evolved over the years from their doom roots. Ahab vocalist Daniel Droste has the most guttural death vocal around and it works extremely well during those crushing moments in each song. “Red Foam” showcases that power but even has the music stays heavy, his clean vocals are part of the power of the song as well. His voice is stronger than ever on “The Boats of Glen Carrig” and the melodies are better as well. Again,”The Thing That Made Search” has an amazing clean vocal as does every track really! This not only makes those quieter moments more beautiful but that contrast makes the heavy moments even more brutal.
Musically, there are big riffs and even some killer guitar solos like on “The Weedmen.” Overall, the music fits the mood of being lost at sea. Sometimes calm and tranquil before being thrown around slowly, yet violently. Lyrically, the album is based on the 1907 book, The Boats of the “Glen Carrig” by William Hope Hodgson. A very interesting topic for a metal album but when you consider Ahab’s obsession with the deep, it is a perfect setting. The album is also damn near perfect as well! Also, the album artwork is flat out incredible.
1. The Isle
2. The Thing That Made Search
3. Like Red Foam (The Storm)
4. The Weedmen
5. To Mourn Job
6. The Light In The Weed (Mary Madison)
Label: Napalm Records