Photo by Courtney Breen @chewing.glass on Instagram
Abbath (the band) was formed in Bergen, Norway in 2015 by Abbath (the person; Abbath Doom Occulta). Their genre is Black Metal, but their sound is not that easy to nail down (no pun intended). They are definitely Black Metal. Yet, they fuse German Thrash and symphonic to form a blistering, crushing sound. Combined with the howling, screeching, rasp of Abbath’s vocals and devastating guitar playing, they are definitely distinct in the metal scene.
Abbath (the person) is Olve Eikemo (a.k.a., Abbath Doom Occulta). He, along with Harold Naevdal (a.k.a. Demonaz Doom Occulta), were the founders of the legendary Black Metal band Immortal. As one of the groundbreaking artists in the dark world of Black Metal, Abbath worked with the giants of the genre; drummers like Hellhammer, Armagedda, Horgh, Padden, and Grim; guitarists like Demonaz, Tore Bretsath, and Varg Vikernes; and bassists like Apollyon, Iscariah, Ares, and Saroth; and bands like Bathory, Celtic Frost, and the band the began it all, Mayhem.
Abbath (the band) has had so many different members in it’s short life that only Abbath (the person) is original – the original “Creature” (drums), and a couple of drummers donning the “Creature" mask, bass players like King Ov Hell and Mia Wallace, and several great guitarists (too numerous to mention). As of this writing, Abbath (the band) is: Abbath (the person – guitar, vocals), Ole Andre’ Farstad (guitar), Rusty Cornell (bass), and Ukri Suvilehto (drums).
It is this lineup that I witnessed a few months ago when Abbath (the person and the band) came to Raleigh with Obituary (check-out my show review). H.O.L.Y C.R.A.P! What an awesome stage performance by the band, and an unforgettable performance by the person! Now, if you’ve never seen them, Abbath (the person) reminds me of a much darker, more evil, bringing the hordes of Hell with him, Gene Simmons. Not only the face paint (“corpse paint” for Abbath), but the stage persona and presence is incredible. The band was not overcome by this, however, as each was truly impressive in their own right.
Abbath (the band) has two studio albums, Abbath (2016) and Outstrider (2019). I know that Black Metal is an acquired taste, but Abbath do it well. Especially live! If you get a chance to check them out, recorded and/or live, do it! You won’t regret it!