Verwustung - Invoke the Dark Age(Napalm - 1994)
One thing in common with all their albums is the large amount of different riffs and complex arrangements. Whether they grab your attention or simply annoy seems to be a very subjective opinion. Also, there are always the untamed, extremely harsh vocals and the primitive sounding element in the percussion on the first albums. The majority of people seem to consider this their masterpiece, but this first album of theirs doesn't quite do it for me. It's incredibly harsh and brutal black metal, but quite boring and lacking the flowing majesty of Nachthymnen. All one is left with is a very raw and primitive sound with un-accessible song structures. The few keyboards are either used for punctuation rather than atmosphere, or are cheesy and boring. There are some flashes of brilliance but otherwise they lose me every other minute; no hooks, no involvement, hardly any musical thread to follow, just brutal bludgeoning of my eardrums. Their most primitive and raw album.
Orkblut - The Retaliation(Napalm - 1995)
Lots of variety and experimentation in this short MCD. More melody as well and many medieval/keyboard interludes. A more 'ritual' sounding album. Still doesn't do much for me at all. Scattered flashes of great music again, but overall I just sit there waiting for it to be over.
Nachthymnen - From the Twilight Kingdom(Napalm - 1995)
More consistent than Orkblut yet more complex as well. When I first got this I found it more enjoyable and interesting, even involving as well. Now I find that it changes day by day depending on my mood and level of concentration. Some songs are better than others and they need attention and a careful listening to in order to enjoy them. The album is hard to follow, and as such, it is not very involving. The potential and talent is almost there, I just can't get as much from it usually. This is out-and-out brutal black metal with furious melodies. Some of the old school is here but they use enough atmospheric keyboards, melodies and variety to classify this as modern black metal. Vocals are of the extremely harsh shriek type and there are some scattered female vocals as well but they drone and aren't very good in my opinion. There is something very primitive sounding about the music and if it weren't for the lyrics I would call this more "viking" metal than black (if there's a difference at all). After experiencing this many times, I found that one can listen differently in order to enjoy the music better. It's hard to explain, but if I move 'back' and follow the music from above (bigger perspective) instead of trying to follow the details all the time, I usually enjoy it a lot more.
Opus IV(Napalm - 1996)
Just when I started thinking there is mostly nothing in Abigor for me, along comes this devastating album. So complex and brutal yet finally involving as well! Some parts remind me a little of the newer Emperor but this is mostly the Abigor unique sound and it is finally under control. The musical path in the songs here are so complex I kept hearing it in new ways the first few times I put it on. Dynamically superb (even more than usual) and harsh as ever, this is the album I personally would recommend. The songs flow this time with a powerful majesty and brutality, blast beats abound yet don't stay long enough to get annoying, and the songs skew off into many interesting paths without losing the flow and structure. Keyboards are used often and well, and the vocals are typically harsh, sounding like they're spewing out of a fiery hole. A superb and underrated album.