Abygor The Faces of the Pentagram

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A one-time demo project, Abygor shows us how oftentimes less really is more, and how intuitive black metal exemplifies this when compared to most death metal. Most riffs in The Faces of Pentagram are composed of long, simple melodies down-stroked on the guitar, with riff breaks and transitions that take after Bathory, without the wild abandon of Master Quorthon. The pacing is not fast but not slow, remaining in a waltz-like duple time or a natural, dark groove that allows the listener to ride the evil melody. As with most proper black metal of this kind, that is, atmospheric and absorbing, vocals are reduced to a minimum as we explore, in alone-ness, the moonlit chambers below the watery surface.

An equally minimal synth line sometimes accompanies the guitar, with the only intention of providing a contour to the lonely instrumental voice. This feature is not abused or overused, and it appears not throughout the entirety of any track, except the third, which is entirely synth chord emanation, sparse like the rest of the music and allowing for pauses and space to play a role in the music itself. The demo culminates with ‘Lilith’, right after the synth instrumental, and in a sensible decision, it starts off with clear down-stroke playing and without the soft hint of the accompanying synth, opting instead for a little high-stringed finger-tapped tremolo two notes at a time for effect.

The resulting work by this only Abygor is a simple, perhaps even unsurprising, but effective work of minimal darkness that manages to expand a space with an independent set of basic variables. Those who look for fanfare and external expression as a requisite will find but a desert here; while those who cannot bear the noise and distraction, and who wish instead to be given the whiteness of bones in essence, will find an alluring oasis in The Faces of the Pentagram.

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