By Rob Crosbie
I am a big fan of doom but somehow Ahab had slipped past my radar. With their newest slab in my hands, entitled The Divinity Of Oceans, I am about to correct this grave mishap. Some basic research informs me that these guys hail from Germany. The band’s name is taken from the famous novel Moby Dick. Ahab being the captain of Pequod, a whaleing ship out to hunt the great sperm whale. Obviously there’s a heavy nautical theme going on amongst Ahab’s albums as you peruse the cover art, song titles and lyrics. Divinity Of Oceans will be the 3rd and final chapter in what they call the Nantucket Saga (*), The Oath EP in 2005 and The Call Of The Wretched Sea in 2007 being the other chapters.
The Divinity Of Oceans isn’t a paint by numbers funeral doom album by any means. At moments they will delve into the typical, slow chugging, low guttural vocals common amongst the funeral doom genre. However it is usually not long before the song will open up into a very melodic and atmospheric part. Both clean and guttural vocals are used almost equally for maximum effect on Divinity.
Doom purists may be put off by some of the softer more melodic fare on here but I find Ahab’s diversity refreshing and adventurous in what can sometimes be a rather monochromatic genre. Like waves that swell and then recede, Ahab seems to have adopted a similar approach to their song craft and for the most part it works admirably. Fans of early Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost would do well to look into this album. Ahab have speared themselves a winner with The Divinity Of Oceans.
(*) – The Essex was an American whaleship from Nantucket, Massachusetts. She was 87 feet (27 m) long, measured 238 tons, and was captained by the 28-year-old George Pollard, Jr.. She is best known for being attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean in 1820. The incident was an inspiration for Moby-Dick.