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Let’s just get this review started with Ahab have done it once more! Another masterpiece from these German nautical funeral doomsters who thoroughly deserve all the accolades they have been praised with previously. Also of personal note is the subject matter of this fourth album, the William Hope Hodgson tale of survival horror on the high seas, ‘The Boats of the Glen Carrig’. I’ve been a fan of William Hope Hodgson since sometime in the 80s when, as a young teenager, I was looking for more Lovecraftian writers to satisfy the bug most readers of H P Lovecraft get (which is that there just isn’t enough of his work once you start reading voraciously. You want more and start looking for writers who write similar weird fiction). ‘The Boats of the Glen Carrig’ was the first book I read by Hodgson and its tale of survival at sea was as evocative as it was chilling when the supernatural horror started to unfold. If you haven’t read the tale then I heartily recommend it, just as it was to Ahab by a fan. The band have captured its spirit within their own musical landscape so perfectly.

There is something just so wonderful about the opening guitars - gentle, drifting and mournful with succinct lyrics which set the scene of the boats (lifeboats from the Glen Carrig) idling on a becalmed sea. The opening is truly sublime and rivals the fantastic dreaminess of ‘Below the Sun’ from their first album, ‘The Call of the Wretched Sea’. These moments of calm and beauty in the music are matched by the ferocity and heaviness of their weighty riffs that drag you through the mire, just like the relentless weed-men slowly approaching the camp of stranded sailors on a strange island. There is so much depth on this album, from its calming gently sways of melody, which hypnotise, to their deft touch to build on creeping horror before unleashing those gargantuan riffs such as in ‘To Mourn Job’. Melody is never sacrificed and they use this to carve such depth within their own storytelling, giving the music wonderful crescendos and deft lulls.

If ever there was a band who were suited to tackle Lovecraft’s stories of madness from the sea then it is Ahab. I am aware that they have said for them to do Lovecraft would be too obvious, so taking a book like ‘The Boats of the Glen Carrig’ may be the closest we’ll ever get. The colourful artwork of the album is as glorious as it is obscurely strange and just enhances what is already a definitive 10/10 album. I really do not know how they will top this but, with no misfires yet from the band, the future looks good. This album will be on repeat for a long time, especially as I re-read my battered copy of ‘The Boats of the Glen Carrig’.
Napalm Records
Review by Paul Sims
28th August 2015
1) The Isle
2) The Thing That Made Search
3) Red Foam (The Great Storm)
4) The Weedmen
5) To Mourn Job
"Another masterpiece from these German nautical funeral doomsters who thoroughly deserve all the accolades they have been praised with previously."