Full disclosure, Ahab is my favorite band. I even went so far as to get an Ahab shirt for Christmas, one which I’ll gladly show off for years to come. I’ve been saving this review for the end of the year, as I feel like it would be a nice closure to 2015. However I found that I really just don’t have a whole lot to say about this record.
It follows the familiar Ahab sound, with crushing doomy riffs (albeit at a slightly more brisk pace this time), coupled with beautiful calming clean vocals, and acoustic passages. On previous Ahab records I felt that they were exploring the notion of wandering at sea, with the waves crashing against your vessel, creating a struggle of man vs water. On The Boats of the Glen Carrig, I feel like Ahab has finally dove into the water, as the cover indicates, giving off a more atmospheric and lighter approach, rather than being sloth like in their riffs, which makes me feel like I’m exploring the vast, colorful landscape of the ocean floor that’s filled with life, rather than the bleak, desolate surface. Ahab has almost totally abandoned the funeral doom aspect of their music, making this much more a post-death doom record than anything else.
It goes without saying that this is a fantastic record, though that’s more due to the fact that I’m not sure if Ahab can produce something that’s not amazing. But, hold on a sec guys. Nalpam Records. The second in command of the Legion of Shitty Entry-Level Records (also know as L.O.S.E.R) right behind Nuclear Blast. So of course they gotta make this more accessible to the avant-teen. In this case, while the tracks are fantastic, they follow an extremely predictable pattern of acoustic intro, buildup, crushing doom section, outro. Every single track does this without fail. There’s none of the subtle variety of the previous Ahab albums. While the sound is great, it overall feels sterile and catered towards mass appeal.
So yes, I feel like this is Ahab’s worst output yet. That isn’t really saying much however, as Boats is still a marvelous record that even when tainted by big industry, manages to stand out above the rest of the Napalmed metal jungle as one of the best doom albums of the year.