Ahab‘s is perhaps the iconic name in funeral, as well as perhaps the most important in the genre’s economy, among those that have emerged in the new millennium. The band was born in 2004 at the urging of Chris Hector and Daniel Droste, at the time guitarists of Midnattsol, a symphonic folk band in which the vocalist was a very young Carmen Elise Espenæs, sister of the better-known Liv Kristine; it is therefore evident that the two were quite uncomfortable with certain sounds, being naturally oriented toward the darker and less ethereal side of music. The name chosen for the new band was Ahab, the name of the Captain haunted by the white whale and protagonist of the famous novel written by Herman Melville in 1851, and this moniker, over the years, will take on a much more significant weight even in the economy of the sound and lyrics, since the aquatic element will always remain a constant in the band’s concepts so much so that the protagonists themselves will end up calling themselves authors of a Nautik Funeral Doom. With the help of bassist Stephan Adolph, Hector and Droste released in that same year the first single The Stream, a track also contained in the subsequent demo The Oath, released in the spring of 2005, a work still in the norm but already hinting at the potential in the chords of the new Baden-Wutterberg band. In fact, the first full length The Call Of The Wretched Sea (2006) takes Ahab to a far higher plane so much so that it attracts the attention of a major label like Napalm Records, inaugurating a partnership that lasts to this day (which is not so usual, come to think of it). The album is considered by most insiders to be one of the cornerstones of the genre, not least because of the perfect harmony achieved in the musical transposition of the aquatic concept. Indeed, the sounds appear at the same time liquid like the pivotal element of the work and oppressive like an oceanic mass, now placid like a mirror of water without ripples, now furious like a stormy sea. Ahab manage to get us aboard the whaler Pequod, allowing us to observe as privileged spectators the eternal and unequal struggle between man (the Captain) and nature (Moby Dick), but also between good and evil, wanting to go along with Melville’s intent, through the harrowing and disruptive beauty of a series of long but not verbose tracks sufficiently rich in melody and variations on the theme such as Below The Sun, Old Thunder and The Hunt (legacy of the demo), just to name the peaks found in more than an hour of funeral doom at the highest level.
2006 – Napalm Records