One of the elements that had contributed in 2006 to the success of Ahab‘s debut full length had been Hector and Droste’s use of a live drummer, instead of resorting to programmed drums, in the person of Cornelius Althammer, credited as a session man in this work but destined to become a permanent member of the band along with the two founders and bassist Stephan Wandernoth, who in 2008 replaces the departed Stephan Adolph. With an established and stable lineup, a weighty label behind them capable of providing the necessary support and a first full length well received beyond the reddest of expectations, Ahab prepared with the calmness that has always distinguished them for the successor to The Call Of The Wretched Sea. The Divinity Of Oceans fits both musically and conceptually into the groove already traced: on the one hand, Ahab‘s funeral keeps its characteristics intact, with long, articulate songs led by guitar work that weaves harmonious melodies, making up amply for the absence of keyboards; on the other hand, the narrative is closely connected with the Melvillian concept, although the work from which sap is drawn is a lesser-known book entitled Narrative Of The Shipwreck Of The Whaler Essex Of Nantucket That Was Sunk By A Large Sperm Whale Off The Pacific Ocean, written 30 years before the publication of Moby Dick by Owen Chase, first mate of that vessel made to sink by the cetacean in 1820, an event that a few decades later would inspire the English writer in the writing of his most famous work. There is no shortage, however, as is normal for a band of depth, of elements of discontinuity from The Call Of The Wretched Sea, and the most obvious is the recourse to clean vocals, a solution that, if it provides more outlets at the compositional level, also finds some drawbacks when those who are called upon to interpret the songs with this technique are not completely at ease, as happens specifically in this case to Droste, which in many respects also recalls the path of Kostas Panagiotou’s Pantheist, with completely overlapping outcomes. But this turns out to be only a minor imperfection within a context that is again invaluable, starting with Yet Another Raft Of The Medusa (Pollard’s Weakness), an opening track whose mournful guitar work is not so far from that of compatriots Worship, albeit with less suffocating connotations; another shining jewel in the work is Redempion Lost, a song in which the melody becomes more poignant, melancholic and airy.
2009 – Napalm Records