Bart M. : When I read the name Aboleth I had a faint suspicion that this was going to be something slightly weird. The reason for this is that I know the aboleth as one of the strangest mythical creatures around, an oversized fish with long tentacles and psychic powers. Some of this is recognizable in the cover art of Aboleth's first long player 'Benthos'. Anyway... This American band released an EP before this and fortunately that was not the last we heard of them.
Aboleth delivers quite a heavy sludge sound, although it would not be fair to just label them as such. There is a lot going on when you listen carefully to the songs and I hear a lot of different musical influences, but it all fits together really well. There are even moments when I would say this is heavy blues rock instead of one of the many interesting metal possibilities. 'Shark Town Blues', one of my favourites on this album, even sounds alarmingly much like a country song. The reason that I really dig this song has everything to do with the face melting vocals of Brigitte Roka, very strong the entire album through, but this song really depends on them and when you listen to that hoarse, raspy voice you have no idea what is going on until it is over, and by then you are most probably already enchanted. But it is not just the voice that makes this band interesting, the music too is solid as a rock. An interesting thing to mention is that guitarist Collin McCoy uses a so called baguitar, which is basically a bass and a guitar in one. Everything put together, Aboleth produces a lovely, dirty sound with vocals that perfectly fit that format. Other highlights on 'Benthos' are 'The Devil' and 'Wytches', both risky and possibly pretentious titles. 'The Devil' could be one of the many not so interesting devil worshipping songs, but it is not! No, it is a wonderful, emotional ballad with fairly matter-of-fact lyrics. Last song 'Wytches' is the perfect closer of a great album: heavy, up tempo, straight in your face, and when Brigitte gets into the zone and starts wailing like a banshee she manages, again, to create an explosion of pleasure in your ears. There is nothing pretentious about this, this is good, honest music, and it is clear that Aboleth possesses the same psychic powers as the creature I mentioned earlier.