CD Review

V/A – “Abdullah / Dragonauta”

By Marcus Pan

Abdullah / DragonautaAnother black metal release perhaps? That’s what crossed my mind when I pulled this one out of its envelope. Around since their first album, Snake Lore, dropped in 1999 the group signed with Meteor City Records[1] and released their self-titled CD in 2000 and Graveyard Poetry in 2002 under their banner. Dueling up with Dragonauta, a black metal outfit out of South America, they now drop a split CD with them here in ’05 under the Dias De Garage Records banner.

The CD is split down the middle, with Abdullah opening it up with six tracks and Dragonauta taking the latter five. Abdullah’s work is smooth and dark, more a goth rock style with heavy metal influences the likes of Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath. Deep and resonant, opener Seven Doors is spectacularly produced and while slower its power is in its makeup rather than its speed. Blistering guitar solos drive the track faster to its end before we go into Grey Sky Faith.

Grey Sky Faith is more speed metal in the Metallica vein, except before they sold their souls to corporate America. Blossom is a guitar rhythm thing over some background samples and it’s a very interesting piece before going into Brightest Day with cool smooth vocals and very catchy riff work. It’s another example of power-without-speed, built from the quality of the musicianship itself like what they did with Seven Doors. Killing For Culture shows the band’s capability with a thrashier and faster song, very heavy and slamming.

With Ramera del Diablo we move into Dragnauta’s portion of this split album. They pale in comparison to Abdullah, but they can hold their own I guess. Ramera del Diablo is heavy and thrashy and moves more to the Impaled Nazarene[2] side of the black metal books. Revolucion Luciferiana has some very good guitar work within it, very technical and sharp. Reminds me of Suicidal Tendencies.

Letargo Espiritual gets kind of funky in a stoner rock sort of way. Nice bluesy guitar opening. Bruta Vu gets weird and sounds not as well produced because it’s done live. Likewise with this split CDs closing track, Tomegapentagram. On the whole Dragonauta tend to noodle about a lot during live sets, losing one’s interest (or at least mine) after the 5th or so minute of bippidy guitars.

This isn’t a bad CD. I can’t help feeling that the time for Abdullah’s metal, as good as it is, has kind of left us a while ago. Sure it’s still around, but will it ever be what it once was when Iron Maiden’s 25 foot Eddie scoured stages and Ozzy bit the head off of bats back in the olden days? Probably not – but enjoy if it’s your thing. Can’t go wrong with this split CD, you get American born and bred well done heavy metal and a taste of South American thrash – Suicidal T style.

God I miss Suicidal T…

Contact Information:
Post: PO Box 159, Richfield, OH, 44286, USA
[1] A Legends Magazine favorite.
[2] IN’s live release, Death Comes in 26 Carefully Selected Pieces, was written up in Legends #151.