“Now it is scarcely possible to convey the extraordinary disgust which the sight of these human slugs bred in me; nor, could I, do I think I would; for were I successful, then would others be like to retch even as I did, the spasm coming on without premonition, and born of very horror.”
Disciples of the deep, rejoice: German funeral doom legends Ahab are mere weeks away from dropping their fourth LP, the monstrous and expansive The Boats of the Glen Carrig. Based on William Hope Hodgson’s 1907 horror novel of the same name, it’s another impressive collection of face-compressing riffs, churning psychedelia and hymns to all that dwells beneath the waves.
You won’t be able to get your hands on the album until August 28 (scroll down for preorder info), but until then, check out this exclusive studio video of the epic opening track, “The Isle,” and read a short interview with drummer Cornelius Althammer about the making of The Boats of the Glen Carrig. Oars up!
How soon after [2012’s] The Giant did you start the songwriting process for The Boats of the Glen Carrig? Did you start by writing music or did the lyrical concepts come first?
Cornelius Althammer: As always, we took some time. Between The Giant and this album, it became clear that we needed some time to jam and get rid of stuff in our minds that wasn’t Ahab-related. It took nearly two years of playing shows and jamming until we were ready to focus on writing something new.
We actually ended up dumping the first riffs that we wrote. For us, the special mood comes slowly. We don’t plan these things; they just turn out the “Ahab way.” When we finally started reading The Boats of the Glen Carrig, we began to realize that some of the riffs we were writing sounded like Ahab and satisfied all of us, so it all kind of happened at the same time.
How did the recording process go?
CA: We again recorded at Rama Sound in Mannheim with our dear friend and engineer/producer Jens Siefert. Unfortunately, the studio time was too short—as always, I guess. In the beginning, there were some surprising fuck-ups concerning my kick drum. Luckily, a friend who is a big drum nerd helped by letting us borrow a beautiful 24-inch Premier Bassdrum.
Everything went fine until the end of our studio time, when we realized that Daniel [Droste] would have very little time to record his vocals. Just like The Giant sessions, his singing was the biggest surprise in the studio. He didn’t show us a single detail in advance, so we were all very curious about how he would sing. He overwhelmed us with his astonishing performance. But he paid a price by becoming sick in the studio. And he couldn’t take any more days off from work, so he had a few 20-hour recording days in a row. He looked like a walking corpse by the end!