Author: Brendan Blake
- Artist: Abigail
- Album: Forever Street Metal Bitch
- Year of Release: 2003
- Country: Japan
- Label: Drakkar
- Format: Jewelcase CD
- Catalogue Number: DKCD031/2
And so we come to Abigail’s second full-length studio recording, the tastefully-titled Forever Street Metal Bitch. Yasuyuki Suzuki had spent the intervening years between this and Intercourse & Lust releasing a number of EPs, and a live album, all under the Abigail moniker; but also, importantly, a similarly prolific output with the punkier thrash group Barbatos. There is a marked stylistic shift on Forever Street Metal Bitch, and a cursory look over the recordings Suzuki was making around this period gives you a pretty clear idea about where his head was at.
While the vocals remain harsh (to the extent that they are nearly indecipherable even with a lyric book), there has been a conscious move away from the black metal of the previous album and demo material, towards a much more straightforward thrash metal sound, with prominent influence from the more jagged end of the NWOBHM. The most striking thing about this album is how much it rocks out, evoking Motorhead, early Venom, Kill ‘Em All-era Metallica – all a far, far cry the usual ultra-serious black metal put out by Drakkar. This is a real oddity for the label, but clearly those hardened misanthropes had a moment of madness and thought, “Fuck it, let’s release something for a bit of fun.”
And fun it is, in its own slightly absurd and over-the-top way. I challenge any old school metal fan to listen to this and not air-guitar/drum/headbang at frequent (and possibly involuntary) intervals. The lyrics are beyond ridiculous, even given the language barrier, revolving around the standard tropes of Satan, damnation, being in a metal band etc. with the addition of the horrendous likes of ‘We’re The Pussy Hunter’. With the last in mind, there are at least two different versions of the front cover, neither of which is SFW, and neither of which does the band any favours.
There is a merit-worthy increase in the degree of melody on display, with a particular emphasis on classic rock soloing, and includes contributions from members of the way more interesting Sigh (Shinchi provides extra guitar, and Mirai himself contributes some organ solos and “session vokills”). Most of the songs clock in at under 3 minutes, but I have no problem with that, as this style of music needs to not overstay its welcome. Stand-out tracks include solid rocker ‘Damned In Hell’, the Motorhead-esque ‘Black Metal Thunder’, and the slightly deranged ‘Struggle To Death’.
So I guess the question is, do I really recommend this album (and indeed, band), and if so, to whom? If you’re a fan of that classic 80s collision of NWOBHM, thrash and sort-of black metal, there are far better records you could pick up than this one, but it remains genuinely entertaining in a fairly minor and forgettable way. It’s fun for the half an hour that it sticks around, but ultimately I doubt any of the tunes will stick in the head after it’s finished, which given how catchy the tunes are at the time, might be damning with faint praise. It’s not encouraging me to rush out and buy any more Abigail albums at any rate. Bet they’re killer live though.