Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 100
    The scope and breadth is startling. [Oct 2004, p.94]
  2. Two masterpieces. [Dec 2004, p.158]
  3. An entirely unique return to form.
  4. As a word of warning, though, this brilliant, but lengthy double album may not be the best beginner's guide to Nick Cave. However, for anyone who is a fan of the duration of his career, this album rewards the listener with a bit of the best of everything he has to offer.
  5. 100
    He gets all beautiful on your ass for the Orpheus portion of this double-disc set, then explodes with a pounding intensity on Abattoir Blues that'll knock your socks off.
  6. Cave... remains a singular sensation. [29 Oct 2004, p.69]
  7. This is murderously good stuff. [25 Sep 2004, p.64]
  8. A fragrant bouquet of melody, light, love and naughtiness wrapped in an unfamiliar joie de vivre.
  9. It’s easy to get over-eager about a decent album that appears after some significantly less magnificent efforts, and perhaps that’s precisely what I’ve just done. But I don’t especially care. What I hear throughout this release, and what I’m latching so strongly onto, is my own imagined version of what a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds record should be like.
  10. 'Abattoir Blues' is weirdly full of wonderment, and - get this - 'The Lyre of Orpheus' is even more joyful! And they both kick Nocturama's arse full of buttonholes.
  11. An aesthetic watermark for Cave, a true high point in a long career that is ever looking forward.
  12. While the first offering holds a quite tangible anger and general gloom within, 'The Lyre of Orpheus is a much more mellow affair, contemplating existentialism and the like.
  13. So fresh, so revelatory, so alive.
  14. The Bad Seeds have not made a record this ambitious, well, ever, and the results are rewarding, thoughtful and challenging.
  15. 82
    This is not Cave's best work by any means, but these songs do showcase his impressive range as a lyricist, performer and musician. [#12, p.100]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Jul 11, 2013
    Overall an amazing album, although it does veer into dangerously adult-contemporary territory on the second disc. I did find myself bored at times, although the aggressive goth songs and Cave's amazing songwriting kept me hanging on. Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2010
    Following a two-album string of letdown records, Cave waters his Bad Seeds and here they are in full bloom. Impressive, back-to-basics and no less zealous than his former work, Cave delivers something uniquely beautiful that only he can deliver in its purest form. Full Review »
  3. madsl
    Mar 10, 2007
    abbatoir blues is a partial return to form for cave after a series of dreadfully bland albums. It's just a shame that the antiseptic production threatens to kill the otherwise inspirational songwriting. The Lyre of Orpheus is cave doing what he has done lately - therefore I don't like it, but it is a notch better than nocturama/no more shall we part - both albums which I strongly recommend music lovers should shy away from..! Full Review »