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Abyssus - Into the Abyss - 94%

Edmund Sackbauer, October 20th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Memento Mori

For me personally such a thing as “too much Old School Death Metal” does not really exist. I just love collecting that kind of stuff and I am always pleased to discover a new quality band playing that style. Enter this Greek DM warriors who have released quite a bunch of EPs and Splits before things got serious and their full length debut “Into the Abyss” saw the light of day thanks to the well-established Memento Mori label.

Abyssus play a good mix of mainly US style DM enhanced by influences from European bands like Asphyx or Bolt Thrower. The basic riffs are often fast and aggressive but sometimes also slow and stoic. The chords have a pretty simple and straight-forward feel to them most of the time but there are some cleverly implemented variations of the main themes. The lead guitar parts create a lot of atmosphere acting in the background for the most part delivering some eerie and sometimes melancholic harmonies. Of course there are some traditional soloing parts but those are kept compact so that they never distract from the track itself.

The drumming is tight and on point. Most of the time the man behind the kit acts in mid-tempo mode adding a few well-timed fills and blasts but there are several occasions where he puts the pedal to the metal. There are a bunch of sections where the tempo is completely taken out and the music crawls out of the speakers like an undead corpse. Those parts constitute some of the highlights providing a similar dark and oppressive vibe that can be found on several Aspyhx albums. Overall these guys really know how to write a hooky and highly enjoyable DM tune.

Singer and band leader Kostas does a fantastic job with his tone being somewhere between John Tardy and Martin van Drunen. His growls are delivered in convincing and powerful fashion and while he belts out the lyrics with brutality and anger each word can be perfectly understood. His vocals are the icing on this delicious OSDM cake and help ramping up the intensity to another level.

The production is raw and filthy but very dynamic at the same time. The band managed to find the right balance between sounding rotten and putrid but also crystal clear and punchy. While the advanced technical options of this decade have been used to create a great end result Abyssus mainly pay tribute to the glorious music of the nineties.

In the end your enjoyment of “Into the Abyss” will depend on how you answer the question “How much do you like OSDM?”. The innovation level is pretty low and Kostas and his guys do not even make the slightest attempt in reinventing the wheel. As I can answer the mentioned question with “very much” I am more than satisfied with this classy and greatly executed piece of rotten music.