Abyssus - Once Entombed (compilation)
Review by Trevor Proctor.
Abyssus is a Greek death metal band formed in 2011, between then and 2015 they released number of EP and splits with their debut release being the “Monarch to the Kingdom of the Dead” EP which came out in 2012. Since then they released three split recordings and a further EP before releasing debut album, “Into the Abyss,” in October 2015. “Into the Abyss” was received by media and fans alike with a fair degree of positivity and helped bring the band to a wider audience than before. Just released from recently established label, Transcending Obscurity Classics, is “Once Entombed” which is a collection of material previously released on split and EP recordings.
There’s a mouth-watering nineteen tracks for your listening on Once Entombed, which features their split with Slatgrav, the “Summon the Dead” EP, their split with Nocturnal Vomit, their debut EP “Monarch to the Kingdom of the Dead” and a further two tracks in the form of covers from Slayer and Death. This compilation places all nineteen tracks in reverse chronological order and as such tracks and illustrates the evolution of this very promising band. Also, as stated, another factor that makes this release even more worthy of support is the fact it’s the debut release from new label, Transcending Obscurity Classics, which is a sub-label of India’s pioneering label, Transcending Obscurity. Once Entombed was released at the end of February and the albums artwork, which is the creation of MFA, also features on a recently produced t-shirt.
Not to be confused with UK extreme underground band, Abyssal, Abyssus’ name is inspired by the Latin phrase “Abyssus Abyssum Invocat,” which means “Deep calls to deep” and is taken from Psalms 42:7.
There's little or no need to separate and dissect each period/release covered in this compilation as it’s just too good from start to finish to start comparing each release featured individually. Once Entombed is laced with quality from the off and aside from a very slight difference in sound quality between some of the recordings, which could only be expected given the time between releases, there’s very little to separate the most recent tracks from the older ones. Many have been quick to lazily compare the band to Obituary but there’s so much more going on here than mere Obituary worship. Admittedly, there's an obvious similarity between logos and granted, when you first hear Kostas’ vocal on opener, “Phobos,” you can’t help but compare the style to John Tardy but there’s also traces of raw d-beat/crust/punk leanings and influences at play quite often, a fact perfectly illustrated by their second track which is a cover of The Exploited’s “Chaos is My Life.”
Also, throughout this lengthy compilation, which spans fifty five minutes, there are a lot of varied influences to be heard with third track, “Morbid Inheritance” along with the likes of “Left to Suffer” and “Unleash the Storm” showing thrash influences more than any style of Death Metal. There’s also a number of great covers to be heard on “Once Entombed” and when you consider the bands covered - The Exploited, Sodom, Asphyx, Death and Slayer you can sum up what to expect from Abyssus’ own music.
If you like top notch old school death metal peppered with loads of first rate thrash and some d-beat/crust/punk elements thrown into the mix for good measure you’ll love this – an absolute gem of a release and one that’s well worth getting as it’s fifty five minutes of quality music that flies past, and the reason it flies past is this variation in sound and style.
Obituary clones? Absolutely not. 8.5/10.
01 – Phobos
02 - Chaos Is My Life (The Exploited cover)
03 - Morbid Inheritance
04 - Summon the Dead
05 – Sacrifice
06 - Remnants of War
07 - Outbreak of Evil (Sodom cover)
08 - Days of Wrath
09 - Remnants of War
10 - Left to Suffer
11 - Unleash the Storm
12 - Deathhammer (Asphyx cover)
13 - Servants to Hypocrisy
14 – Reprisal
15 - Left to Suffer
16 – Compromised
17 - No Tolerance
18 - Sacred Serenity (Death cover)
19 - Postmortem (Slayer cover)