Abyssus will always hold a place in my heart as they were the first band that I had ever reviewed music for with my first webzine that I was working for before Moshville Times. Abyssus had released a compilation album of all their earlier material called Once Entombed in February 2016, with their heavily Obituary influenced death metal. I remember commenting that vocalist Kostas’ growls were the closest ever sounding to, in my opinion, the best death metal vocalist of all time, John Tardy of Obituary fame. The music also did a lot of talking and I remember giving this release a rating of 4.5 out of 5. Exactly two years later, Abyssus have released their next EP called Unleash The Storm and it has a tough act to follow. Thankfully after repeated listens, Abyssus are as strong as they have ever been and this Greek band can now concentrate on their next full length which will be due later this year.
Opening track “Operation Ranch Hand” starts with the heaviest sounding guitars, reminiscent of early Obituary and when Kostas spits his venom all over the vocals, you do think twice as to which band you are actually listening to. The drums from Jan are mid-paced while persistent strumming from Panos and Chris on the guitars make this rib cage shake; such is the power of the riffs on display here. The sound of the EP is of the old school variety with the double bass being prominent in the sound, which you all know that I love, and this track will certainly not let you down on that front. The guitar solo is very much Allen West like but don’t let this take away from the professionalism of what Abyssus are doing, as there is enough originality to keep this listener very happy indeed. Great start to this EP and it is probably the stand out track for me.
“Unleash The Storm” is the second and last of the new songs. It begins with an Obituary style riff with the vocals going as low as Kostas could make them. The song starts off slow with the rhythm section of Jan on drums and Kostas making this extremely powerful and reminding me of listening to Cause of death for the first time. There is nothing technical about Abyssus; what all you get is good old fashioned death metal the way it was meant to be. There is also some resemblance to Autopsy and Bolt Thrower here and there in the track, particularly when it is slowed down, so there is plenty here for the old school fan to enjoy.
The remaining three songs are covers of bands from various artists starting off with “Rite of Darkness” from scene originators Bathory, which for the first time really does give bassist Kostas clear air to be heard, showing that he is a very competent bassist supporting Jan on drums. This choice of song from Abyssus sums up their sound as there is nothing technical sounding in the song, it’s just sheer power and head banging music at its best.
Next we have different scene originators Venom with their classic song “Warhead”, which again is a very straight forward song to play in terms of technicality. It’s power that Abyssus are interested in and once again, they pay homage to their influences with pride and pay it off very well indeed. The final song is a cover that I least expected but again Abyssus are paying homage to their influences and on this occasion it’s a band that have been plying their trade for over forty years in the metal scene, Manilla Road. Abyssus even make this sound like Obituary and if you don’t believe me, listen to it yourself and see what you think. All three covers have been played extremely well and can be seen as an added bonus for the listener.
Abyssus have teased us all with just two new songs before their full length album Death Revival, which is due out later in the year. Their two opening songs were certainly enough to whet my appetite and I’ll wait impatiently for the full length album. Abyssus have once again released quality songs that make this listener smile from ear to ear and reminisce for the old days. Oh I so wish I could have them all over again!
Unleash The Storm is out now