I’ve reviewed Greek death metal lords Abyssus before, with their debut record ‘Into the Abyss’ being a favourite of last year. 2016 sees the band releasing a compilation of their split materials with bands like Morbider, Slaktgrav and Nocturnal Vomit, as well as their debut EP, on this release through Transcending Obscurity Classics.
If you’ve become a fan of Abyssus and their sludgy, Obituary influenced death metal, then ‘Once Entombed…’ is going to be right up your alley. Savage riffs meet a Tardy-esque bellow and a thunderous drumming performance. There’s a number of great covers on here as well, from acts like Slayer (‘Postmortem’), Asphyx (‘Deathhammer’) and best of all, Death (‘Sacred Serenity’). The Death cover matches the band best, and their take on a lesser known Death track is excellent. But their original material is, for me, the true highlight.
Tracks like the grinding rumble of ‘Morbid Inheritance’, the Swedeath ravage of ‘Summon the Dead’ and the Obituarian chug of ‘Remnants of War’ showcases the traditonal death metal worship that Abyssus brings to the table. Their particular brand of death metal pays tribute to all the legends, but yet still feels fresh and well written. Their Sodom cover also fucking kills hard, as does the brutal ‘Days of Wrath’. The Bolt Thrower power behind the tectonic ‘Unleash the Storm’ is so heavy you’ll feel it for days, while the machine gun battery of ‘Servants to Hypocrisy’ is another highlight.
I thought that this might feel a bit like a collector’s release, but actually, being such a new band, it feels almost like we have a second release from them early! I’ve had two albums worth of quality material from Abyssus in the past few months, and I must say, what they do kicks my ass every time. Playing pure, no frills death metal is somewhat of a rarity these days, and Abyssus bring us the brutality plain and simple. Now just sit back and enjoy that beating!