ABYSS RECORDS FEATURE #2 by www.metalmaniacs.com


by www.metalmaniacs.com

Well, Dan over at Abyss Records is at it again! He puts out so many quality metal releases that it’s hard to keep track of them all. I usually loose track and let them pile up as I do other projects that I’m behind in. But I just let the Abyss catalog grow to infest my collection and then it comes time to just do a full label feature. Dan is so active and runs such a cool distro that I feel that it’s necessary to cover people/labels like this to let everyone up top in the “main part of the world” what us here in the underground are up to. I also did an interview with Dan last time in feature #1, but this time I will just focus on the releases and do some reviews of each album that I received(either from Dan, from our great friends at Clawhammer PR or from the bands themselves!) So read on and give Dan and Abyss your full support! He deserves it! The bands deserve it! And you will bang your fucking head to these underground gems! NOW READ ON!

by Mike Abominator



Dan was nice enough to send me this band’s demo back in late 2010. It blew me the fuck away. I couldn’t WAIT to hear the full length album of raging Swedish death metal terror. And the album didn’t disappoint at ALL! All 7 of the classic demo songs are on here including the crushing “Born in a Casket” and the deadly album opener “The Flesh is Not Enough”. New songs like the ripping “Necrotizing Fascitis” and the even ripping-er “Twist of a Knife” kill just as much as the old songs do! This has elements of Nihilist/Entombed, Necrophobic, Dismember, Carnage, Interment and the like. It might even be faster paced, more like the old Necrophobic stuff, with a heavier edge to it. Bottom line is that this is one of the best albums of 2012. Fans of old school death metal will eat it up like rotten flesh. GREAT DEBUT BY A BAND TO WATCH THE FUCK OUT FOR!!!!!!!!



Right off the bat, I’m NOT  a fan of the modern/triggered drum sound. But this band from Sweden is good. VERY good at what they do. Their brand of death metal reminds me more of fellow countrymen Nominon than the usual old school Swedish Dod metal. They have a Morbid Angel influence too, even the middle period when MA was still full on death metal in the slight technical style. There is a strong U.S. death metal influence with Fetus Stench, mainly the Floridian sounds of stuff like Brutality and Malevolent Creation. I can hear SLIGHT touches of old Death here and there as well. Maybe a LITTLE Suffocation/Cannibal Corpse. But like I said, these guys are good at it. The riffs are cool and some are fucking awesome. The drumming is solid(even if I’m not a fan of the sound of them over all!) And the growled vocals fit the music very well. 9 songs of solid death to make the sickos happy. “Stillborn Son” is a total riff attack and my favorite on here. Cool album and a nice change of pace for me.



Now you obviously know that I’m not usually into “Pagan/Mythological Black Metal”. YOU DIDN’T KNOW?!?!?!?! WOW?!?!?! hahaha. But I figure if Dan is putting it out, then it must be of good quality. So I gave these guys a spin or 2. PLUS my family heritage is of Irish descent, so we Micks have to stick together! From the start, the opener “Claim Your Place With the Gods” is pure epic grandeur. It’s done very well and it’s very epic sounding black metal. Tons of melody and it’s done right, not “too much” in that sense. Not far removed from the mighty Primordial(not that good, but FEW are!) Also has touches of a black metal version of Amon Amarth, and also parts of Insomnium and Moonsorrow in spots. This, for me, would be PERFECT for a drive up the California coast when it is actually GREY in the sky and cold outside. There is a lot going on here, yet it is all done in a simple way as to grab the listener. There are keyboards and some clean vocals thrown in that even fit well for me! The all out black metal stuff has touches of later Immortal and maybe even middle era Enslaved. This was quite enjoyable actually. Any fan of the more “fantasy” type of metal that includes power/pagan/viking/pirate/wearing kilts/war paint/battle/WHATEVER would dig this album. But any more open minded fan of heavy metal will like this as well!



ANOTHER Swedish band! Dan is buying stock in the country for SURE! haha. This time it’s a tech/death affair. If the drums on the Fetus Stench sounded “modern/triggered” then the drums on this album by Desultor sound like futuristic robots playing this ancient instrument. Not my cup of blood, as I like to say, but very well done. These 2 guys who make this music can play for sure! The music is total, all out progressive and technical. It has a death metal influence. The vocals can be of the thrashy style. But mostly clean and sung clearly. More of a traditional heavy metal style of vox. Interesting for sure. There are some good riffs going around. “Another World” has riffs that would fit on a new Morbid Angel or Nile album. The image layout of the album is all space and mysteries. The lyrics seem to be about these subjects as well. In reality, I think Desultor is just a heavy as fuck power metal band, which is on full display on the song “Denied”. It’s not bad at all. It just gets heavy and thrashy during the verse part, then changes to power chords and a sing along chorus part. Very modern metal sounding as well. Honestly, I think these guys would do very well on the U.S. mainstream metal tour circuit. Not MY style at all, but well done.



What in the fuck is the singer doing after the intro vocal part? Fucking weird man! Like some moaning in pain or some shit. Anyways, these guys are from Latvia. After his creep attack, the singer and the band settle right in with the first song “Black”. It’s all thrashy death with some nice time changes and the drums are all over the place. It almost has a cool “post rock/hardcore” feel to it. Very simple in the delivery, but it plods along at a nice pace. The title track slows it down a bit. Here there are touches of doom metal. I dig the fucking thrashy riff intro into the fast one two beat banging part! Reminds me of Master’s Hammer. This band has those same “different” type of time changes that most Eastern European bands have. Through track 3 I fucking dig this album! This band and this recording remind me of the early 90s demos from Poland and that early stuff that would sneak out of the then communist eastern block countries. It has A BIT of the old Italian and Greek black metal sound at times, in it’s simplicity. The rest of the album is slower and more doom.  But has out bursts of speed and aggression. This is a unique band! I’m reminded of Hellhammer at times. Maybe even the band Post Mortem(“The Coroner’s Office”) This is simple caveman type metal. But I like it. There is just something about it that is hard NOT to enjoy! Plus heavy metal in Latvia doesn’t get much coverage, so good job Dan and Diseim!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to hear more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MIGHTY HAILS TO LATVIAN METAL!!!!!!!!!



And of course another interesting Swedish band. This time an EP. And this time some kind of weird thrashy death metal stuff. There is a slight punky  black & roll touch(a bit of Bewitched maybe.) There are some German thrash elements thrown in here, middle era Kreator with later era Sodom. Interesting and entertaining for sure. The lyrics/story to the opening song “Fuckslut From Hell” is simply awesome and hilarious. Actually the lyrics are pretty damn good throughout. The band is a bit different so I was drawn to check out the lyrics. The layout is almost drawn like a comic book, with a different drawing for each song and topic. The singer is pissed off for sure. Puking and raging the whole time. More hilarity ensues with the song “Not Quite What I had in Mind” which sounds like a sequel to the “Pulp Fiction” rape scene set to a thrashing/grinding metal soundtrack! This is some pretty fucking cool stuff. Very enjoyable when I feel the mood for something different. I will keep this one for my collection for sure! Should be interesting to see what this band comes up with next! This band also reminds me a little of fellow countrymen  Raise Hell and Witchery. But this is better than any of those band’s later material. Good stuff here.



Here we have the first studio album from these legendary weirdos from Norway, the mighty Fester. They basically continued right where they left off when we last heard them. Dan did the killer “Silence” re-issue, so now we have the next chapter with this unique band. The same blackened, prodding atmospheric death metal is on full and dismal yet beautiful display here. And Fester are one of THE only bands that can get away with being “beautiful” and “death metal” at the same time! hahaha. The same old killer riffs give way to melodic parts that will have you headbanging until your neck breaks. The creepy ass band photos in the coffins RULE! SO KILLER! The cover painting is also amazing! If you are already a fan of Fester, then this album is ESSENTIAL and you will love the fuck out of it. For those unfamiliar, Fester festers in somber agony. Very moody and depressed, and doomy without being super slow all of the time. Kind of like early Samael meets Godflesh. The drums are very repetitive and prodding like Godflesh. But there is a big black metal influence here too,mixed with the old 1980s death metal, that really brings a dark atmosphere to this album, just as all of the band’s work does. Great to have these lunatics back and to have a new Fester album here in 2012 after all of these years. Brings back great memories! KILLER STUFF!!!!!!!!!!



Legendary and “cult” are 2 words that come to mind when it comes to fucking Radiation Sickness. Formed in 1987 in Indiana,  RS put out a couple of demos that made some noise in the late 80s, then came my introduction to the band through Uniforce Zine(thanks as always Mark!) and I was able to hunt down their killer 1990 7 inch “Bounds of Reality” on Putrefaction Records. I also remember the band’s killer EP ” The Other Me-A Journey Into Insanity” and a couple of comp/splits by Radiation Sickness, then they faded into the sunset with the other bands that disappeared in that era. These long lost records are GOLD these days. You see, ANY killer band from THAT era of the death/grind underground gets my SPECIAL attention. THAT was my passion and STILL my favorite era of music. So this album rules for me. For those unfamiliar, these maniacs play a sort of crazy death/thrash/crossover/grind style. The paces of the songs and the songwriting itself are all over the place. This release has 7 new songs and also that long lost EP I was talking about called ” The Other Me…” That entire 12 song masterpiece remastered and unleashed for 2012. I do like the new stuff with it’s simple Obituary gone a bit more thrash approach. But I still prefer the old classics. Here Radiation Sickness bring the crossover/grind stuff to the table that would fit well with the early Earache Records releases, from the REAL early catalog like Intense Degree, The Accused and Hersey. It is a more “fun” experience for me over all, as it really reminds me of THAT era that I love/loved so much. Songs like “No Future” and “Disfigured Retard” make me wanna slam around in my room and thrash it! The Suicidal Tendencies is huge on the classic “Escape to Insanity”. FUCK YEAH! And it just goes on and on with the killer death noise! This is a GREAT trip down memory lane for me. Listening to this stuff reminds me of when bands like Chronical Diarrhoea, Blasphemy, Samael, Agathocles, Immolation, Ancient Rites, Santa Claus, Merciless, Impulse Manslaughter, Beherit, Eyegouger and MANY more used to share the same fanzines and tape compilations!!!! Gravehill was lucky enough to share the stage with the legends at this year’s DAY OF DEATH FEST in Buffalo, New York (Radiation Sickness played at the first one back in 1990 as well!) Old school sickos rejoice! AND GET THIS FUCKER NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even some of you new school kids will love this fucker! GET IT NOW!!!!!!!!



Here is an EP from Humangled from Italy. They are mostly mid paced death metal in the U.S. style, with some bursts of speed here and there. Again, another band that is good at what they do, just not my cup of blood. It gets monotonous at times. The pace is usually prodding and mid paced like I said, with some variation here and there. I can hear some influences from the different periods of the band Death. There are some later Pestilence influences as well. Humangled has mixes of old school, brutal and technical death metal within their sound, but don’t tread too far on ANY of those styles. The music is a bit too simple to be too technical, but there are some time changes and arrangements that would appeal to fans of the tech/death stuff. Maybe even a progressive version of the UK band Cancer? Kind of like that at times. Not bad at all. I wouldn’t recommend it, but I know some fans of death metal will get into this. The production here is heavy and very guitar driven, brought out by the one and only Dan Swanö. Check it out if you like that Jungle Rot style of mid paced death metal.



Rocking death metal, rolling corpse fucking music. Might be fun putting on during a Halloween party. Sounds like Danzig jamming with a death metal band. Or like the advertisement says “putrid rock n rott with a black toothed grin” which I can agree with. There is a country boogie to songs like “Necropolis” that sound like Cannibal Corpse and Hank Williams Jr. are playing a bar together. This sounds like Six Feet Under, yet MUCH better! It fucking FIGURES that these dudes are from Finland. Rocking Corpses fit with the horror rock/metal stuff that has come out of that country the last few years. It reminds me of Entombed on “Wolverine Blues”(less distorted ‘heaviness’ though!) Very bluesy and true to the boogie sound the band sets out to honor. Now I fucking HATED “Wolverine Blues” when it came out. But keep in mind those guys did “Left Hand Path” and the Nihilist demos at one point in their career, so it was HARD to accept what they did at the time with “W.B.” And I STILL hate that album. But Rocking Corpses didn’t start out as one of the greatest and one of the most influential death metal bands of all time! So they set out to make this rocking hybrid from the start. Does it work? Well, not for me, but I think people will enjoy this. Like I said, I might put it on at a normal Halloween party. But I wouldn’t listen to this on a regular basis. It IS catchy as fuck though, so give it a spin of ya want something FUN and ROTTEN!!!!!!!!!



This band has former Obituary guitarist Allen West on board. I fucking hated the movie “Shocker”, and this album starts off with a sample from that movie. But once the title track kicks in after the intro, it’s an old school Obituary assault. Very cool on this song! The stomp of that Floridian death metal inspired by Frost/Hellhammer that we grew to love so much is right here. Nice double bass parts that lead the heavy guitar riffs. The vocals are a deeper growl, but fit very well. There is a nice doomy/moody section in the song that goes along well with the prodding, mid paced banging. Next up is “Craving for Blood”. It is a bit slower paced and the rest of the album is pretty much the same Obituary style. The faster part is bad ass. This one kind of reminds me of Massacre. Nothing else really stands out as AMAZING for the rest of the album, but this is a solid debut and has potential. I think this might even be better than what Obituary has been doing the last couple of albums. It is more TRUE to the Obituary sound in my opinion. There are some solid and killer riffs on here. I think the band could speed up the pace a bit and they could enhance their sound overall. There are some fast parts that come up though, maybe not enough for my tastes though. But I like this album and it’s simple attack of old school death. This was MUCH better than I thought it would be as the intro sample threw me off and the name itself isn’t the best. But I will hand it to these guys, if they can keep it going and throw in some more fast parts(which the band sounds awesome doing!) they will be a force! This is cool stuff regardless! Good to see Alan back and killing again! I will recommend this to people that like this sound though. The ancient Obituary sound!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Article link: www.metalmaniacs.com/2012/abyss-records-feature-2/

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