Abyssos - _Together We Summon the Dark_
(Cacophonous Records, 1997)
by: Henry Akeley (7 out of 10)
Egad, it's the love children of Dissection and Anne Rice... I had been thinking of poking fun at the cover of this CD (or my promo copy, at any rate), which, according to the band's bio, features "some of the most spectacular Vampyric artwork ever to be seen in this genre." But then, alas, I saw the cover of the new, pathetically titled album from Ancient: a photograph so unbelievably trendy, it leaves the Abyssos cover, which is merely kinda silly, in the dust. Anyway, enough about packaging. Musically, Abyssos sounds uncannily like Dissection -- uncannily like an uncannily large number of other bands from Sweden, I must say. Regardless, this trio does have a great talent for mixing together dark, infectious, wintry melodies; catchy vocal phrasings; and nimble, fluid speed. The best songs (in particular, the first three plus the fifth) contain plenty of excellent riffs and crafty time changes. But, crafty or not, everything on this record follows a musical path that's already been beaten right into the ground; thus, only the best songs stand out as anything special. The rest is too derivative in feel and sound to have lasting impact (on me, anyway), though the quality of performance and production is high. And then there's this whole frilly-shirted, perfectly-manicured vampire routine, which has become quite the trend... Don't even get me started on that.

(article published 1/1/1998)

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