Abyssus - Unleash the Storm - (7.5/10)
Published on May 18, 2018
Greek death metal veterans Abyssus are nothing if not prolific. Formed in 2012, the band has released three EPs, six splits, a compilation, and a full-length. Now the band is back with another EP in preparation for the sophomore full-length which hopefully will be out by the end of 2018. Entitled Unleash the Storm, the EP features one new song, a re-recording, and three covers. While short on new material, the EP does do a good job of representing Abyssus’s sound.
“Operation Ranch Hand” is the release’s new track and it contains all the old school death metal goodness that Abyssus has done so well in the past. Vocalist Kostas Analytis continues to do his best John Tardy impression while the band worships at the altar of Asphyx, Bolt Thrower, and Obituary. The thrashy break around the midpoint of the song is a nice touch, and the lead work is surprisingly atmospheric. We’ll be in good hands if this track is an indication of what the full-length will be like. The re-recording of “Unleash the Storm” also hits its mark. Analytis’s vocals during the chorus are impressively putrid and the oozing main riff would make Obituary proud.
Abyssus has put out some excellent covers in the past (see, for example, their version of Death’s “Sacred Serenity” off Once Entombed…) and they take a stab at three classics on Unleash the Storm. They’re a little hit and miss however. Venom’s “Warhead” gets a slow, rotting makeover that works. Manilla Road’s “Open the Gates” doesn’t fare as well and feels a little clunky during the choruses. The cover of Bathory’s “The Rite of Darkness” stays close to the original, albeit less grimy. In particular, the solo sounds a little clearer in the Abyssus version, but it’s a good cover nonetheless.
Abyssus continues to pump out fun old school death metal releases. Unleash the Storm is a good representation of Abyssus’s sound and has me excited for the upcoming full-length. The EP, despite only having one new track, offers plenty for fans of thrashy, mid-paced death metal.