Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Label: Cacophonous Records
Holy riffageddon, Batman! Enter Abyssos, one of the most rifftastic bands in black metal. Every song this band has ever written is so jam-packed with cool guitar licks that I swear they're not even human. This was the first of the two albums released during their unfortunately short-lived career, and its sequel is of equal quality, so I decided to go with this one due to it being the band's original full-length effort. Now, before I continue, let me get this out of the way: this band sounds nothing - and I mean nothing - like Cradle of Filth, and the only reason people make comparisons is because they have lyrics about vampires. Really. That's it. There's no mallcore to be heard here, only top-notch, headbangin', catchy-as-hell melodic black metal. This stuff is guaranteed to have your air guitar flying and your head flailing, yet manages to retain a dark, misty atmosphere. There are sparse keys and a touch of clean vocals (both male and female) here and there, but they're used in strict moderation, which means Abyssos simply rely on their incredibly kickass riffs and ineffable knack for fantastic songwriting. Sure, the album cover is cheesy, but it's obviously rather tongue-in-cheek, and this really is gimmick-free music that exerts first-rate ownage of its own accord. These guys had their art honed to a science before calling it quits, and it yielded spectacular results. Overlooked and underrated.
For fans of Sacramentum, Dissection, Aldaaron, and Vinterland.