Abyssum (Guatemala) – Poizon of God

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.thesinisterflame.com
Released: 2021
Buy Album: https://abyssumofficial.bandcamp.com/album/poizon-of-god
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/thesinisterflame

Band line-up:

Akherra – Drums
Rex Ebvleb – Keyboards, Vocals, Guitars, Bass

Tracklisting:

1. A Cold Whisper Behind the Cosmos
2. The Sacred Abyss… (…of Thelemic Mysteries)
3. Laugh Close to Me, at Your Creation
4. Illusion of Pan (The Spirit of the Woods)
5. Laments of Mystic Lands
6. Be Thou Damned Forever
7. In Darkness WeWill Forever Be…

 

 

Review:

Abyssum are a raw yet sophisticated Guatemalan black metal band on The Sinister Flame label. The group formed in early 1994 and whilst their material is obscure and often overlooked, that doesn’t matter to the musicians, as they care more about their own vision. It’s not important to them if it is at odds with the trends in the modern scene. Nevertheless, The Sinister Flame’s mission is put a stop to the act’s criminal lack of attention. The label will reissuing the band’s cult sophomore album ‘Poizon of God’ on 22 January, 2021. (First released in 2009, but in extremely limited quantities and mostly sold in Central and South America).

If you love the strangely addictive vibes of 90s sounding keyboards mixed with rusty guitars, you’re in for a real treat, here. I have to admit I’m a little biased towards this kind of music as I find its otherworldliness strangely intriguing, perhaps because it brings to mind a time long ago of childlike wonder, and when not-so-amazing instruments were all the rage. (However, I’ll try to be as objective as possible and not to give my life story). Let’s face it, this kind of music is nothing new. Like the synths, everything is very 90s in fact. The riffs are perfectly reasonable but they are very unadventurous. If only they were stronger, the band would have had a great reason to revitalise old forms of music. As their stuff stands is easy to understand why these guys aren’t more successful, but to be fair Abyssum’s material is a little more synth-heavy than most, so they’re not completely unoriginal. Thoughtful acoustic guitars get their time to shine, too.

Despite the lack of innovation, you have to admire the way the instrumental interludes are so basic yet captivating. That’s not easy to pull off. Lesser bands either write music so monotonous it’s rubbish or so complicated it has no charm. Abyssum seem to have found a sweet spot. Their instrumentals may seem to be a bit on the dull side for those who are all about frantic headbanging and nothing else, but they’re great to zone out to when it’s safe to do so. (Not when driving, I mean). I could definitely imagine me listening to the ambient sections when I’m alone and walking at night in a countryside area. (Or the more typical BM sections when I’m running from a rampaging cow – they can be very dangerous). 

In conclusion, this release is a great tribute to early 90s black metal acts, but it barely improves on any of the old formulas in any way whatsoever. It wouldn’t make a great addition to your BM collection because it’s so amazing, but you may want to buy it simply for the mystery and the atmosphere. By that I mean as Abyssum are so unheard of, you kind of wonder what they do in their spare time and what their personalities are like. Do they like roaming forests whilst wielding clubs? If so, why? So let’s hope they never get truly famous. No only joking, good luck to them! To be clear this album is recommended, but only to some. Blast beats, dissonant riffs and screams; you get the idea.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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