Abyssus have been taking the underground old-school Death Metal scene by storm in recent years, culminating in their début album Into the Abyss and their recent compilation Once Entombed…. Fast becoming one of my favourite old-school Death Metal bands, I wanted to know more about these Greek death-dealers…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
Greetings!! I am Panos Gkourmpaliotis, the guitarist of Abyssus, an old school death metal band from Greece. Abyssus formed in 2011 by the vocalist Kostas Analytis, just to glorify the Metal of Death!!! I entered the band in 2012 and Kostas Ragiadakos (bass) joined us in 2015. Abyssus is just our passion for 80s and 90s Death/Thrash Metal.
Give us a bit of background to Abyssus
After the release of our first EP “Monarch to the Kingdom of the Dead” (2011) it was about time for the band to have a solid line up. We played some live shows and we recorded a few split releases (No Life in the Coffin with legendary Nocturnal Vomit in 2013 , “From the Abyss Raised the Morbid” with mighty Morbider in 2014 and “Obscure” with Slaktgrav in 2014). The songs included in the split with Morbider were remixed and remastered because we were completely disappointed with the sound of that release. The result was “Summon the Dead” in 2014 , an EP released only on tape. For many years we were giving final form to our style. In 2015 we entered Unreal Studios, one of the best studios in Athens and we recorded our début album entitled “Into the Abyss” (released in 2015 via Memento Mori) and some split releases that already came in 2016 and some others that will follow soon.
What are your influences?
Our influences are all those epic bands from 80s and 90s that served old school Metal with respect and passion. Bands like Bolt Thrower, Death, Asphyx, Autopsy, Obituary, Possessed, Massacre, Benediction, Death Strike, Cancer, Slayer, Sodom, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory.
This period am listening to Rapture’s début album called “Crimes Against Humanity” and “Ways of Enclosure” by Dementia 13. Both are great albums! Don’t forget to bang your heads with “Exterminate!! Annihilate! Destroy! by Down Among The Dead Men. Hail to Dave Ingram , one of the best Death Metal vocalists ever!!!! Bow to none!!!!
Give us a bit of background to Once Entombed… – as a collection of your older work, how did this release come about?
Memento Mori and Κunal of Transcending Obscurity cooperate on album promotions. So we met him! Transcending Obscurity celebrates with us and honours our first days with “Once Entombed…”, a compilation that shows the evolution of the band through the years. Most of our early releases are difficult to find, so it is a good opportunity for someone who wants to get in touch with that stuff. So far our collaboration with Transcending Obscurity has been more than excellent. Kunal is a metal maniac and we couldn’t be more satisfied with the result !!!
How do you go about writing your songs – has this changed over time?
Me and Kostas Analytis write our own stuff and then we shall get in touch to play to each other the new ideas.. We are partners in crime!! Until “Summon the dead” Kostas Analytis was the main composer of the band and I had less responsibility on that material. That was something that changed after “Summon the Dead” so to speak , as and I am responsible for the biggest part of “Into the Abyss”.
To me, your EP Monarch to the Kingdom of the Dead is stylistically and sonically different to what came after – what prompted this?
Our first EP “Monarch to the Kingdom of the Dead” released in 2011 and as I talked, when Abyssus began to act was just an one man band. As it is logical Kostas Analytis had a different view from me. But we found a common path somewhere in the middle and this is the so called evolution of Abyssus from “No Life in the Coffin” till now.
What’s your favourite song on your début album and why?
My favorite song off “Into the Abyss” is “Echoes of Desolation”. It’s probably the most “epic” song on the album , so to speak! The one that evokes more emotions and makes you get into a different kind of dimension.
What does the future hold for Abyssus?
Right now we are working on new material! Very soon our début album “Into the Abyss will be released on vinyl format via Floga Records and a 4-way split on 7” vinyl, with Death Courier / Slaughtered Priest / DreamLongDead. Also we’d like to play live our music in the near future , as two years have gone since our last live performance!
And finally – how ace is Death Metal?
After a long time that passed from the glorious 90s, prevailed mediocrity in all genres of metal music!!! As Asphyx said on “Deathhammer”, pollution begins!!!! Decades after, we see the streams of great releases coming out one after another and we are really excited about that. We believe that Death Metal must remain pure and old school as it had begun!! We respect and we admire so many legendary bands that kill again and of course new bands that defend the old sound with passion and true inspiration! Hail true Death Metal.