Abysse is a french instrumental progressive metal band of four friends with an EP release and an upcoming album.
In general, the recording of the EP is of good quality: there are some weakness in the drum recording, a bit of unwanted reverb in the snare drum at times. I had to play a bit with my equalizer to get the instruments more balanced. There is a lot of creativity put in those tracks, but one lasting 11 minutes 22 second and another 10 minutes 11 seconds gave me the impression that the music is a bit stretched, being an instrumental band made that more noticeable as usually the lyrics change in repeated or long musical passages. As a first release it is quite impressive I would say. Here is a somehow brief to long overview of the two EP tracks.
I really enjoyed this track, it starts with an ear catching melody that puts you in a never ending desert along the walking rhythm of the drums but not for long though; soon guitars heavily interfere and change the scene to a darker sinister one. Having no vocalist on the tracks lets you imagine the lyrics for every passage. On every passage of this track the lyrics I imagine would contradicts. Two minutes later in the track and the drums and guitar melody reflects the modern more industrial style of metal. Up till the 4 minute mark, the track still evolves differently around a basic melody that you cannot get bored off. After 5 minutes and a half the progressive drumming really appears with contra beats and mind boggling flow. Abysse have worked well on this track, giving each artist his few seconds to shine while still tastefully supported by the other instruments. At about 8:50, a strange beep comes in the background, it sounded a bit weird at first but on a second listen for me it came at the right place. Now at the end of the track (beyond 10:00), it became less interesting to me; it sounded exactly much like most music released on market, a heavy riff and slow doom style drumming. I would rate it 9/10.
One Last Breath
I enjoyed this track less than the first one. There is a vocal “wah” in the background, it is original but for me it sounded annoying (even after several listens). Two minutes gone by and nothing interesting came along until a long break of drums lead me to the set of heavy distorted guitars along-some heavy use of drum cymbals. This time, although the track is built similarly to the first one, the concept failed. At 3:30, the music moves to another type of progression, somehow close to English rock and NWBHM especially when the guitar solo starts. It is a trial to mix genres and usually most prog metal does just that and I would have to clearly state again, the mix does not always work, and it did not here. I would rate it 6/10.
How did you guys form Abysse and when?
Abysse is a “friend band”. We grew up together since we were 6 years old. Now, we are 21.”Hey Guys, it’s time to learn instruments and create a rock band” (Summer 2004). Easy as fuck, uh? We were 15 and we didn’t know to rock, but we wanted to !
We needed barely 3 years to create what Abysse is now. Mastering instruments, developing, creating… We recorded “Le vide est forme” in summer 2008, exactly 4 years after the beginning.
Are you currently active in other bands or Abysse is your main project?
Our drummer Sébastien is playing in another friend band (Instrumental ambient band, weird uh ?), but it’s just for fun, he is playing the guitar in on his free time. We are all totally devoted to ABYSSE. We want it works at all so we do not create something else. We’ve got so many ways to explore in ABYSSE so impossible to have the head somewhere else.
How was the composing and recording done?
We probably have the most weird way to write… We get together in our rehearse place and play, until finding the best riff/arrangement. We only work together, 4 musicians, 1 music… We are not able to write alone as many bands. If one of the members is not here (even the bass player!), we can’t write!It starts with a guitar riff. Our drummer is the orchestra chief, he gives them sense, a soul, and the way he plays, our guitarist will accommodate for the next. Leads come naturally on and bass gives basement, leads by the drums. We need about 4 month to write a ten minute song… For our upcoming first long play, we decided to think about a concept, how we want to feel the songs, get a view of the art work. We’ve got a direction to create a coherent album.
The recording (for the EP, in 2008) was a totally sick 5 days of recording and mixing with our friend David Potvin which is playing in Lyzanxia and One Way Mirror in his own studio (Le dome studio). For our upcoming debut album, we will be in studio during one whole month ! That is crazy to be in studio on a long time for a tiny band ours! We can’t wait ! But we have to write the album first.
Which bands influence your playing and composition?
We listen all kind of rock music, from the old Pantera to the newest songs from Opeth. Let’s say Metallica, Gojira, Porcupine Tree, Entombed, Rosetta, Lamb Of God… We all have common bands which we like and some particular own taste. That permit us to a lot of influences and not focus on only one.
How was the feedback when the EP was first released in September 2008?
We had a good press feedback, we are really amazed caus’ it’s only an 2 tracks. That push us to continue and do the best for the next.
Why did you guys decide to release it again in 2010 ?
We decide to extend the promotion outside France. Europe, USA, and now Middle East. But we decide to put an unreleased song on the CD to have something other, and announce the album. But this “new” release is not in our merch. This unreleased song will be downloadable for free soon !
I have read about an Abysse Album to be released in 2011, tell us about that.
We are writing since 2008 our debut album and think we are ready to record it this summer. Debut album means a lot of things so we took all the time we need to write it. We want to record something we like that’s why we do not rush things!
Will the Album also be an instrumental one?
For the moment, all songs will be instrumental. There will be a guest on a song probably.
Any message for the prog-metal bands trying to launch themselves into the international scene with an EP ?