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"Hailing from Glendale, Arizona, the metal powerhouse known as Knights of the Abyss forges an onslaught of heavy and intricate riffing while adding a sense of melody uncharacteristic of most bands today". Well, that's what the blurb says on this CD. Sure, the riffing is most certainly 'heavy and intricate’; in fact it's quite inventive at times. However, by track four, I'd pretty much thought they'd run out of ideas. As for injecting a sense of melody that is "uncharacteristic of most bands today", well blame the lazy hyperbole-spurting label-folk for that one. Plenty of bands do this style well (since the early 90s in fact) within the metal genre. Then track five introduces itself with a weird blend of the aforementioned intricacies, and mixes it up with some bizarre off-key background guitar slides. It sounds awful. And yet, all through this CD I caught myself thinking "maybe the next track will get me going; I know they've got something up their sleeve". I don't know why I wanted to like this CD so much; there’s nothing that leaped out of the packaging to get my heart racing. Maybe I have such an affinity for up-coming bands that it gives me the falsely elevated hope of discovering hidden gems. Track one 'Banished' certainly got me in the mood for wanting to like it. However, it seems maybe Knights of the Abyss are a bit one-dimensional to my ears in the end. Barking vocals are relentless in their high/low switchery, reigning fire over the brutal 'onslaught' behind it. These guys are very talented at what they do, but I get the feeling that they have a lot of development ahead of them to truly settle into their own little niche. I suspect that their future lies in forging tracks more like the closer here 'Behold the Frigid Realm of Div'. This is a great example of creative melodic death metal. In fact, it's almost worth investing in the CD for this track alone. Very well paced, structured (almost epic in feel), it makes me wish the whole album had been written with such dedication and class. Perhaps their second CD will expand on this. For now, if you're heavily into melodic death metal, you could do a lot worse than checking this disc out. If, however, you have a mere passing interest in the genre, there are better starting points.
Ferret Music
Review by Steve Cowan
24th June 2008
1) Banished
2) A New Darkened Faith
3) Whorror Storm
4) Don’t Feed The Heathens
5) Running Out of Earthly Wealth
6) Feeling Faint
7) Dis Unveiled
8) The Penalty of the Tyrant
9) Suicide Reign
10) Bound By Heresy
11) Exploitation
12) Behold The Frigid Realm Of Div
"Barking vocals are relentless in their high/low switchery, reigning fire over the brutal 'onslaught' behind it."