There is something inherently charming about old school crusty death metal. Though I'm not as big a fan of the old school stuff as I used to be I can still appreciate it and love when bands manage to do it right. Abyssus's compilation Once Entombed is a perfectly example of the dungeon level magic of the death metal scene. Borrowing from a breadth of subgenres, but keeping it perpetually extreme and frequently inaccessible there is something incredibly fascinating to me about what the dudes are doing here.
As good as Once Entombed can be - there are certainly a few moments where I feel the record falling a bit flat. The mix is often subpar, and because this record is a compilation of three EP's the sound quality can vary quite a bit. However, in many ways this actually adds to the sonic experience of the album It reminds me of what drew me to death metal in the first place. The pulsating rhythms and vibrant grooves of a song like Remnants of War has all the old school death metal madness of an Exhumed song. The guys in Abyssus have clearly spent a lot of time nerding out over the genre, and it's led to some very potent stuff.
Once Entombed is a record that takes you back to the dungeon days. There are a lot of moments of pure aural obliteration violating your eardrums on Once Entombed. The punishment that goes into rib ripping riffs and quasi-shouted growls is strangely charming and will see a smile sneaking onto your face. This is a band who get the pure spirit of death metal, and when they distill it down into what defines Abyssus, you find a band who are damn good at their job. Investing yourself into their sound is a hard to deny pleasure.
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