Abysse – “Emptiness Is Shaped” EP Review

It is a sad fact that British Euro-scepticism goes beyond a fear of banana-straightening bureaucrats and extends into the music world too. This is a shame because there is a wealth of amazing music out there just waiting to be discovered and, of late, a large proportion of it seems to be heading from France. Abysse are a fantastic example of the kind of inventive, riff-heavy music that is appearing on the continent and their two- track EP entitled “Emptiness is shaped”, which first appeared in 2008, is a masterpiece of psychedelic groove, Neurosis-esque metal and ambitious instrumental noise.

Kicking off with the noisy and utterly thrilling “Deviance” the band assault the senses with a piece of mood music that soars to ferocious peaks before vanishing into simmering troughs of noise, only to rise again more intricate and savage than before. It’s a vast piece of work, a sonic cataclysm that enchants and excites in equal measure in the best traditions of the post-rock/metal pack. Harnessing the ferocious aspects of Neurosis, and tethering them to the more spaced-out elements of Red Sparrowes is no bad thing when done well and these alarmingly talented young men (averaging twenty years each) do it exceptionally well. This opinion is confirmed on second track “one last breath” which is a more introspective work than the first track, but no less impressive for that.

Clearly an up and coming force in rock, Abysse are a post/rock metal band who stand out from the crowd by offering a new twist on the music of bands such as Isis. Certainly they retain interest despite being instrumental ( a trick Mogwai, with whom Abysse share similar elements,  used to do so well) and there is a talent within the band that shines through every glorious moment of this all-too-brief EP. On tour with the fantastic Kruger amongst others, Abysse deserve your attention. A fabulous EP.

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