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Articles Home » 2004 Articles » Black Abyss - 2004 Angels Wear Black
Black Abyss - 2004 Angels Wear Black

Oliver Hornung - vocals
Stefan Roder - guitars
Andreas Siegl - bass
Andreas Heidmann - drums

In the seemingly never ending parade of German Power Metal hopefuls comes Black Abyss, who to their credit have put in fifteen years of service to heavy metal. Fifteen years has translated into only three studio albums, the previous two being 1998's 'Why' and 2000's 'Land Of Drakness'. Landing on Massacre must have been a victory for the band as their last album was released on the nondescript label Bossy Ogress, which conjures up visions of Black Metal at its worst. Black Abyss have their feet firmly planted in the 1980's, with a sound that encompasses nearly every noteworthy band of the great decade. Naturally they are unable to pull it off to the degree of an Iron Maiden or even a Helloween, but on occasion the results are eye opening, especially the more thrash orientated sections.

The Songs
'Damnation' is one such moment, with bottom of the barrel, crude as you like riffing, with Hornung's vocals a combination of Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Dickinson and John Bush. Heavy certainly, but ultimately derivative. 'Dark Legacy' is a clone of every Power Metal act currently in the scene with typical melodies in the same league as Hammerfall. 'Unholy War' is as unoriginal songtitle as one could conjure, musically it goes on an excursion into classic Maiden territory which earns it a slight thumbs up. 'Pure Evil' opens with some of the roughest old school 80's riffs imaginable, to the point I'm left wondering if it isn't 1985 and a flop act like Maltese Falcon. Once things kick in, the heaviness is apparent, despite the dour vocal harmonies. 'Rebellion' isn't dissimilar, a triumphant anthem in the best metal tradition. Verging on tedious is 'I Don't Care', while 'Messenger' and 'Time' despite some speed, are nothing that hasn't been heard a milion times before in this genre. How a band can separate themselves from the pack in the Power Metal stakes is a question I can't answer. In a stunning move the title track is a seven minute epic which again flirts with Iron Maiden guitar tones but not the necessary melody.

In Summary
It's hard to recommend this as a something everyone should own. Aside from 'Damnation' there's nothing worth going out of your way to hear that will make you think 'this is the future of metal!' In my opinion Black Abyss should pursue a brutal thrash direction in the vein of a Slayer or Overkill, as the riffing is there to do it with. It would be more effective than the standard power metal manuevers that everyone seems to be in a rush to copy without forming an identity. Passable, but as essential as a new Tad Morose album.

URL: www.black-abyss.de

Track Listing:
01 Damnation
02 Unholy War
03 Dark Legacy
04 Shadows Of The Past
05 Pure Evil
06 Rebellion
07 I Don't Care
08 The Messenger
09 Time
10 When Angels Wear Black

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