Various Artists: It Came From The Abyss [Volume 1] (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

‘It Came From The Abyss (Volume 1)’ kicks off a new compilation LP series curated by Dark Operative. The first instalment features an A side that highlights bands that encapsulate the best that the underground metal and hardcore genres have to offer, while the B side showcases some of the label’s favourite instrumental, goth, indie, emo, and pop outfits of the past, present, and future. The program encapsulates a range of covers (Power Trip’s take on Prong, The Dillinger Escape Plan channelling Black Flag (I’m having problems realising that Black Flag’s debut album is now more than 35 years old!, and Highness turning in a Rorschach cover that conjures The Cure’s Pornography album), first-time exclusives (a demo track from The All-American Rejects being heard for the first time ever, a previously unheard Bleach Everything track, and a brand new song from This Will Destroy You), unearthed/long out of print material (Christie Front Drive’s “Bag,” Doomriders’ “Hell Roaring,” an Integrity track from their split with Gehenna), songs previously only issued in Europe (Iron Reagan, Black Mare), and a previously-unheard demo version of Grave Pleasures’ “Doomsday Rainbow.”

Musically this is a mess, with little really in the way to justify it. Some of the songs sound as if they have been produced through a wall of mud, while others sound as if they haven’t been produced at all. There are just a few bright lights on the album, with This Will Destroy You’s “Escape Angle”, a wonderful New Age-style keyboard number that is so totally out of kilter with the rest that it really stands out, and Black Mare’s “Glaesir” with wonderful psychedelic vocals. But, overall this is only for fans of the bands, as opposed to a worthwhile introduction.

Rating: 4/10


Track list:
1. Power Trip – Brainwave
2. Dillinger Escape Plan – Damaged I & II
3. Doomriders – Hell Roaring
4. Bleach Everything – Savage
5. Integrity – I Know Where Everyone Lives
6. Iron Reagan – Government Surveillance
7. Iron Reagan – Carbon Monoxide
8. Iron Reagan – Delete That
9. This Will Destroy You – Escape Angle
10. Black Mare – Glaesir
11. Grave Pleasures – Doomsday Rainbow (Demo)
12. Highness – Impressions
13. Christie Front Drive – Bag
14. The All-American Rejects – Stay (Demo)



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