The guys of Black Widow Records have always a good taste when it comes to bands, who are obsessed by occult and religious themes. Especially in their fatherland Italy there's an interesting underground scene of bands, who draw their inspirations out of the dark and macabre twilight zone. One of this bands is ABYSMAL GRIEF, who have been formed in 1996 and probably some of you know the group from earlier recordings. If not, than this pitch black digi-pack is a good chance to discover ABYSMAL GRIEF. This is their first full-length album and only the CD edition includes the 'Mors Eleison' 12" EP as a bonus, which has been released by I Hate Records in 2006. Before I wrote this review I have read a book written by H.P. Lovecraft and this disc continues musically where the book ended. ABYSMAL GRIEF are extremely talented in creating a sinister and gloomy atmosphere, so that I would immediately take their music as an soundtrack for a horror movie. Their sound is an evil mixture which consists of Doom Metal and Gothic elements. The organ-like keyboard sound is adding a slight 70's vibe to the entire sound, while the heavy riffs are played in best tradition of early Saint Vitus or early Candlemass.
Regen Graves' dramatic and low vocals will definitely not please everyone, because they can be very theatrical at times, but for my taste they have a very supportive effect although I'm not a huge fan of theatrical vocalists. ABYSMAL GRIEF have their best moments when they focus their attention on heavy riffs as they do it in 'Cultus Lugubris', 'Requies Aeterna' or 'When the Ceremony ends', which reminds me to the first album of Stillborn. Two short soundscapes and all the integrated samples in Italian language are making this album just more complete and do enrich the dark brooding atmosphere. 'Mors Eleison' contains of three self-penned tracks plus a very good cover version of Paul Chain's 'Occultism', and there's no big difference to the album, soundwise. ABYSMAL GRIEF are perfect stuff for dark nights and grey days or for the next excorsism in your neighbourhood....