Abyssic – “A Winter’s Tale” (Osmose Productions)
Originally created as Abyssic Dreams in 1997 by Susperia’s Memnock and drummer Athera (now vocalist in Susperia and Chrome Division), the two recorded a demo which was later put to bed as Susperia unfolded into a fully fledged band. In 2012, a chance meeting between Memnock and André Aaslie (Images At Twilight, Gromth & Profane Burial) led to the resurrection of an orchestral doom / death project. Recruiting Susperia’s guitarist Elvorn and drummer Asgeir Mickelson (Borknagar, Ihsahn, Spiral Architect) Abyssic was (re)born and “A Winter’s Tale” soon realized! Being already familiar with Aaslie’s astounding talent in cinematic style orchestrations in Images At Twilight, expect nothing less here – except this dark tale is far grimmer! Haunting and depressive is something of an understatement, even though the album has only 4 (albeit lengthy) tracks but whose strength of deep composition never lets the material stall and is stunningly captivating from start to finish in atmosphere. With all of the band except Elvorn contributing on a multi instrumental level, this definitely meets the hallmarks of a big sound production on tracks like ‘The Silent Shrine’, ‘A Funeral Elegy’ and ‘Sombre Dreams’. It’s all there from primordial vocals, somber violins, ancient horn sounds, creepy piano keys to Aaslie’s weird futuristic Mellotron and Minimoog both contrasting and complementing the melancholic tone of the atmospheric mood. A dark epic of massive proportions – naturally masterfully engineered and produced – like you are stranded on some lonely alien planet with only the tempo and pulse of the music determining your very fate!