With a name like Black Abyss and an album title of Land of Darkness, one would expect this to be a low-fi Grim-As-Grim-Can-Be Black Metal assault that rivals Transylvanian Hunger in terms of raw production. Wrong! This is nowhere close to being raw or even Black Metal. This band is one of the second (or is it third by now?) wave of Traditional Metal that seems to blatantly worship Iron Maiden, while totally ignoring the rest of the NWOBHM. Seriously, there was so much more to that period than just Maiden but most people just don’t seem to quite go beyond them when rehashing that style. In effect, Black Abyss doesn’t really go anywhere that Gamma Ray and Hammerfall haven’t gone before. The style is derivative and every song on this CD could easily have been on a Hammerfall album. This is not to disrespect the band’s playing abilities. These guys really know how to capture that Iron Maiden feeling. The problem is that so many other bands are doing the same thing. The production is great and the whole package is fairly solid with the exception of the big “O” word, originality. If you love Iron Maiden, you’ll be guaranteed to love this album. Just don’t expect anything you haven’t heard before.
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