I’d heard OF Traverse the Abyss before but I’d never HEARD them, so when the powers that be over at FAM told me to check ‘em out I was delighted to oblige. Based out of Scranton, PA (home of The Office, I bet no one’s ever mentioned that before) they started in the scene in 2016. I aimlessly scrolled through all their Facebook photos, and they seem like a lot of fun (it’s not weird, this is journalism). Through this thorough investigation, I also saw these guys have been taking the scene by storm. They’ve played over the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast and they’ve won battles (both musically as well as in the parking lots after shows, rumor has it). They’ve also played with a ton of national acts (Motionless in White, Suicide Silence, Attila, Chelsea Grin, Born of Osiris, Whitechapel, Lorna Shore, and more). Impressive resume, indeed.
Their new 5-song EP, Smiling in the Suffering, was just released on June 17th. I came in totally blind so I wasn’t sure what to expect, and MY GOODNESS. This was not only so professionally done, but very much up my alley. The vocals (Eric Abyss) are absolutely ruling. I’d listen to him scream anything. Come over and sing me my mail! They have 2 guitar players (“Iron” Mike White and Jamie Macheska) and you might say, is that necessary? YES, yes, it is. And they SHRED. The sound is so hard and yet so fun. Then you’ve got the drummer (David Wilczweski). Unbelievable. Shut up, David. We all get it. You’re incredible.
This EP is a metal melter-of-faces. It’s not really just straightforward metal though – it feels very rocky-punky at points too which makes it extra fun.
One song that really jumped out to me was “Frankenshuffle”. It came in with some serious Rob Zombie vibes, and I am so into it. That song was having me dancing the second it started. Dark, spooky fun – I was genuinely thinking to myself, this song should have an insane video. Lo and behold, it already does:
“Trainwreck” is another banger I can’t get out of my skull. This one is just so sick and hard and intense and makes me wanna like, maybe punch someone in the face! Or just yell in my car. Probably the latter, but same energy nonetheless. It’s punchy and relentless and a total headbanger.