“We humans have an abyss inside us. The more power people have, the greater the danger.” Helmut Kohl
The Abyss Inside Us is the ambient post-rock solo project of Greek multi-instrumentalist Nikos Togaridis. He released his first album under this moniker in 2019, with Earth Two, and in total four albums have been released in the same ilk, with this latest album released 7 May 2021. In this album he as some cello and bass support for his laudable solo talent.
Post-rock definition: Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs. Post-rock artists are often instrumental, typically combining rock instruments with electronica
An ominous low chord introduction heralds ‘Internal Error’. Gently rhythmic, a nice interplay of instruments and good chord change structure gives it a pleasantly reflective and lightly melancholic air as it builds in layers and moves from shoegaze to stargaze (yes, I know that is a different track….). ‘Love & Hate’ expresses more emotion, and uses light and dark shades in its pleasant and attractive instrumental passages . ‘Parachute’ has an early Porcupine Tree style intro for me, sparse sounds working well and benefitting from clear production, enhancing the ebb and flow of the music.
Togaridis is clearly good at identifying key riffs, simple chord sequences, sections of tune and appropriate instruments to develop songs that can build or create mood. ‘Stargaze’ is suitably reflective, again a slow build akin to ‘Internal Error’. A similarity in song structure can lead to a lessening of interest, and the songwriter escapes that one just through the interesting sounds he makes. ‘War Freaks’ has an interesting opening, pastoral yet with a hint of menace that comes to the fore one minute in. Driven, it then spirals upwards, clever chord structures making it appear a never-ending climb. Title track and closer ‘What Words Can’t Say’ has an initial lightly classical sense, haunting in ambience, as expected building its crescendo slowly and surely before descending back to a solitary and thoughtful conclusion.
Is Togaridis post-rock? Yes, perhaps not so much experimental as a user of classic post-rock textures and methods in song textures and timbres over rock rhythms, chords, and riffs. Power and danger are perhaps measured throughout, if not fully released. The album length is suitable to avoid any descent into boredom. The content is good enough to maintain the interest. The artist should be applauded for his hard work. The album deserves a listen.
1 Internal Error
2 Love & Hate
5 War Freaks
6 What Words Can’t Say