Stepping into quite comic book like territory, Behold The Abyss is a concept album that functions as companion to the first Edgar Switchblade novel written by Those Poor Bastards main man Lonesome Wyatt. In essence, the songs on the album provide a soundtrack to the book; as an aside, the book is quite atrocious… but has spawned already two sequels in book format, as well as a few spoken word 7″ releases, all equally atrocious.
Naturally, the book tie-in and the rather absurd and silly premise of the book (a goat-legged cannibal killer with a cannibal horse out hunting a werewolf) cannot help but affect the album… in a negative way. This is too bad, because the album isn’t actually bad as such, and most of the lyrics would work on their own without the book. But it is what it is.
Musically, Behold The Abyss treads the same territory as before, but perhaps with a slightly dirtier, more lo-fi sound than the previous album. Other than that, friends and fans of previous albums will feel right at home.
The album is of a pretty consistent quality, which is about two or three pegs below what Those Poor Bastards have achieved at their best, but far from hopeless. There are a couple of highlights, A Robe Of Scarlet Thread and Sacrificial Lamb, which are definite standout tracks and pretty much make the album worthwhile on their own. The eerie lullaby God’s Dark Heaven is a third track worth mentioning.
By this time, TPB had set in for a pattern that is more or less repeated on all albums to this day: nice enough albums, but a far cry from the early works, each redeemed by at least one definite highlight track which harks back to the quality of their early works.