By the late 80s two Greek students, Yiannis Kalifatidis and Kostas Tzeras, formed the band Into The Abyss in Darmstadt-Germany. They were soon joined by other German musicians.
I am not sure just when Tzeras returned to Greece, leaving behind Kalifatidis as the only Greek in the band. Their first demo releases, “The Frozen Minds” (1988) and “Songs About Martyrs & Criminals” (1990), made it clear that the band was influenced by New Model Army, Joy Division, etc.
Their first album titled “Martyrium”, released in 1993, found the band exploring different music styles, which was closer to the sound of The Fields Of The Nephilim, but more trippy than ever.
A year later, with the addition of the violin and oboe in the cover version of The Doors’ “Waiting For The Sun”, the need was made obvious that the band was moving away from their initial gothic sound. Before doing so, one of their songs, “Banner of The Fray” was featured in Mick Mercer’s “Gothic Rock” compilation. During this same year (1995) Into The Abyss released their single “La Soeur D’Icare” from their upcoming album “The Feathered Snake”.
For the next three years they toured extensively throughout Germany, the UK, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and Spain with bands such as Pink Turns Blue, Crime & the City Solution, Dave-id Busaras (ex-Virgin Prunes), Shock Therapy, Sweet William, Vendemmian, Kiss the Blade, Nosferatu, Corpus Delicti, Die Laughing, This Burning Effigy, Drowning Maud Land, Mephisto Walz, and Girls Under Glass, to name but a few.
In December 1995 they released a 10” split record with the psychedelic German band Grass Harp and Into The Abyss turned into a peculiar psychedelic group. Their next stop was in 1998 with the release of their double-vinyl album titled “Cosmogonia”. In this album one can find elements of world music, psychedelia, prog rock, some gothic, as well as some space rock.
Without a doubt, it was one of the most interesting releases of Kalidatidis’s band and covered a vast music space that one needs to experience.
In April 2000, the band had their first and last gig in Greece at the Athenian club “An” with the German band Embryo as an opening act. This gig was recorded and released a year later on a CD album, titled Adrenochrome, and covered all the phases the band went through.
In addition to all this, Kalifatidis also released “Fight Amnesia”, a 16-page xerox copy fanzine full of addresses made to help other bands contact each other and to help each other with gigs and stuff. “Fight Amnesia” was given away for free as all expenses, including p+p, were being paid by Kalifatidis’s own pocket.
Into The Abyss wasn’t a 100% Greek band, but it was formed by two Greeks, and was used as a vehicle, at least to one of them, for the voyage into the wonderful world of music.
Unfortunately, the band remained virtually unknown to the Greek audience.
Their homepage: http://comig.net/abyss/
Their last interview: http://www.aural-innovations.com/issues/issue18/inabyss2.html