A Nomenclature Battle: What's in an Abyss?

It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're working hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.

Rocks Off was looking at the weekly concert listings when we noticed a weird coincidence. On Friday White Swan will host Seal the Abyss, and on Saturday you can catch HPMA nominee for Best Rock the Abyss at the 19th Hole. That's a whole lot of abyssing, far too much in our opinion, and as usual with people suffering from severe mental disease we have begun obsessing over what this portends.

First off, let's look at what Webstor says about the Abyss...

Geez, you're calling me again? I keep telling you I'm not an English language expert or anything, just a third-rate He-Man villain with Spider powers. I'll give it a shot, though. Abyss is the bottomless gulf, pit, or chaos of the old cosmogonies.

Thanks Webstor! That does sound about right. So we get it, bands want to sound deep, and so they call upon the name of the infinite void. Fair enough, but what drove these particular bands to such depths.

"Our band's name, Seal the Abyss, comes from the Bible," said singer Qoheleth. "The apostle John wrote in his apocalyptic vision to seven churches in Asia Minor: '...and he (Jesus Christ) threw him (Satan) into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time (Rev. 20:3)... ' Until finally he is '...thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (20:10).'"

"The name Seal the Abyss shines as a beacon of hope in this dark and dying world. It stands as a reminder to us all that this is not all that there is, that Christ will make good on His promises (Gen. 3:15, etc), that we can have the eternal life which He freely gives if we trust Him for it (based solely on His death and resurrection) and the life which He now offers abundantly to those who take Him at His Word (John 10:10), and that the prince of darkness will one day have no more dominion. Not only does it sound really metal, picturing the finality of Satan's defeat, it's true to life and points us back to things which are eternal and to those things which are coming."

And that, friends and enemies, is literally the best explanation of a band name we have ever had in this column. A Christian metal band has outclassed you all. Still, while Seal the Abyss has the power of Christ on their side, the Abyss has the populace on their side as indicated by their recent Best Rock nod. What's their tale?

"I've been using the name the Abyss for my art and tattooing from when I lived back in Huntington beach, probably a good 15 years ago," said singer Sean Ozz. "At the time I felt it was a good description of the art I was putting out (a distressed look with vivid colors representing hope and a new beginning).

"When I moved here and Ronnie Kopal (bass) talked me into doing music again it just made sense to use the name as the music to me felt it went right along with what I had already been doing on canvas and skin.

"To me it represents a place within myself. A never ending dark spot within. Every time that as a child I spoke up only to be ignored or ridiculed, every time that someone I loved left my life to leave me standing alone wondering why. It represents that hole that I have crawled into again and again throughout my life as well as my journey to rise from that very darkness to crawl out, to step forward, and to start again no matter how deep I might have fallen into the abyss.

"The Abyss -- The primal chaos before creation."

There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from the definitions put forth by these two dueling Abyssers. That is that Sean Ozz is Satan. It makes total sense. Qoheleth laid out the scripture as accurately as any theology scholar, and Ozz made it clear that he is the abyss in which Christ will seal the Great Deceiver. Suddeny, the Abyss's nomination makes total sense. Rocks Off for one would like to welcome out new dark overlord and remind him that we'd be most useful in rounding up slaves to help build his pyramid of bones and broken dreams.

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