Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Greek prog metallers Mask of Prospero have just released their debut full length, ‘The Observatory’, through Symmetric Records and it is an assured slab of huge djent riffs and ghostly melodies. Equally atmospheric and headbanging, Mask of Prospero look to become the new powerhouse in European prog metal.

The soulful melancholy of ‘Dust in the Sky’ builds into a dense, chugging monster of a track, where delicate piano lurks behind massive riffs and choral voices. The progressive, almost djenty rhythms pervades the melodic powerhouse of ‘Drown in Grey’, and there is plenty of atmosphere lurking within the Nevermore-esque riffing of ‘Portrait’. Mask of Prospero balance huge heavy riffs with a real sense of melody and the grandiose, and while their songs aren’t overly long, they contain a huge amount of variety.

Be it in the glorious, soaring ‘The Way Back Home’, or the rumbling fragility of ‘Ignorance’, Mask of Prospero have created something rather special in ‘The Observatory’. Vast, heavy and thoroughly absorbing, this is atmospheric prog metal for the modern age, and it is a sound foundation for a bright future.

https://maskofprospero.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/maskofprosperoofficial

https://www.facebook.com/symmetricrecords/

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Hildr Valkyrie - Revealing the Heathen Sun

Hildr Valkyrie is a one woman folk metal project from Greece, whose second full length ‘Revealing the Heathen Sun’ is out now on Stygian Crypt Productions. Hildr has been helped with the recording by Jan Twothousandarrows from label mates Folkodia with guitars and bass. This is some gothic, epic Viking metal for you to lift your pagan eyes to the great North!

The ghostly ‘The Primordial Sky God’ leads us into the dramatic, keyboard led ‘Over Land, Mountains and Shade’. Swelling gothic overtones coat these odes to the ancient days of time immemorium, and tracks like the soaring ‘We Are Heathens’ bring back memories of early Nightwish. But I like the harshness creeping in tracks like ‘Final Blot’, showing that Hildr Valkyrie isn’t all just folky gothic sweetness. There’s a definite edge lurking within the atmospheric melodies, and there are plenty of grandiose spoken word sections that conjure certain elements of modern Cradle of Filth (see ‘The Rune’s Song’ in particular).

‘My Oath’ is the most unsettling piece, where a commanding vocal seems to preach to the snarling, beastial voices underneath. It feels like a scene from an old horror movie, perhaps where an evil temptress summons demons to do her biddings. It is this almost cinematic experience that really raises ‘Revealing the Heathen Sun’ above the heaving masses of folk metal. Also, frankly, the catchy as fuck ‘An Ode to All-Father Odhinn’ helps too!

‘Revealing the Heathen Sun’ initially strikes you as a run of the mill symphonic/gothic metal record but that is definitely not the case. While many of those elements exist, Hildr weaves unusual melodies, ferocity and plenty of gothic melancholy throughout, creating a record that is engaging and captivating. She has a beautiful voice too!

https://www.facebook.com/hildrvalkyrieofficial/

https://hildrvalkyrie.bandcamp.com/

http://hildrvalkyrie.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.stygiancrypt.com/

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Greek black metallers Nigredo contain members of such genre luminaries as Embrace of Thorns and Ravencult, and they are taking the way we view black metal and turning it this way and that, trying to find a new angle. Their debut full length ‘Flesh Torn-Spirit Pierced’ squeezes elements of thrash and death into their black template, and it is due out in April on Transcending Obscurity.

Nigredo is an alchemical term for decomposition or putrefaction, the first step in creating the philospher’s stone. This is apt as Nigredo shape the black metal genre to create their holy grail, and the opener ‘Ten Repellant Antiforces’ is a surging, vibrant piece of fury. Rampant blastbeats thrust through blistering riffs, while a pervading eerie undertone slithers beneath. The fiery ‘Necrolatry’ thrashes like old school Marduk, while ‘Choronzon Possession’ begins the journey into the more swirling occultisms that become prevalent in the later half of this record.

The atonal melodies stabbing through the excellent ‘Mental Glimpses at Cosmic Horrors’ betrays the band’s influence by the likes of Blut Aus Nord or Deathspell Omega. ‘Flesh Torn – Spirit Pierced’ is a perfect alchemy of the traditional meeting the avantgarde, where icy tremolo riffs collide with unusual arrangements. While not as out there as some black metal that heads in this direction, Nigredo keep the attention firmly locked upon what they are going to do next. The dissonant ‘Sons of Worthlessness’ is a perfect example of the revelry found within this sphere of discordance.

‘Flesh Torn – Spirit Pierced’ is one of 2018’s more interesting records. Comfortably within the established black metal dominion, their steps outside of the pentagram are the most interesting moments, when the tones and the melodies take on that otherworldly nature. Beginning tethered to the frozen north, it gradually leads you beyond, to a maddening world beyond the icy safety of the forests. Fantastic.

https://www.facebook.com/NigredoGr/

https://nigredogr.bandcamp.com/

https://tometal.com/

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Greek death metallers Ectoplasma have found a home at Memento Mori to release their second full length record and, fittingly for Memento Mori, this is a properly old school death metal record, reeking of the most ancient birthplaces of the genre. ‘Cavern of Foul Unbeings’ is out on the 22nd January.

What fetid corruption writhes across the frets of the guitars conjuring the death metal within this record. It is harsh, ugly; thick with menace and accompanied by monstrous roars. Dragging early Death, Autopsy and the likes from their graves, sending invigorating shocks into the genre with a really heavy low end barrelling through. Guttural roars pair with a matted wall of death metal riffing, like a morbid vine patch entwining your fate. You cannot escape, and with the likes of the groaning ‘Seized in Cimmerian Darkness’ or the unearthly crush of ‘Mortified and Despised’, you probably wouldn’t want to.

The only minor complaint you might have is, at 52 minutes, it is a little long for an album of this style. I can manage it fine, some may not. Ectoplasma are excellent, and ‘Cavern of Foul Unbeings’ is a record that dredges those dank swamps for the primest of old school death metal. Brutal.

http://www.memento-mori.es/

https://ectoplasma187.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Ectoplasma-1579524392276613

Greek deathlords Necrovorous have been rather quiet recently, but this three man wrecking crew have drawn fetid breath once more to release the frankly terrifying ‘Plains of Decay.’ It is due out 29th September on Dark Descent Records, and is a record groaning with riffs and morbid brutality.

Opener ‘The Sun Has Risen in a Land I No Longer See’ crushes together the rabid, rusted chainsaw riffing style of classic Swedeath with a rumbling, Bolt Thrower-esque thunder. Setting out your stall early with a song like this is great, because as a reviewer you’re instantly drawn in. ‘Cherish the Sepulture’ is a more crawling, monstrous entity, as is the closing stretch of the hellacious ”Eternal Soulmates’. Necrovorous have this dark, dense magic that flows from each crusted riff, each bile dripping roar, and it inserts itself within your skin like an infectious disease.

‘Plains of Decay’ is bursting at the seams with killer death metal; their evolution away from their gore soaked beginnings into a band whose music is more potent, more rounded, dare I say more sophisticated. Their assault is more surgically precise; lacking a particular chaos but gaining a more concentrated fury. Like chambers of a death metal howitzer being emptied, songs like ‘Psychedelic Tribe of Doom’ and the malicious ‘Lost in a Burning Charnel Ground’ manage to shred you with shrapnel and bury your mangled corpse in acres of riff. Welcome back guys, your broken, eldritch throne of death awaits…

https://www.facebook.com/necrovorous/

https://necrovorous.bandcamp.com/

http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/

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Greek death metallers Gravewards have dropped their debut EP ‘Subconscious Lobotomy’ on cassette tape, and it is four tracks of brutality conjuring the spirits of Morbid Angel, Obituary and even little dashes of Scandinavian nastiness too. If rabid darkness is your thing, then you’ll find a lot to enjoy here.

‘Casket Entrapment’ opens with a gloriously old school riff before a pained roar shattered the air guitaring calm. The chugging riffs are particularly good, but the real highlights are the mounrful melodies tucked behind the ferocity. There’s something a little dark, a little sad looming behind the towering ‘Crawling Chaos’, while the scathing title track draws inspiration from the void of Floridian death strongly. Vocally there’s a lot going on, with more standard growls interchanging with gurgling belches in places.

By the time the frantic ‘Deathwomb Incubation’ brings us to a juddering halt, it is clear that Gravewards are going to be a fun prospect for the future. Their brand of death metal has all kinds of nuances to look for but most importantly it is heavy as fuck, and will leave you broken but demanding more!

https://www.facebook.com/Gravewards/

 

Speedrush - Endless War

Greek thrashers Speedrush are old school speed metal thrashers, and despite going round the block for over a decade now, ‘Endless War’ is their debut full length. Available through their bandcamp, if you enjoy a thoroughly old school approach to riffs you’re going to love this.

Opening with howling sirens, gunfire and explosions, ‘Endless War’ instantly sets out its stall before exploding into galloping thrash riffs brimming with energy. The best thing about old school thrash is that it is almost totally derivative in the best way possible. You know what you are going to get; speedy fretwork fireworks, oodles of melody and snarling vocals. Speedrush’s music is all that, and more. The hyperactive riffing of ‘Malevolent Torture’ is glorious, whilst the waspish velocity of ‘Freaks of Nature’ brings to mind the rampant Municipal Waste.

Encompassing everything good about rabid, old school thrash like Sacred Reich and Suicidal Tendencies, Speedrush check every cliche in the book, and check it at a hundred miles an hour down thrash highway 101. You can’t help but love it, and ‘Endless War’ will delight and enthrall anyone who digs some great thrash songs played right. Energetic, overflowing with riffs and propelled by a youthful vigour, Speedrush are great.

https://speedrush.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/speedrushmetal/