Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

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Greek technical death metallers Cerebrum count George Kolias as a former member, so you know they must have done something right. Their new record, ‘Iridium’, is full of nods to legends of the technical death genre but with lashings of old school flavour and great songwriting. It is out 21st December through Transcending Obscurity.

The chugging, bending riffs of ‘Time Reversal’ open this record with some tasty, early 90s Floridian death metal goodness. The tone is scratchy and rough, but the death metal is surprisingly complex for such an old school sound. You’re getting stuff like early Atheist, where flashes of bass led progression hints at more beneath the ravaging thrust of the old school. ‘A Face Unknown’ also has a lot of that kind of early Cynic riffing, and you can feel that ‘Iridium’ is becoming something special very early. That style of progressive death from the early 90s isn’t always as much of an inspiration as it should be, and Cerebrum pay a special homage to it during the likes of the spiralling soloing of closer ‘Escape to Bliss’.

That serpentine flow of complexity through an old fashioned lens makes ‘Iridium; stand out against both old school death metal and tech death records this year, by using elements of both superbly and yet never overdoing either. Cerebrum are brutal, complex and yet weirdly melodic, creating memorable songs that also contort expectations and minds. Take ‘Absorbed in Greed’ as the best example of an album that doesn’t disappoint at any turn.

https://tometal.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CEREBRUMOFFICIAL

https://cerebrumgreece.bandcamp.com/

 

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Warthorn - G.O.D.

‘G.O.D.’ is the full length debut from Greek death/thrashers Warthorn, and it was released at the start of this year through Envenomed Records. There’s plenty of meaty riff carange to sink your teeth into here, but does it move beyond just good riffs? Let’s find out

Opener ‘Vandal Resurrection’ doesn’t waste any time, launching directly into some hefty chugging riffage, with a very Eurodeath guitar tone. Imagine early Amorphis with less misery and a bit more fire and you’ve got an idea. The directness of the early tracks blows through rapidly, and definitely traces of The Haunted as an influence as well. Fiery brutality is the name of the game until suddenly the mighty sweep of ‘Scythopolis’ swings down, decimating your preconceptions that Warthorn were about to feel a little one dimensional. A monstrous, lumbering behemoth of pure death metal, that both flails madly and then menacingly looms above your worthless hide. This is the high point as the album tails off a little after that.

Warthorn do most of their work by the book, but when they meander off into their own little world of darkness, that’s when things get interesting. Hopefully more of that will ensue in future releases, because there’s is a healthy supply of riffs and songs lurking with ‘G.O.D.’ itself, but you always feel like there’s more waiting to be unleashed.

https://warthorn.bandcamp.com/

https://envenomedmusic.bandcamp.com/album/g-o-d

https://www.facebook.com/WarThornGR/

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Due out in December, the tenth album from prolific Greek underground black metal legends Dødsferd is another cementing of their legacy as one of the hardest working bands in the area. ‘Diseased Remnants of a Dying World’ continues their path from punkish black metal into depressive atmospheres to create an album of truly ethereal and poisonous intentions. It’ll be out through Transcending Obscurity on the 14th of December.

The opening section to ‘My Father My Wrath!’ is one of those opens to a song that you’ll never forget. Bleak, ominous and with a measured, icy pace, it sets the scene immediately for the 50 odd minutes of misery to come. Eerie clean vocals follow a winding path, before the black metal torrent that is ‘An Existence Without Purpose’ pours forth like molten magma. A raging black inferno, with spiralling riffing and a great, crunchy guitar tone that you can really get into, it then opens into a more expansive slice of blackened majesty. Once you feel like you’ve grasped what Dødsferd are trying to attain, the goalposts move, and the ghostly shrieks that pervades the title track and particularly the potent ‘Loyal to the Black Oath’ will leave you breathless.

‘Diseased Remnants of a Dying World’ feels like a very introspective black metal record, where speed and fury isn’t necessarily the key to unlock the ethereal mysteries of this world. Taking cue from the masters of soaring, miserable black metal grandness, Dødsferd are here with a record that will delight and confound with every twist.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDodsferd/

https://dodsferdofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://tometal.com/

Inhibitions - La Danse Macabre

Greek symphonic black metallers Inhibitions dropped their second album at the start of the year through Satanath Records, and ‘La Danse Macabre’ is a grand follow up to their 2016 debut ‘Flames of Desolation’. This is definitely for fans of Dimmu Borgir, but also Dark Funeral and Burzum.

‘The Calling’ links forlorn piano work into a blasting inferno, while the intricately structured ‘Toxic Rain’ builds through acoustic guitar and keyboard into towering tremolo riffing and a snarling, scowling vocal. Inhibitions tend more towards the symphonic elements being a little more subtle throughout, never bludgeoning you with strings etc. There is indeed, ‘No Escape’ from a traditionalist set of roots for Inhibitions, the very pure core of black metal on full display here, merely enhanced by the addition of symphonic elements, rather than being ruled by it. The dark, crawling ‘Religion of Peace’ is my own personal highlight, as the sheer evil oozing from each shambling riff is magical.

Lacking the grandiosity of a Dimmu, or a Cradle, Inhibitions rely instead on the subtle merging of keyboards into their orthodox black metal assault, and it works really well. Each track is enhanced by the odd detour into more esoteric territory, but none are ruled by it alone. That helps ‘La Danse Macabre’ really stand up from the blackened hordes of samey, corpsepainted goons to show another great side to this genre.

http://satanath.com/news/item/inhibitions

https://www.facebook.com/INHIBITIONS-Hellenic-Black-Metal-1218975794812167/

https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat185-inhibitions-la-danse-macabre-2018

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/

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/