Awe - Providentia 01There is no greater genre for intentional anonymity than black metal. Sure, the music should speak for itself, but you gotta admit that there’s a glut of faceless kvltery going around, and I’m not talking about corpsepaint, either. Hooded robes, gas masks, ski masks, demon masks, you name it, are being utilitzed ad nauseam with mixed results. Greece’s Awe trumps them by not only eschewing with the whole mask thing, but also the whole bandmember-naming convention, as there isn’t a band photo or even a line-up mentioned anywhere on the Interwebz. I’m beginning to think that black metal musicians just secretly admire the majestic awesomeness of the unicorn, but I digress. Anywho, having been around since 2007 yet only just releasing music this year, with their only other release being a split with End and Vacantfield titled Moerae, based on the Three Sisters of Fate, I now have their debut, Providentia. Three songs at 53 minutes. Buckle up, kiddos, it’s time for a drive into the Underpass of the Nameless!

And “Actus Primus” definitely puts everything into first gear with its long, droning singular riff repeated endlessly over a well-produced bass. Seeing as how it’s exactly twenty minutes long, whether or not that’s a good thing is entirely up to the listener, but for me, things don’t pick up until six minutes into the song when there’s finally something resembling action and urgency. I’m a patient guy, but that’s pushing things. The vocals are cavernous in that whole Imperial Triumphant/Blut Aus Nord growl-rasp, and the rhythm section gets all nice and chaotic. Speaking of Blut Aus Nord, they’re a good point to reference, except the bass is actually present more, and the music isn’t quite as captivating. There’s even an angular Deathspell Omega-esque part after a bit of ambiance 11:28 into the song before slowing down from 16:45 to the end.

Patience is definitely required when diving into Providentia, and this is coming from someone who loves the weirder side of black metal. Out of the three songs, “Actus Secundus” makes the best statement of intent, starting off strong with a whirling riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on Blut Aus Nord‘s The Work Which Transforms God before switching gears about four minutes in, tossing you against the rails before making another sharp left turn. Awe, to my ears, seems more intent on throwing as many curves at you than it does bringing cohesion to those twists and turns, because some of them either go on for too long, or just come out of nowhere and take the listener out of the song.

Unicorn dog dolphin

Sound-wise, this is a very strong effort. The bass is powerful and clean, the guitars are rich and layered yet you can pick out each one effortlessly, and the drums sound natural and thunderous. My qualms are with the songwriting. I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks, giving Providentia many chances to click, and it just doesn’t. As a fan of the aforementioned bands, it should, but it feels like it’s kept me at a safe distance at all times.

That’s not to say that Awe are a bad band. Far from it, in fact. There’s got to be some sort of entrance into the band’s labyrinthine world, but Providentia wasn’t the portal for me. I will continue to keep an ear out, though.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Pulverised Records
Websites: |
Release Dates: EU: 2015.11.13 | NA: 11.20.2015

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  • Pimpolho

    At least it has a few spheres. And a square.

    • Grymm

      And a naked dude curled up inside an eyeball.

      Don’t ever forget the naked dude curled up inside an eyeball.

      • Pimpolho

        WHAT! I thought it was an owl!

        • Grymm

          Dude? Get a new prescription for your glasses. STAT.

  • Pablo Casado Gañarul

    Step 1 – Enjoy the review.
    Step 2 – Decide if you´re into this kind of music or not and if to give Greek Nameless Black Metalheads your hard earned money.
    Step 3 – Scroll back to the epic image in the center, behold the peek of chromatic epicness at AMG and take an screenshot to capture this moment for posterity.

    • basenjibrian

      The image is now my computer background screen. For eternity, because how can it be transcended?

  • Monsterth Goatom

    That threesome… “Impetuous…. Homeric!”

    • Any day in which a metal blog reader quotes The Quiet Man is a day to remember.

  • They pull the same stunt as V with have the song switch over to angelic voice choir and then BAM tidal wave o black metal.

    Is it just me or does the DRM increase as the song goes along? It’s like the band begins (as most do) playing at the bottom of a well, and slowly works its way out. Kind of neat, except there’s nothing particularly memorable about the music. I swear there’s a guitar solo somewhere in the middle of this but I can barely hear it (they’re like, halfway up the well at this point anyway)

    • I had to listen again because it is so long. I think this song is violating the notions of primacy and recency. I’ve decided they start outside the well, at about 6 min they fall in the well due largely to having mixed the vocals wrong, and then come back out the well at 11:30 or so, due to mixing the vocals correctly. From 11:30 on I find this pretty good but still lacking something that makes it stand out. In any case, 6 min to 11:30 should just be removed. That was a bad decision.

  • madhare

    Unicorn defenders, unafraid to die!
    Unicorn! Show me the way!
    Unicorn! Reveal the truth!

    • basenjibrian

      ….show me the way, the way to Aberdeen!

  • 2 unicorn photos in 2 days. WHEN WILL IT END?!

  • Stereolab

    Had a listen and loved it, continuing AMG’s near-perfect records of swings and misses recently. (As I’m looking at the list of “albums of the month” on the right, I can’t help but think it would be hard to construct a better list of “least impressive albums of the year” for my tastes. With the sole exception of Tribulation.)

    • Name’s Dalton

      Alrighty then

    • Good thing there’s always

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Where the ratings start at 8/10 and the points don’t matter!

        • Pablo Casado Gañarul

          Like reviewing videogames but with music!1

      • Grymm

        And Metal Temple, where 10 flaming CDs out of 10 are handed out like Skittles.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Well that’s just like your opinion man

      • Name’s Dalton

        That unicorn really tied the genre together.

  • I like this musically, but the vocals could use some variety.