Hail Spirit Noir_Oi MagoiAre you sick and tired of getting your evil delivered to you in cold, icy, frost-bitten care packages from Norway? Does your black heart sink when there’s too much treble in your diet? Do you lack the strength to pick up those juicy invisible oranges you once craved? Sometimes, you just want Satan’s message to be delivered in a nice, toasty-warm basket with some fresh bread, a bottle of wine, and a couple of aromatic cigars. Greece’s Hail Spirit Noir‘s debut, 2012’s Pneuma, scored some pretty damn high marks on this here webpage by Mr. AMG himself. Their newest, Oi Magoi (translated as “The Magicians”), just dropped on my lap, and it’s that loungy, trippy black voyage I didn’t know I was looking for, but ended up enjoying immensely.

Once lead-off track “Blood Guru” kicks in, you already feel like you’re in a foreign, evil land. Picture an evil take on “Symphony For the Devil” by The Rolling Stones, only with growly black metal vocals, Doors-y guitar jams, melodic sighing, some mellotron… oh, and xylophones. Pretty bizarre, yes, but trust me, it fits. Some flowing guitar melodies, an abrupt fake-out of an ending with some keyboard clangs and lyrics growling about blood, and it segues into The Dark Side of the Moon. It’s Evil Floyd. It’s as if Ghost finally left behind the Mystery Machine™ with their meddling teenage buddies.

hailspiritnoir_2014The album is full of little neat twists and psychedelic turns through the plains of Hell. You have an evil, modern take on “Stairway to Heaven” (“Satan is Time“), more straight-forward 70’s rock with some incredible singing (“Hunters”), an elongated prog-jam session about mermaids that never once reeks of Phish (umm, “The Mermaid”), and it just flows. And while the band themselves are all top-notch musicians, special accolades need to be given to session drummer Ioannis Giahoudis for his incredible jazz-like fills and interesting tempo switch-ups; and vocalist Dimitris Dimitrakopoulos, whose soft, velvety-smooth voice adds a mesmerizing hook to “Satan is Time” and “The Mermaid.”  Guitarist (and main screamer) Theoharis does a great job crafting memorable guitar lines, especially the closing part of “Blood Guru” and the opening to “Satan is Time.”

Soundwise, even though it suffers from modern-day compression, everything sounds lively and warm. The drums sound natural, the bass is full and thumpy, and the keyboards and guitars have that Floyd feel to them. Hats off to mixer Dim Douvras and the mastering job of Jens Bogren for accomplishing this. That said, there is one minor bump in the road with “Demon of the Day.” The chorus is cheesy as all hell, and the music is pretty basic for the most part (awesome guitar/keyboard jam aside), but the thing is, even this song is a massive earworm, and could sit on a playlist alongside Juice Newton‘s “Angel of the Morning” as a Satanic counterpoint. And now that song is stuck in your head too. You’re welcome! [Uncool.Steel ” Juice Rolled” Druhm].

So folks, Hail Spirit Noir is defintely worth experimenting with, and Oi Magoi is worth spending your hard-earned cash on. If you want to go deeper than Ghost for your grooved-out evil, or wonder how Sigh would sound in a lounge without a lot of the metal, this is your album. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get my voodoo going…

Rating:  4.5/5.0
Label:  Code666/Aural Music
Website:  facebook.com/HailSpiritNoir
Release Dates:  EU: 28.02.2014  | NA: 02.11.2014

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  • Jeremy González

    Well derserved score. It’s that good.

  • Apostolis Zamparas

    I wonder if you can also review the new Aenaon(labelmates-also Greeks) album..They are both amazing albums.But Oi Magoi is trully incredible

  • BlackMetal Stunfisk

    Awesome album. I think I like their debut album better though. Either way this thing kicks ass.

  • Solbrave

    Fantastic review.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Definitely the best album to come out this year so far. Interesting from top to bottom and really fun, albeit a bit silly sometimes.

    “The hunters, they hunt you… SO BEWAREEEE!”

  • Zadion

    Demon for a Day is actually my favorite track on the album, and by a significant margin. That chorus is cheesy in the best possible way, and the final half of the song is SO DAMN GROOVY.

    I concur, though – great album. What’s AMG himself think of it?

  • T.J. Barber

    Why is the cover art so terrible!?

    It’s hard to look past how much of a Juggalo that guy looks like

    • Grymm

      That’s Theoharis (I believe) done up as the demon from the Pneuma cover.

      I do think an alternate name of the album as “Oi MaWoopWoop” would be colossally funny, though.

      • T.J. Barber

        Yeah i can see that… just feels like someone should have said “yeah.. maybe we should rethink that”

  • TminusEight

    Wow – already another amazing sounding album I’ve got to check out… And another great review. Cheers!

  • Innit Bartender

    This album reminds me of a good old Hammer movie. No relying on props or blood, but instead on good acting and atmosphere.

  • RU63

    Doesn’t get much better than this . . . this album is pure awesomeness.

  • Christofer

    Holy shit and spirit. This is awesome.