Greek Metal

Winter Eternal – Land of Darkness

Winter Eternal – Land of Darkness

“Greek black metal is a well-established scene in one of metal’s most extreme subgenres, and for me personally, none more so than Winter Eternal. Although they may have relocated from Attica to Scotland, I’m still happy to bundle 2019’s Realm of the Bleeding Shadows with that enclave given its excellence. It was a low-key release which now sits in my top 5 melodic black metal records of the 2010s. Its key qualities include its crisp tone, strong melodies and brevity which it wrapped into a compelling package which almost seems over before it’s begun. Clearly the band was unhappy with just realms, so they’re now branching out into a Land of Darkness. Is this a land you should visit?” Dark tourism.

Illusory – Crimson Wreath Review

Illusory – Crimson Wreath Review

“Oh boy. There’s a crying child on the cover. If there’s one thing I’ve learned when it comes to metal covers, it’s that a crying child on the cover means serious business. Because really, who grabs an album with a weeping toddler off the shelf to liven up a party? Sociopaths, that’s who! So, after this introduction to my grab bag result of the week, what kind of seriousness is this Illusory? Well, the band’s been around for almost 30 years, but until less than a decade ago it was still known as The Ivory Tower and released a whole one album.” In a time-out.

Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος Review

Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος Review

“It’s no secret that I was a huge admirer of the 2020 Spectral Lore / Mare Cognitum split, Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine. Like an elaborate dance, the ethereal material from Spectral Lore waltzed perfectly with the more grounded, riff-driven focus of Mare Cognitum. I was fascinated to see how each band would follow this with their respective solo albums. Mare Cognitum clearly incorporated the introspective, mournful influence of Spectral Lore to great effect on Solar Paroxysm. The question was how Spectral Lore mastermind, the Greek Ayloss, would approach his latest collection, Ετερόφωτος.” Tales from the basement (sub-floor lore).

Acid Mammoth – Caravan Review

Acid Mammoth – Caravan Review

“Stoner doom. Cool, now that two-thirds of the readers have scurried away, let’s get down to brass tacks. This genre is fucking plagued. To find prime specimens in this genre is a rare feat indeed, and as I write this I realize even I only have one or two, maybe three records to offer as modern examples of such. Everything else sounds like a litter of indistinguishable duplicates to me. Greek quartet Acid Mammoth should be able to break that mold, though, right? First of all, they’ve got one of the best metal logos in recent times. Second of all, they occupy the darker side of the stoner doom spectrum.” Diamonds and tusk.

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where the line between black metal and blackened death lies. There’re folks who are entirely justified for crying “DEATH” when you add some bass to the mix, but others will be completely in the right to scold them for hopping a little too hard. Since groups like Belphegor and Marduk have blurred the lines with their bottom-heavy yet grim AF aesthetics, it’s a horde of near or far-sighted folks blurring everything.” Ghouls night ovt.

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers Review

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers Review

“The debut of a band formed by seasoned veterans is, in a way, the best of both worlds. You get the fresh perspective of a new artist, eager to try something different, without the inexperience that may lead to errors in performances or songwriting. You also get all the good of a collection of artists who know what they’re doing, without the expectations that come with extensive back catalogs, hard-earned fan bases and established styles. Yoth Iria is one such acts, and As The Flame Withers is such a debut.” New black is the new black.

Need – Norchestrion: A Song for the End Review

Need – Norchestrion: A Song for the End Review

Need‘s previous record Hegaiamas: A Song for Freedom was one of my favorites of 2017. Apparently I’m not alone, as I had to fight Huck
off to review this one. As the album titles imply, Greece’s Need play pretty prototypical pretentious prog, in the vein of Mountain-era Haken and bits of Symphony X. As the tussle over reviewing it implies, they’re also really good at it,” Needful songs.

Shattered Hope – Vespers Review

Shattered Hope – Vespers Review

“Like raw black metal, funeral doom operates at the extremely thin edge of an extremely niche wedge. Long, patient, languid tracks put many to sleep with their glacial pace. But glaciers carry enormous momentum as a result of their sheer mass. For those who appreciate it, funeral doom provides an unparalleled — and often profound — journey through grief and sorrow. Greece’s Shattered Hope offer their third attempt at this tricky genre with Vespers.” Sad scooters.