At least this EP is out, after 2 years of waiting and postponing. This initially 3 song EP was to be released as a split CD and LP with Nergal’s EP “Mesaionas”. Things didn’t go as planned and finally it is released by Those Opposed Records with a few bonus “goodies” and a total duration of 37 minutes. In my opinion it’s much better this way, since the 3 bonus tracks are the first ever Kawir songs, taken from their 2 first EPs.
Let’s begin with the 3 new songs, since they are first in the order anyway. To set things straight from the beginning, they are the best songs from Kawir until now! Amazing! The best ancient Hellenic pagan black metal band is back just to reclaim its throne. What if the 3 songs are only 21 minutes long, they are full of substance. First of all, the sound is the most professional the band ever had and Therthonax does his best guitar work with countless kick-ass riffs, both melodic and powerful. Like always the band had a new vocalist, Zagreus, who by the way has already left the band! This place seems haunted for Kawir! Anyway, his vocals are very good and it seems like he was always in the band. I have to admit though that I prefer Porphyrion, because of his “clearer” accent in ancient Hellenic language.
The 3 songs move in the usual mid to fast tempo of Kawir and their sound is close to “Ophiolatreia”, but it’s richer with clearer and better orchestrations. Everything is heard perfectly clear: from the dominating guitars, to the pagan drums and the deep melodic bass guitar. There are also some atmospheric acoustic parts in their characteristic ancient Hellenic ritual style, helped by the guest flutes from Nick. In the second song “Sword of Dardanus”, which is my favorite of the album, Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ participates as a guest vocalist. Also Hildr Valkyrie does some female backing vocals on the first two songs, something that I missed in their previous album. What I like very much in these songs is that they have no boring or filler parts, since Therthonax managed to compose many different and very interesting riffs, both in the rhythmic and in the lead melodic guitar lines. Most of them have a very dark melancholic mood and I hope he can keep the level that high in a full-length album! It is also amazing that they have a very rich and melodic sound without any synths… Of course the lyrics are in our ancient language and deal like always with themes from our rich mythistory.
About the 3 bonus tracks now, there are not many things to be said. The first one “Sinn (The Blazing Queen)” is from the first official release of the band, the split 7” with Sigh and the last two, “The Adored Cry Of Olympus” and “Eumenides” are from the EP “Eumenides”. Both EPs were released in 1994, so there are 16 years between the new songs and the old ones, something that is obvious in the music. These songs are much more raw, with a lot of synths and it’s really pointless to compare them with the new sound. They retain their magic atmosphere and the charm of this primordial approach to Hellenic pagan black metal. It is also a great chance for the newer Kawir fans to find these rare songs and see how this band begun back then…
Summing up I would say that “To Uranus” isn’t an album you should ignore. The 3 new songs concentrate on the best elements of Kawir, presenting them in the most professional way the band ever did. In my opinion they are by far the best in this genre in our country and the 3 rare bonus tracks make it an even more interesting purchase for collectors. It is released by Those Opposed Records, who also released their previous album. The first 200 copies come with a slipcase. The cover artwork has this brilliant photo taken by A. Keramydas during the 2007 ritual in Promitheia for the summer solstice. The same label also released a new DVD “Athenian Echoes Over Paris” that contains their live performance at the Cernunnos Fest in December 2008. You can visit their Facebook and myspace pages on the links below. I don’t rate it with 10, only because of its small duration…
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos