ODIOUS – Mirror of Vibrations

ODIOUS – Mirror of Vibrations








Origin: Egypt
Genre: Folk Black Metal
Label: Sleaszy Rider Records
Year: 2007

Another hidden treasure of folk oriental black metal, coming from the most unexpected place. Odious is the first Egyptian band of the genre and “Mirror of Vibrations” is their first full-length after the promising demo “Summoned by Night” in 2003.

Odious’ music is fully penetrated by ancient Egyptian traditions and atmosphere. Folk oriental instruments and tunes transfer you to this glorious land. Images of eastern culture and occultism are projected through their music under a black metal filter. Pyramids, sphinxes, pharaohs and mummies are awakening in your mind for 51 minutes. Black metal guitars and vocals are combined with Egyptian acoustic instruments in a very original and professional way. Their sound in the blacker parts could be better, but we shouldn’t forget that it’s only their debut and that they come from a country without experience in metal. The compositions are totally built on the oriental scales that they seem to master. Their specialty is the acoustic folk instruments that they manage to merge perfectly with the accompanying (most of the time) guitars. Their black metal is definitely based on keyboards and melodies and much less in strength and aggression. All of the songs are full of interesting ideas with many changes in tempo, power and atmosphere, while the totally acoustic oriental parts are simply enchanting!

Someone could compare them to Melechesh, since it’s the closest sound to them, but they also have many differences. They are much more melodic, with a lighter sound and with eastern folk tunes totally dominating their music. It’s really a very good effort with an amazing, melodic and original result that definitely deserves the attention of folk black metal fans. It is released by the Greek label Sleaszy Rider and it’s not a hard to find cd. Now the band prepares their second album, which is to be released by the same label. Find below the links to their official Facebook and myspace pages.

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
Odious @ Facebook
Odious @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

KAWIR – Ophiolatreia

KAWIR – Ophiolatreia








Origin: Greece
Genre: Pagan Black Metal
Label: Those Opposed Records
Year: 2008

After 2005 comeback with “Arai” Kawir return with their new work “Ophiolatreia” (snake worship). Released in a very beautiful colored digipak, this is their most professional and solid work so far.

Nine songs-hymns to ancient Hellenic gods with a duration of almost one hour of excellent Greek pagan black metal. All compositions are big, with very nice melodies and feeling, creating a unique atmosphere, reviving this great lost civilization. I believe they manage to express perfectly their beliefs through their music offering us a very original result, creating a style of their own!

Even though there are many changes in the sound, the feeling is still pure “Kawir”. One great difference is in the vocals. Porphyrion is doing an excellent job, and he is the best vocalist the band ever had. Vocals are both black and clean with many “deep” recitations, with the absence this time of female ones… Lyrics are in ancient Hellenic, which adds a lot to the feeling and context of the songs, but it’s a pity that foreign listeners won’t be able to get all the beauty of them…

About the music now, it’s pagan black metal with faster and slower parts. There are many keyboards accompanying perfectly the guitars, as well as some acoustic guitars and traditional instruments, but in a limited use. The music is raw, yet very melodic and “majestic” with variety in rhythm and intensity. The songwriting is solid, full of new and original ideas, without boring or weaker parts. Overall, I believe it’s their best album so far (if I remove the emotional connection with their debut) and by far one of my personal favorites of 2008! You can get a taste on their Facebook / myspace official profiles.

dimiarch

Rating:  (9/10)

Links:
Kawir @ Facebook
Kawir @ MySpace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

SVARTSOT – Ravnenes Saga

SVARTSOT – Ravnenes Saga








Origin: Denmark
Genre: Folk Death Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Year: 2007

A new chapter in the rich folk metal history begun. Svartsot come from Denmark and they release a very good debut. Their black death metal songs are fully inspired by Celtic music and the guitars are built upon folk tunes, scales and rhythms. The extended use of flutes and whistles seems to be their trademark and it’s done by perfectly skilled musicians. All the instruments are heard clearly and have equal importance on the compositions. The orchestrations are very convincing, and unlike other bands they don’t sound like adding traditional instruments on an already finished metal song…

The vocals are mainly death growls, but there are also the usual Viking “drunken” choirs. All the compositions are very interesting having a “happy” folk mood, that sometimes makes you wanna drink tons of beer and start dancing up and down! The sound reminds of bands like Finntroll and Trollfest, but they definitely have their own identity, something that made Napalm Records offer them a contract. I am sure all the fans of this genre will adore Svartsot and their inspired “Ravnenes Saga”. If they manage to remain at this high level, or get even better in their future releases, then I believe their name will stay for many years in the folk metal scene. You can check on your own their official pages.

dimiarch

Rating:  (8/10)

Links:
http://www.svartsot.dk
Svartsot @ Facebook
Svartsot @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

WOLVEN ANCESTRY – The Wrath of Gaia

WOLVEN ANCESTRY – The Wrath of Gaia








Origin: Canada
Genre: Melodic Black Metal Pagan Black Metal
Label: Archaic North Entertainment
Year: 2007

Wolven Ancestry is a new band from Canada, playing a high quality melodic pagan black metal. They were formed in 2005 having a full line up of 6 members and very soon (without any demo) they released this album on their own. In 2007 the label Archaic North Entertainment re-released “The Wrath of Gaia” so the album got a much better distribution.

Their sound is raw and melodic at the same time, with a very underground (almost demo) production. The guitars have a “dirty” distorted sound that adds a frozen feeling to the music. There are also many keyboards, other times more dominant creating almost symphonic black metal songs and other times just in the background. There is an epic pagan atmosphere in the album with some more melancholic nostalgic songs. All of the nine tracks have very long titles, dealing with nature, life and wolves! The vocals are expressive black metal screams, in perfect balance with their overall sound. Someone can listen also to some acoustic instruments and a folk mood, but most of the time it’s pagan melancholic black metal.

Wolven Ancestry actually don’t offer us something new, but they are very good at what they do, and this debut is definitely better than many releases in the genre. For those who care, they are also supporters of wildlife and their official page links to http://www.wolfeducation.org. They are now preparing their upcoming second album and in their myspace or Facebook official pages you can listen to songs from “The Wrath of Gaia” and some pre-production tracks from their next, yet untitled album.

dimiarch

Rating:  (8/10)

Links:
Wolven Ancestry @ Myspace
Wolven Ancestry @ Facebook

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews

DARK FOREST – Aurora Borealis

DARK FOREST – Aurora Borealis








Origin: Canada
Genre: Epic Black Metal Pagan Black Metal
Label: Bleak Art Records
Year: 2007

A surprising debut album coming out of nowhere! Dark Forest is the personal project of David Parks from Canada and he formed the band back in 2003 (there are many other bands with the same name from other countries). This is their first full-length work that was initially self released in 500 copies. In 2007 they signed to Bleak Art Records that re-released it including 4 bonus tracks from Demo 2005. The re-release came with a slightly improved artwork and real drums from Griffin Kissack, instead of drum machine. So the total duration of the album exceeded 68 minutes!

“Aurora Borealis” is an epic black metal album with many pagan Viking elements. Most of the time their music has the classic epic mid tempo guitar riffing, mixing it with many slower acoustic and atmospheric parts. The keyboards are used very cleverly; sometimes they stay in the background, sometimes the carry the lead melodies and other times they simply add some folk touches. All of their compositions are great, with many changes inside each song and a very good production. I have only listened to the first edition, so I guess the Bleak Art edition will be even better. Their vocals are mostly black metal screaming, but there are also some clean Viking ones in the most epic parts. The excellent cover artwork is another brilliant work of Kris Verwimp.

Overall “Aurora Borealis” is a safe investment for all fans of this genre. Maybe Dark Forest don’t actually add something new to this overcrowded scene (not that they remind of something particular), but their music is very well played and composed epic pagan black metal and they seem to have all the potentials for something bigger… If you want to listen to their music you can visit they links below.

dimiarch

Rating: (8/10)

Links:
http://www.darkforest.ca
Dark Forest @ Facebook
Dark Forest @ Myspace

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos

Posted in Reviews