Two bands, two variations of black metal, both from Athens, Greece, both on Iron Bonehead Productions, and both with albums released on January 10th, 2020? This calls for a Demonic Double Dose!
(Important Caveat: Both of these albums were digitally released on the Iron Bonehead Bandcamp page as of December 10th, 2019, but the physical CD’s, LP’s, and tapes (as well as digital sales and downloads) will not be officially available for purchase until January 10th, 2020, so for the purposes of an official release date, most metal outlets are sticking with January 10th and with the full release of the physical copies for both albums. Thanks for your understanding!)
Empire of the Moon - EKɅEIΨIΣ
Excellently produced, Empire of the Moon’s EKɅEIΨIΣ (“Eclipse” in English) is the second full-length release from this seclusive Greek trio. Originally formed in the mid 90’s, Empire of the Moon released only one demo in 1997 and then promptly disappeared. But they resurfaced in 2014 with refreshed purpose and poise on their debut full-length Πανσέληνος; and with this year’s release of EKɅEIΨIΣ, it is safe to say that Empire of the Moon are officially here to stay. With six original compositions and one intro, EKɅEIΨIΣ is full of competent, modern black metal that features broad, sweeping strokes of funereal melodicism and indigenous influence. Be sure not to miss the entire “Per Aspera ad Lunae” series of songs on EKɅEIΨIΣ, as all four tracks are categorically the most striking material on this satisfactory release.
Rating: 8.25 / 10
Kawir – Adrasteia
More canorous and much folkier in their approach to black metal than their Athenian counterparts in Empire of the Moon, Kawir also differ from their hometown mates in that since their formation in 1993, Kawir have never taken even a minor break. “No rest for the wicked” seems to be the mantra in the Kawir camp, as they’ve released four demos and EP’s, five splits, two boxed sets, and now eight full-length albums in their twenty-seven years of existence. Adrasteia is six epic tracks of melodic folk black tastiness that is heavily infused throughout with traditional Mediterranean aesthetics. Ancient chanting, pan flutes, and Greek bagpipes are just some of the regional touches that Kawir add to their music to make it their own, and their own it is indeed. Uncommon and unequaled, Adrasteia is another fine album from the Greek melodic folk black masters. Don’t miss the tracks “Atalanti”, “Limniades”, or the closer “Medea”.
Rating: 8 / 10
Be sure to visit both bands if you dig what you've read and heard, and thanks for reading! \m/