Hail Spirit Noir - Mayhem in Blue
Third album, named Mayhem in Blue, by Thessaloniki Progressive Black Metal act Hail Spirit Noir where once again they successfully present their combination of Black metal with psychedelic melodies, clean vocals and ritualistic rhythms. More easy listening this time (if anyone can call this easy listening music) but I feel that Hail Spirit Noir have reached their maturity and are now in total control of their sound and style ready to spread their music further across the masses. Some purists already consider this as one click inferior compared to their previous albums but for me any record that contains songs like And Lost in Satan’s Charms or How to Fly in Blackness can be only considered as masterpiece.
Dead Congregation - Sombre Doom
Sombre Doom, the new release by Dead Congregation is a 2 song EP and of course when it comes to another of DG’s releases it is unlikely that the listener will find flaws or generally receive a collection of insufficient material. Dead Congregation are a band that never fail to deliver excellent quality Death metal and this is also the case here. First song Redemptive Immolation is a 9 minute doom masterpiece, slow and asphyxiating, lurking in its evilness so that makes one eagerly anticipating for a cathartic burst, something that only finally happens during the second song, Wind’s Bane. Overall excellent but short, thus leaving you wanting for some more. We think that it is time for a full length album soon guys.
Stheno - Liberty Crawls in Waste
First full length album by Stheno and second release of them to be presented in this blog (last summer we have reviewed their split 7inch EP with World Downfall), Liberty Crawls in Waste contains 13 songs of high quality political Grindcore played in not more than 30 minutes. The material is fast and raw with the exception of the last song Poisoned Tears of the Blessed (Ireland 1972) which is a 3 minute epic, dealing with the Bloody Sunday events of 1972 in Ireland. Stheno are a band of high integrity and whilst being very serious when it comes to their political message they are also great musicians something that it is clearly reflected in the songs of Liberty Crawls in Waste.
Mummrah - The Tragedy Called Human
The Tragedy Called Human is Mummrah’s second release (first one was a demo therefore this qualifies as their first official album). Recorded in DYI manner during the summer of 2015, is a typical example of the Greek neo-crust scene which means fast, melodic hardcore with dark and pessimistic lyrics.
Μαύρο Γάλα - Άγχος (Black Milk - Stress)
Being young and living in Greece is not the easiest thing nowadays and somehow this situation is being reflected in the overproduction of punk bands emerging out of the country during the recent years. One of these bands are Mavro Gala (Black Milk in Greek) who play screamo punk. Their music is fast, melodic and aggressive at the same time while the screaming vocals express the desperate cry of an (almost) lost generation. 20 minutes overall of sentimentally charged hardcore and surely not one of the easiest or most comforting materials to listen.
Need - Hegaiamas : a song for freedom
Together with Pain of Salvation, Need will be the duelists that will battle for getting the title of the creators of this year’s best progressive metal album (at least for this blog). It is difficult to find non-cliche sentences in order to describe this masterpiece, however if I would like to summarise in one word the values that this record represents for me, that word would be Sensitivity.
Panx Romana - PAX Americana
I cannot even remember how many years have passed since I last bought a Panx Romana album (this should have been State: Closed back in 1999) and to be honest I was not even aware whether the band is still active or not. Well apparently they still are and, as PAX Americana proves, they are also in great shape. All the elements that made us love them during our high-school years are present in this album: the melodies with the excellent chorus vocals, the ska/reggae references (call me The Clash), the idealistic romantic lyrics, the political activism as expressed in their own published fanzine Yellow Press which, in their traditional manner, accompanies this release. PAX Americana contains 15 songs in total, mostly mid tempo and with some of them classifying easily amongst the best that Panx Romana have ever written. Now I have to go back to my parents house and search for my old Panx Romana t-shirt…
Allochiria - Throes
Athens based Allochiria are a band who maintain a certain and unconditional political stance by supporting various political and social causes however, as their second album Throes proves, music is not coming second in significance to them. When other post-metal bands just copy Isis, Allochiria present excellently structured compositions with great riffs, unhesitant experimentations and cinematic atmospheres thus making Throes the perfect soundtrack to listen while travelling. Another candidate (3d one in this post) for my year’s end list.