Παρασκευή, 7 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Acherontas - Vamachara (LP review)


Vamachara is, in my opinion, one of the most significant works of the band, including also the old Stutthof works. Acherontas has been delivering the goods in this genre for many years, being one of the most promising modern black metal bands of the Greek scene. For me, one of the strengths of the band is that combines melody and atmosphere with the more traditional Black Metal sound, but without sounding cheesy or goofy, unlike some other bands of the scene.

The guitar-based songs here are just winners; after a short atmospheric intro, "Blood Current Illumination" kicks in, with its ultra-catchy riffs. The clean and distorted vocals go along perfectly. In the same vein is "Beyond the Mazeways to Ophidian Gnosis" where the riffs stuck in your head, full of Black Metal adrenaline. Some of the songs in the album have really interesting parts, which give a bit of "progressive" feeling, without losing its dark edge, of course. Examples include the intro but also the outro of "Abraxas" (especially the latter part is a clear winner), plus the ending of "Vamachara" and "Drakonian Womb" (this one has even some Iron Maiden influence!). The title track near the end is really cool, with the combination of guitar riffs, drums and vocals, before expanding into to a melodic guitar solo and fading out. This transition is sure one of the album's highlights! In general, there is always the dark riff to keep your interesting going, and the infernal screams, but also the melody. Keyboards are not used in a very dominant way in this album, unlike say, in "Tat Tvam Asi" (another really good album in its own way).

What really makes this album (and band) interesting though, is the experimentation. The intro and "Ohm Krim Kali" give a ritual feeling, especially the latter with its percussion and mantra-like singing. The openminded metal fans will really enjoy this one. Also, the already mentioned "Abraxas" has some really haunting chanting in the intro. Another significant thing to mention is the cryptic and occult lyrics, about dark spirits & gods (e.g. Kali, Tiamat), and the philosophy of the left-hand path. The band, and especially the frontman, sure know their stuff regarding mythologies and the arcane. Miles ahead of other shallow bands in Black Metal, who have a poseur-like image, just wanting to sound scary.

In general, I really recommend this album. Even though the following album "Amenti" can be considered more interesting regarding the atmosphere and experimentation, I think this one wins regarding the overall writing and catchiness of the compositions. Moreover, if you can, see the band playing live, they have a nice theatrical image and perform very well in general.

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