Tuesday, 28 September 2010


Algaion is one of the oldest and best swedish black metal bands. They have always been using the greek language in their art, starting with their name itself that derives from the word άλγος meaning pain. This is their fourth release that bears a greek title if we count their two demo tapes (Algaion from 1993 and Heosphoros Ho Proi Anatellon from 1994) and their first full length Oimai Algeiou. The greek connection doesn't stop there or even to the various song titles throughout their existence. Contrary to the norm that dictates that black metal bands (let alone the swedish ones) that wish to add melody to their darkness, should ape Dissection, Algaion choose to use the old greek ways of Rotting Christ, Varathron and Thou Art Lord as inspiration.
Their long absence has resulted to a record that refines all aspects they had shown in the past with masterful handling of atmosphere and rhythm. The furious cover medley of Sign Of Evil Existence / The Era Of Satan Rising blends naturally with the atmosphere of the album and comes as perfect accompaniment of That Time Is Nigh and Theos Tou Aimatos (Blood God in english) that set the atmosphere of the whole album. I could say that Algaion is the best greek black metal band that is not greek and I could mean it as a compliment but I understand that it would actually not do justice to the band. Besides greek bands haven't record such a good death/black metal record for over 15 years now.

Algaion seem to focus quite a lot on the matter of enmity in their lyrics. Εχθρός means enemy, while there are also We Are The Enemy and Ruach Adversi and the recurrent use of of the line 'I am the enemy' on several tracks of the album. Of course there is also the title of their second full length (General Enmity).

So, it is clear. Algaion  is your enemy. And you should die a miserable death.

Other small deaths...
Blood Covered - Wrong Direction
Holocaust-The Sounds Of Souls
Witchrist - Beheaded Ouroboros

Friday, 24 September 2010


Never judge a book from its cover. Bullshit. I for one cannot stand a book with a cover that is misleading or not fitting to the content. Of course the importance of the general 'artwork' is next to non existent when talking about books. But what about records? It's often that bad artwork makes me avoid listening to a record especially when talking about black metal. I have debated before about the importance of the image in black metal. It is the image combined with the artwork and the music that create the whole atmosphere that is an integral part of this music. In that context it is often that a cover can draw me to a record without having any idea of its music's value. The artwork can be enough for me to give a chance to a bad and then decide how good it is. Disappointments are not rare in such cases but that doesn't mean that the visual aesthetics of an album are not essential and at least a first indication about about a band's seriousness and philosophy. 

There are also plenty of cases that bad artwork appalls me from certain releases or from the whole of a bands' work. I can't think of a better example than Maniac Butcher, a band that the underground deems as 'legendary' but whose record covers and their image could make clowns like Immortal look as serious as college professors. Until recently I hadn't heard not a single song of the band. How could one listen to a band that shows such a band taste (or a complete lack of it) by choosing to cover its work with 'art'work like this? Is it possible that good music could hide behind such hideous visual presentation? Furthermore there is also that legendary status given to the band. Usually the underground appoints such titles with great ease. Bands that exist for many years are automatically 'legends'. Whether this is the superficiality that characterizes the people or just bad use of language, I don't know. A band is legendary when it has to show exquisite work during its years of existence. A band that counts many years of life and nothing more, could be described as stubborn or persistent or plainly annoying in cases of completely worthless bands.

Stubborn could a description fitting to Maniac Butcher. After almost twenty years they managed to make a cover artwork that is half a step above their previous excrement, though it is still badly painted (if at all) and childish. This is their first record I listen to and it is pretty decent black metal but nothing above average. This is a universe away from being the work of a legendary band. Especially when one listens to the new Weapon that is expected soon - and will be possibly the second best black metal record of the year, after Deathspell Omega - the Maniac Butcher LP can become unbearably indifferent.   

On a (not so) different matter...What the fuck is wrong with all those so called modern thrash metal bands that are promoted by the mainstream press like Terrorizer and such magazines. Who told them that thrash metal was just about beers, supposedly funny poses and stupid grimaces? Suddenly the world of metal is full of Tankard lookalikes competing about the most stupid pose smiling or laughing like demented imbeciles.
To think that my generation grew up listening to thrash metal and thinking that thrash was Slayer, Exodus, Destruction, Sodom, Razor, Sacrifice, Assassin or Protector and 25 years later seeing this music being degenerated to harmless and mindless fun is a pity. But who are we to judge? Terrorizer knows best. Thrash metal is endless fun just as gothic is the garbage served in this lame insert called Dominion.

Fuck you.

Real butchers...
Procession - The Cult of Disease
Integrity - The Blackest Curse
Dead Congregation - Graves Of The Archangels 
Neil Young - Le Noise
Unholy Lust - Taste The Sin Through The Fire

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Time...what a sulphur

Time is precious. The more it passes the more precious it is. Moments are also precious. Some years ago I rarely felt the need to 'capture' moments, either by technical means (cameras and stuff) or by saving moments to my memory and thus to my heart and mind. As time goes by I feel this need more often. I don't know what it is with time and its whole concept that fascinates me but the fact is that I constantly find myself toying with ideas and facts that are relevant with time. The first thing that triggered my interest was some years back when I realized that time can by very relative. I remember the brief talk that me and my (drunk) group of friends had with a 10 year old kid. The kid was talking about a habit he used to have, 'back in the day'. When we asked when exactly this 'back in the day' was he told us that it was seven or eight months before. The general initial response was one of amusement and superficial 'teaching'. Which means a bunch of drunk elders explaining to a kid that eight months is as recent as yesterday. Yet it only took me a moment to realize that the kid was actually right. Or maybe both sides were right.  In the life of a ten years old, one year is 10% of his life, which is a lot.  In the life of a fifty years old, one year is only 2% of it. So the absolute amount of eight months time was really so much relative. Now that I summarize things I see that it took plenty of alcohol and a small kid to give me a new interest in life. 

The amount of new music I listen to everyday is threatening to burn me out. I don't know how things came to this point, but when you listen to at least three or four new records a day, your favorite habit becomes a race against...whom? The obvious fact is that the listening of music is superficial to say the least. There's absolutely no time to digest what you listen. The worst thing is that there's no time to listen to some of your favorites. The exact same thing happened to me in the late 90s and resulted to a six years withdrawal from the underground and music in general. So, less is more and I hope I will stick to this decision as I wish to take the full from the records I choose to listen. 
The thing is that this is also the problem with the music 'journalists'. (I always thought this term is ridiculous, hence the quotes). No one can write a record review after listening to a record just for a couple of times. I know none will admit doing so but I'm sure that 90% of them don't give more time than this to the records they write about. This also leads to the oversimplified and shallow reviews that plague the underground (and not only) that are plain descriptions of each song. Also the saturation of the scene with worthless and invalid subgenre tags cannot be irrelevant to this phenomenon. The shallow approach to a record leads the 'reviewer' to playing it safe by inventing his own genre like 'depressive ambient blackened doom death metal' in order to include everything he thinks he heard in 40 minutes and that's it. 


A brief reference to records I listened to and left a mark on me lately...

StarGazer - A Great Work Of Ages 
This is not the first time I refer to one of the greatest death metal bands of the decade. I had praised their first record and I will praise this one even more. This is much more mature and varied and it is also much more focused. It is actually so varied that now that the mainstream is discovering them I expect to read the most ridiculous descriptions a moron can invent. You'll see 'avant garde' or 'jazz' referenced a lot but fear not. This is death METAL with innovation and talent that is brutal as much as it is full of imagination.   

Wolfshade - When Above... 
This is a french band and their third full length is my first contact with their music. You'll see 'suicidal' or 'shoegazing' and other crap referenced a lot about Wolfshade but fear not. Their  black metal is maybe more doom metal at its core emphasizing to atmosphere and creating an aura of mysticism that is calm and relaxing in the outside but there's a sense of danger lurking in its shadows. Occult black metal you imbeciles.   

The devil will come...
Grave Miasma - Realm of Evoked Doom 
Hallow's Eve - Tales Of Terror
Griftegard/Count Raven - Split
Uriah Heep - Abominog
Hooded Priest - Devil Worship Reckoning

Satan is real...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


I had a great interest in religious matters from a very early age. The teaching of the christian religion is obligatory in the whole period of mandatory education in greece, so every kid is subjected to the 'truths' and 'superior' values of it from the age of 6 or 7 until 17. If I remember correct I was probably 12 years old when I started to question the thinks I was being taught. Some time later I started studying religious books other than the christian ones, starting with the coran and expanding to others the following years.
Anyhow, the result of those early, fairly immature attempts to explore religion resulted to a complete anti-religious stance that was obviously helped by the strict orthodox theocratic state greece is and the way it oppresses the ones that think in a different way. This anti-religious thing lasted for several years, although throughout these years I continued studying religious texts of any kind (including magical texts) especially focusing to the dark corners that passed unnoticed at first reading.
Things started changing maybe when I was 30 years old or something. It was the period of my life when Ι couldn't characterize myself as anti-anything. It just seemed a sterile and shallow way of dealing with serious matters. I also realized at some point that I couldn't view at religious matters cutting them out of the spiritual aspect. Most people tend to view religion under the aspect of the organized, distorted form that is prevalent today. Most people also view such matters being influenced by the way the herd face religiousness. Blind faith, fear, total submission, destruction of  any sign of self confidence and so on. All these can only lead a thinking person to an anti-religion stance. 

Anyhow, the way I see things is different. The fact that the herd sees religious matters in the superficial way it does, does not mean that those matters are really that shallow. Note that where I use the word 'religious' I could as well use the word 'spiritual'. For me spirituality is the very core of religiousness, yet it is usually absent by human belief. I have yet to confront a christian devout or not, that really is a spiritual person. Perhaps this is natural when talking about religions that are made and organized in a certain way, with the goal of attracting the more followers possible. It is also natural since religion is used as a tool to control massive groups of people. But is this religion's true nature? In my opinion the very essence of religion is that of a tool in the service of the individual. It is to be used for his enlightenment and spiritual ascension. 

All of the above things considered I now consider myself to be a religious individual. The path on which I walk is obvious by a brief browsing of this little lair. So, sterile anti-christian or anti-religion views does not interest me. Such rhetoric is fitting for imbecile viking wannabees but I am always unpleasantly surprised when I see such reactions coming from smart and thinking people. How can such people ignore the spiritual factor? Does the rejection of religion also mean they reject spirituality?
Some are skeptical about such matters believing in science as the answer to almost everything. But why should spirituality be seen as an answer to anything? I myself am a scientist studying and practicing my science for more than 20 years overall, yet I fail to see where science is against spirituality. The needs those two fulfill are quite different. In that sense does the rejection of religion/spirituality could possibly mean a rejection of ,say, philosophical thinking that is not always grounded on apt scientific proof? 
All in all spirituality for me is the tool for soul searching, self improvement and ascension, mind conquering over matter and flesh, establishing balance and communication with the multiverse. Linguistic difficulties force me to stop my rambling here.   

To connect all these with my favorite subject of extreme and violent music, it comes as no surprise that bands like Deathspell Omega, Watain and others are often being judged in the most negative manner because of views they have expressed in interviews. I still remember people being pissed off with DsO after this interview. I can understand that a plain metalhead is not the best example of a bright individual, so such things are beyond him. Lines like 'rape the anus of the virgin' and so on are more within such a person's mental ability, while DsO's lyrics are confusing but that doesn't mean that black metal should stay in a condition that suits people of the lower common denominator. Yet, deep inside I am satisfied when I see such bands being criticized for their philosophy even if this comes a result of malicious judgment, as it is a sign that black metal is much more than plain music made for instant consumption or entertainment. On the other hand bands like the aforementioned and some other (Funeral Mist comes first to mind) have made a poor choice of tool for their cause (that tool being metal). The odd mass we use to call metal community has not shown signs of liking intelligent individuals. The surprising thing is when otherwise smart persons choose to reduce a band's spiritual or theological or religious beliefs to a bunch of mumbo jumbo nonsense. This is surprising because I don't expect from a clever man to choose the easy path of mocking the other instead of confronting him. 

At the end of the day maybe it is not wise to connect spiritual matters with genres of metal music. The world of metal loves oversimplifications. Blastbeats and tremolo picking make black metal, a simple acoustic passage is folk, a drum machine is industrial, slow pace is doom and so on. Just like that. Just like fucking that. Alas, real music is a living organism much more complex than that. It needs soul, it needs to breath, it demands emotion. Either way it doesn't deserve to be defined in such a shallow manner. It doesn't deserve to be viewed as mere notes in a row. 

Hate and suffering for y'all.

This text was written under the company and influence of Esoteric's The Maniacal Vale.                   

Monday, 6 September 2010

A circle complete

'Paracletus, the last record of the trilogy, will be released November 8th in Europe.'


The most important black metal artists of recent time are going to conclude the year with the final part of the trilogy that started with Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice. Unfortunately the hype around the band has brought a lot of parasites around them that started spreading their stupidity based on the band's new american label. I am ever amazed by seeing how many imbeciles there are around, always ready to drag everything down to their sub-basement level standards. 
Best thing they can do is stay the fuck away. There are always comedians like Immortal that are tailored made for them and their mind and spiritual capabilities. 


Saturday, 4 September 2010

...καί άλλον Παράκλητο δώσει υμίν, ίνα μένη μεθ' υμών εις τόν αιώνα

On November 9, the mysterious, meta-physical, black metal omega lords will unleash their fifth album, "Paracletus".
Cleanse your soul, body and mind.