(This is the second in a series of two album reviews today, for two very different, yet equally awesome, Central Macedonian bands. To read about Descensus Ad Inferos by Erevos, head in this direction.)
Pneuma (πνεύμα, or Spirit in English) is the debut release from Thessalonian duo Hail Spirit Noir, which consists of Haris (synths) and Theoharis Liratzakis (guitar/vocals), both of whom serve in those same roles in the avant-black ensemble Transcending Bizarre?. HSN has been in existence for about two years now, and much of this time was spent composing the material found on Pneuma, which was then put to tape at Lunatech Studios (near Mount Olympus), rounded out by guest musicians Dim Douvras on bass (who also mixed the recording), Ioannis Giahoudis on drums, and Dimitris Dimitrakopoulos who provided additional vocals. Acclaimed Swedish engineer Jens Bogren then mastered the final product, and earlier this month Code666 Records made it available worldwide.
At least, that’s what happened according to the record label’s official press release (which also refers to the group’s music as “psychedelic prog black to tear your psyche apart”). Now, I’m not trying to imply that any of this information is inaccurate in any way. But having listened to this album pretty much nonstop for several days, I’ve found that what these guys have crafted is so uniquely compelling, I would have been willing to believe it if I had been told there was a bit more to the story of its inception than that.
Erevos – Descensus Ad Inferos (30 September 2011, Orkestral Promenade Records)
I don’t know what’s in the water in the Greek region of Macedonia. Maybe there’s some kind of magic in the Termaic Gulf or the nearby Haliacmon River or something. Whatever it is, it’s obviously had a strong effect on the musicians of that area, as evidenced by the fact that today I’m going to tell you about not one, but two incredible debut albums, from a pair of bands who both come from the Central Macedonian capital (and second-largest city in Greece), Thessaloniki. The second one, about Hail Spirit Noir‘s Pneuma, can be found over here, but first I’d like to introduce you to Erevos.
Erevos (έρεβος in Greek, or translated into English as Erebus) literally means darkness; in the story of Creation, Erebus was one of the primordial Greek deities which originally came forth from Chaos, wherein he was the incarnation of darkness and night. The name also refers to a place of darkness beneath the earth, which some say indicates the eternal home of sinners after death, while others identify it with an area through which the dead pass between earth and Hades.
Erevos is also the name of a symphonic black metal band who have been around since 2004, having released a couple demos and some split releases since that time, in addition to touring all over Greece and other parts of Europe, including Bulgaria and France. In early 2011 they finished recording their debut full-length, Descensus Ad Inferos, and then in September it saw a limited release in their home country through the Orkestral Promenade Records label. The album met with much acclaim from those who were lucky enough to hear it the first time around, so in cooperation with Clawhammer PR, they’re now pushing to spread the word about this excellently composed sonic poetry worldwide. And, well, spreading the word is what I’m here for.