Yeah, it’s a silly name and a silly concept, but we’re doing this thing again. Further explanation for those who need it here.
In the “Inferno” section of his Divine Comedy, the poet Dante describes his descent through the various circles of Hell, including the particular sins which had landed the condemned souls in each of these, and what tragic fate had been assigned to them. A large part of the allegorical nature of this tale revolves around the narrator’s interaction with some of these damned creatures; while often serving as political commentary on what he perceived as misdeeds in his own time, Dante’s poem also speaks on the evils of human nature in a far more universal sense.
Of the nine circles through which the author must pass, the seventh is the final resting place for those deemed guilty of sins of violence. This circle is further subdivided into three narrower rings. The section “Canto XIII” discusses what he sees in the second of these three rings, which is classified as sins of violence against oneself:
“… we had put ourselves within a wood,
That was not marked by any path whatever.
Not foliage green, but of a dusky colour,
Not branches smooth, but gnarled and intertangled,
Not apple-trees were there, but thorns with poison.”
“There do the hideous Harpies make their nests…
They make laments upon the wondrous trees.”
“I heard on all sides lamentations uttered,
And person none beheld I who might make them,
Whence, utterly bewildered, I stood still.”
Soon, at the urging of his netherworldly guide Virgil, our hero discovers that the voices he hears are issuing from the disfigured trees themselves, in which form are trapped the souls of those who had ended their lives by their own hands.
By breaking off a piece of one of their limbs, he finds he is able to address the tortured soul within, and have it respond to his inquiries:
“As out of a green brand, that is on fire
At one of the ends, and from the other drips
And hisses with the wind that is escaping;
So from that splinter issued forth together
Both words and blood…”
If the lamentations he heard from this poor, wretched being could be captured on tape, I’m sure the result would be extremely similar to the just-released Lament by the San Franciscan atmospheric black metal band Obolus.
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.