Occult, dark, and surprisingly melodic, "Vamachara" by the Greek black metal band Acherontas will be released in a month's time.
Acherontas are part of the presently exploding new wave of Greek black metal, and we certainly are dealing with an unmistakably black metal release, which is rich in the features that define the genre, but it also differs from a lot of stereotypical black metal in that Acherontas have allowed influences from 70s psychedelic occult rock into their music - and, obviously, we are dealing with a dark and menacing type of psychedelia (I mean, the first track is a dark sort of soundscape with a voice over that sounds like some sort of occult religious invocation), which generates an atmosphere which suits the more traditional black metal elements, such as blastbeats, tense (dis)harmonies, and tremolo picking.
In addition to the dark psychedelia, there are a lot of melodic leads on the album which suits the overall style very well. The vocals are more in the death growl department than the black metal scream department, which also sets this release apart from more standard black metal.
All tracks are quite interesting and full of both traditional-as-hell black metal passages as well as more dark and melodic elements, but the two really outstanding tracks for my money are the melody-rich 'Blood Current Illumination' and the massively epic 10 minutes long 'Drakonian Womb'... I am not an expert in black metal, but those tracks are among the finest black metal tracks I have heard.
True to the ethos of the genre, the production is not polished, but it is not really raw either, which I appreciate because it allows the listener to head the details and take note of the harmonies and disharmonies. That being said, I think that the drums are too lo-fi in production, and a lot of really cool details in the drumming are lost on the listener.
Dark, psychedelic, occult "Vamachara" is defintiely one of the black pearls of the Greek black metal movements, and if you are into occult black metal, you should check it out.
(review originally posted at metalmusicarchives.com)