Greek veterans of pagan black metal Kawir, whose name has long been carved up in the pantheon of the best Hellenic black metal bands, return with an outstanding album. ‘Αδράστεια’ (Adrasteia) is the eighth album that delves into the emotive power of pagan/folk black metal. The band exposes their visceral abilities to unprecedented measures by fusing black metal and the folk instruments into one majestic feel. Formed in the year 1993 by the bassist Therthonax a.k.a. (Mentor) with the help of Stefan Necroabyssious the outfit has been around for a while. The long experience has made Therthonax one of the most famous public figures in the Greek black metal scene beside Sakis of Rotting Christ and Stefan Necroabyssious of Varathron.
In Ancient Greek mythology, Kawir is the goddess of equilibrium and one who balances the forces of good and evil the daughter of Eros and Aphrodite. Kawir began the journey towards Greek pagan/folklore and became inspired by the muse of the ancient gods and mythological creatures. This musical turn has bestowed unique and epic proportions. Generally, this particularity has also determined the style of most of the Hellenic black metal bands.
Unlike the Scandinavian black metal bands who mostly incorporate keyboards, icy tremolo pickings to form a cold frigid atmosphere, the Hellenic black metal groups preserved their methodology as they followed a meticulous art when it comes to black metal music. Each track on the album deals with ancient Greek mythology. For example, the opening track Tydeus who was a hero before the Trojan War and it also refers to Aeolus the Greek god of wind. Other track titles like Danaides were the fifty goddesses of Danaids, while Limniades revolves around a type of Naiads who presided in springs and fountains. The first opening moments of the first track Tydeus is quite epic and emotive, it begins with an elegant strumming of strings followed by a male chorale. Then plunges into the aesthetics of mid-tempo black metal riffing, the rhythm guitars add a captivating aspect to the music.
The purity and the simplicity of the music is elevated to a true grandeur. Next track Atalanti slithers into fast-paced black metal backed by blast beats and melodic lead guitar. The transformation to raw black metal is manifested through the scathing tremolo pickings and low pitches. The similarities in the riffing style have strong comparisons to early Rotting Christ albums such as Non-Serviam. Kawir includes folk instruments meticulously to create a true grandeur to the music, while the lead guitars are combined into the song. The band has been on momentum since the previous album Exilasmos “Εξιλασμός” and this is why the new album has more of an aggressive and furious sound to it.
Simultaneously Adraestia “Αδράστεια” has many layers like the rhythm guitar and the driven melodies, the vocals delivery also has many different pitches and they fuse quite well with the music. The track Danaides continues in the same fast tempo were the tremolos are intensely processed. While the rhythm guitar forms a tumultuous tempo with the drums being pounded heavily unleashing Hellenic fury. Kawir’s pure approach to Hellenic black metal relies on mid-riffing, and elements of heavy metal are diversified into the song-structure.
The lead and rhythm guitar forms exquisite melodies and the overall tone has a metallic sound. Limniades has more of an epic feel compared to the previous tracks, the constant utilization of the tremolo pickings sweep throughout the track. The lively instruments of folklore instruments become more explicit and the strength of the tremolo leads adds an expansion of epic emotions. Whereas the exalting aura of the musical element builds on the male chorales is nothing but dramatic. If all these tracks had a unique feel to them Kawir raises the bar high and delivers yet another exquisite track. Colchis is an outstanding tune composed of clean instrumental arranged by melodic female chants, strings, and drums.
So gracefully captivating by the mellifluous voice of the female chanter, the dazzling performance continues on the final track Medea. With a strong direction of the tempo, the song tends to sound melodically inspiring, the lush tone of the tremolo pickings. And the melodies are combined to attract the listener, and the guitars emit fiery riffs. Medea is a melodic track but the addition of the epic sensation midway through the track.
‘Αδράστεια’ proves that Kawir has been honing their skills, with a captivating performance on the newest offering. Kawir has become a reckoning force in the Hellenic black metal scene, alongside other acts such as Varathron, Rotting Christ, Zemial and Thou Art Lord.
Release Date: January 10th, 2020
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions