Superlative Greek black metal occultists Empire of the Moon continue to expand across the categories of classical Hellenic black metal. The highly anticipated sophomore album ‘ΕΚΛΕΙΨΙΣ (Eclipse)’ is now released by the German underground label Iron Bonehead Productions. Formed by guitarist/bassist and vocalist Ravenlord Wampyri Draconium and vocalist Ouroboros in 1996. Empire of the Moon‘s latest offering interprets the old fashioned second wave of black metal through the legendary aspect of the Hellenic style. Thematically and theatrically influenced by dark subjects such as occultism, magic, necromancy, and mysticism. These occult philosophies have reflected in the lyrics and thus shaped powerful spirituality to the music.
‘ΕΚΛΕΙΨΙΣ (Eclipse)’ finds the Greek trio immersing themselves deep in the dark and mystical form of black metal. The vigorous performance on the second album blends the raw elements of old Rotting Christ albums such as ‘Thy Mighty Contract‘. With driven riffs, aggressive raps and rapid drum work, the band brings forth the Hellenic fury. By combining the mid-tempo riffing, tremolo leads and mystical melody Empire of the Moon displays a potent force, shifting with agility from rapid black metal to melodic and mid-tempo style. The opening symphonic intro ‘Arrival‘ builds on a mystical and ominous aura, by sprinkling shades of purple and dark hues like the spheres of the moon.
Yet the beautiful and the majestic atmosphere soon unleash the power of the tremolo riffs. ‘Imperium Tridentis‘ reveals the dark and mystical power of the 90’s Hellenic black metal majesty. Ultimately the trio exercises spiritual energy while performing, simultaneously the rush of electrified tremolo pickings is followed by ripples of blast beats. ‘Per Aspera Ad Lunae – I. The Resonance‘ Within is a magical reverberation which booms heavily as it directs into epic and black metal ferocity. The track becomes focused on rapid tremolo riffing, high pitched vocals and the density of the guitar riffs. Combining the elements of spoken words and melodic lead guitars, while the use of the synth forms a magical aura in the background.
The pompous superiority eclipses the melodies, Empire of the Moon epitomizes the raw and the second wave style of the Greek black metal. ‘Per Aspera Ad Lunae – II. Two Queens Appear‘ is wrapped in mystical magic and in such obscure ways the melodies become rather dark. The air of mysticism which flows gives it an ancient atmosphere. The marvelous and arcane art of melodies is quite mesmerizing. These melodies and rhythm have an affinity to classic albums such as Septicflesh‘ album ‘Mystic Places of Dawn‘.
The beautiful presentation of the mid-tempo riffing and atmospheric synth shows an intellectual side of the band. The guitars on ‘Per Aspera Ad Lunae – III. Descending‘ gently flows and swells with heavy distorted riffs, producing an archaic effect. Eerie synth effects shimmer in the background while the female chorales enhance the atmosphere. There is also a unique and fundamental nature to the music of the Greek musicians on how they have come with such fascinating melodies.
Empire of the Moon have amended their musical art since their debut album. This one shows a deeper sense of inspiration. ‘Eclipse‘ is beautifully crafted and it’s highly influenced by the riffing method of Rotting Christ. The old clichés on the sophomore album are characterized by the catchiness and the mesmerizing feel of the melodies. ‘Devi Maha Devi‘ is a paradigm of the modern and classic black metal, the lead guitars are invariably melodic. The song textures are dominated by melodic leads, and solos are very accessible. ‘Eclipse‘ consists of seven tracks, each song here creating an atmospheric soundscape of the vibrant rhythm guitars and minimal synth.
‘Per Aspera Ad Lunae – IV. Son of Fire‘ begins with slow guitar riffs and meanders into melodic leads. The blazing mid-tempo riffing is accompanied by fast drumming. While the rhythm guitars shimmer throughout the track, the closer verges on the technical and post-rock style. It is integrated with elements of heavy metal and is centered upon the early epoch of the Hellenic black metal. Built on violent and powerful tempo and atmospheric ambiance, the sophomore imbibes black metal majesty and the thematic subjects like occultism, necromancy, and mysticism.
Release Date: January 10th, 2020
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
- Imperium Tridentis
- Per Aspera Ad Lunae – I. The Resonance Within
- Per Aspera Ad Lunae – II. Two Queens Appear
- Per Aspera Ad Lunae – III. Descending
- Devi Maha Devi
- Per Aspera Ad Lunae – IV. Son of Fire