After 14 years of hiatus the Greek black metal band Order of the Ebon Hand return with a long anticipated album. The new symphonic opus draws it’s musical themes and inspiration from tarot cards, occultism and prophecies based on fortune telling. With two albums released through different labels, the third outing by the Greek trio was recently released by Satanath Records. The new album VII: the Chariot contains eight ripping and roaring tracks. Order of the Ebon Hand have been around for quite long and it’s surprising that they haven’t gotten more attention. The band has established itself in 1994 and released two albums between the years 1997-2005. The band is consist of Merkaal who handles the vocals/bass, Asmodeus on guitars/backing vocals and Lethe on drums and keyboards.
Order of the Ebon Hand mainly combines melodic solos/rhythm and black metal riffing assault. Opening track Dreadnaught focus on the haunting symphonies where it accelerates on musical dramaturgy. The keyboards have variations in sounds where each of these musical segments sound different from each other. For example you can hear various compositions from piano, church organ which are presented on the opening track and other arrangements also from synth. The band is quite skilled in crafting their style of music and the way they carry out the guitar melodies and the drum patterns through technical skills makes this album so entertaining.
The vocalization has a specified quality ranging from sharp screeches to vicious growls. These abstract qualities with the striking guitar melodies and rhythm are brilliantly carried through the album. The growing tendency towards melancholy and somber themes are put into effect once the tracks start rolling. And apart from the tenacious performance the music is brought to a spellbinding scale. Through the high musical measures Order of the Ebon Hand brings a lot of value to their music, there is a constant change in the tempo while the keyboards often contrast with evil screeches.
The drums is always blasted at full energy bringing dynamics and tempo changes. Generally speaking the music is highly spirited and holds a fascinating atmosphere which is mostly created by the keyboards and rhythm guitar. As a fact not all Greek black metal bands sound like Rotting Christ or Varathron. VII: the Chariot include many great tracks like Wings, and Sabnock which features Sakis Tolis from Rotting Christ. On these two songs the keyboards are beautifully applied to create a darker feel. The guitars are mostly energized with excellent melodies which makes them sound very inspiring.
The drums are loud and played fast that eventually make the tracks flow with rapid blast beats. Knight of Swords is another standout track and begins with rapid drumming and electrifying guitars which brings some fascinating moments when the rhythm guitars are stimulated. Order of the Ebon Hand is all about creating a mesmerizing atmosphere, the role of keyboards is notable in increasing the gloomy sensation.
The atmosphere gets closer to richness when the keyboards are applied, yet there are also other ways of making each song entertaining. Αίαντας is sung in clean vocals is played swiftly with blast beats while the rhythm guitar adds the majestic feel to the track. The execution is moved by professional performance and with every track increasing the musical sensibility. Tracks like Bael and The Slow Death Walk continues further into rhythmic regularity of the guitar section.
The epic closure leans towards a melodic sensibility driven with orchestral keyboards and powerful guitar riffs. The riffs are catchy, thundering and shows the obvious influence to heavy metal. Repeated tremolo pickings are stretched to capture the mood and shows a skillfully talent from these Greek trio. VII: the Chariot surpassed my expectations this is an amazing album that is full of rich compositions and high level of songwriting. This is a pivotal release from Greek black metal outfit who have remained silent for a long years. VII: the Chariot is intense and full of compelling riffs, orchestral synth work and dramatic vocals.
Release Date: June 27th, 2019
Label: Satanath Records
- Knight of Swords
- The Slow Death Walk