Date: September 14, 2013
Location: Kyttaro Club, Athens
However crucial was the basketball game of the Greek National Team that night, the synthesis of the names which would conquer Kyttaro Club practically demanded our presence in Ipeirou Street, instead of being in front of some TV screen. Under the caretaking of Metal Defiance, the second visit of NECROS CHRISTOS to our soil combined with the very first one of cult Italian blackmetallers NECROMASS as well as with the chance to observe where are EMBRACE OF THORNS headed to after the changes in their line-up, attracted the attention of a small yet devoted audience, namely those that know and respect bands other than CANNIBAL CORPSE or NILE for example.
As an appetizer, we had AKROTHEISM, a new entrance to the native occult/religious blackmetal current. Aside from having a split release with ORDER OF THE EBON HAND, I had no other information about them, although, if I’m not terribly mistaken, they share the same vocalist with ASTRAL AEON. On stage they showed us aspects of their vision, with deep and solid blackmetal riffing, high speeds and some embedding of death metal elements, while their last track had a small surprise for us where they covered “To Swarm Deserted Away” (from VED BUENS ENDE) with the use of theremin, a choice not often encountered. We’ll talk more for them when, given the passing of time, they settle to the sound and goals they wish to achieve.
My last “meeting” with EMBRACE OF THORNS was in Goatlust Supremacy festival a few months ago, when serious problems with the on stage sound monitors led to the premature ending of their set. In Kyttaro’s better equipped space though, nothing could stop them. In the best of their six live appearances I’ve attended (and with the other five being no less that very good), they unfolded the whole spectrum of their otherworldly atmospheres contained in their discography, from the black demos and “For I See…” to the merciless death metal of top-class “Praying For Absolution”. With solid bonds between members, although this was the second performance with Fallen Angel Of Fornication (IMPURE WORSHIP) in guitars and only the first one of Apostle Of The Blackest Light (also in MALLEDICTION) in bass, they unleashed vibes in the rhythm of a machine gun and those with the courage to tune their minds with them, probably acquired a few neck problems in the end of the show. For those wishing to get a glimpse of what was described above, the full set of that night can be seen HERE.
After such devastating experience, a few moments of relaxation with beer and a bit of fresh air were more than needed. Not for long though, as the set of legendary NECROMASS, a band sharing some bonds with the old Hellenic underground since their debut full-length was released by Unisound records, soon would begin. I must confess that apart from MORTUARY DRAPE, my relationship with Italian blackmetal has never been a deep one. Here, the combination of bad sound (practically, the excessive volume distorted the final outcome from the speakers in a non-desired way) and imagery that wasn’t exactly compatible with my visual aesthetics, caused me a certain negative predisposition. However, I cannot deny the fact that the Italians played with great power and gave their souls to what they were doing, in a performance more metallic than black, causing enthusiasm to the largest part of the audience, especially with the prolonged version of “Mysteria Mystica Zothyriana 666” that closed their act.
And so we had finally reached the main attraction of the evening, as NECROS CHRISTOS, the vessel of Mors Dalos Ra in his quest exploring doom/death realms through eastern mystical passages, took their places on stage. In lots of ways, the Germans currently seem to feel more as doomsters than death metallers, playing their songs in a heavy rock mood, although the deep, growl-like vocals of Mors still remain almost unmatched. I believe a bit clearer sound would fit better to the direction they wish to follow but in any case Doom Of Kali-Ma” (crushing!), “Curse Of The Necromantical Sabbath”, “Va Koram Do Rex Satan” (in a heavy rock anthem version), “Black Mass Desecration” etc, still were a delight to listen to as well as a confirmation of the reasons for which they rightfully claim one of the thrones of contemporary extreme metal underground in Europe. However, I believe that, give the atmosphere surrounding the place during their set, two or three more songs could easily be added.
Even so, in the end of the gig the general picture was that of yet another very intense night with a successful line-up and strong vibes of extreme metallic sounds on the stage of Kyttaro, which proves to be an ideal space for such kind of gatherings (of course this does not mean I love AN Club any less than that). Until next time, behold the forces of the EIKONS OF THE UNDERWORLD!