Album Review – Prometheus / Consumed In Flames (2017)

Let’s get consumed by the flames created by a fantastic Hellenic power trio who masterfully combined Black Metal with a more esoteric form of Death Metal, sounding at the same time devastating, provoking and true to the foundations of extreme music.

After a terrible motorcycle accident involving two members of the band, Hellenic black/death metallers Prometheus are finally reborn with their first full-length album, titled Consumed in Flames, a creation that is the result of discipline and persistence. Combining traditional Black Metal with a more esoteric form of Death Metal, the album is, according to the band, “characterized by its speed and the original way of changing forms inside the songs.” Highly influenced by Scandinavian Black Metal bands such as Emperor, Thorns and Limbonic Art, as well as the Death Metal by Morbid Angel, Consumed In Flames is a flaming example of high quality Black Metal art, being at the same time devastating, provoking and true to the foundations of extreme music.

Founded in 2004 by guitarist and bassist Esophis in the city of Thessaloniki, located in Central Macedonia, Greece, and having already released the demos Beyond the Cosmic Twilight in 2006, Cosmogenesis Inferno in 2007 and Upon the Promethean Throne in 2013, Prometheus not only blast fierce and dense Black Metal through their instruments, but their lyrics are also a very important piece of their compositions, being inspired by ancient Hellenic mysticism, history and religion, the philosophy of war, death and transcendentalism. While listening to Consumed In Flames, be prepared to be embraced by the band’s unrelenting, dark musicality, and when the album is over you’ll certainly realize you’ve just experienced one of the best Extreme Metal albums from the past few years (and you’ll go right back to the beginning of the album again and again, without a shadow of a doubt).

And this Hellenic horde begins their demonic feast of old school Black Metal with Death Metal vibes from the very first second of the opening track, The Disgusting Tongues, a full-bodied aria of darkness where the deep guttural by Aggelos is effectively complemented by the guitars by Esophis and the bestial drums by Nodens, also presenting an epic background due to the synths by Qsnc. With a classic name like Hand of War, the music in the following tune had to be extremely violent, dense and obscure, or in other words, a gripping Blackened Death Metal extravaganza the likes of Behemoth, with Esophis simply blasting pure hatred through his guitar and bass while Nodens sounds like a stone crusher on drums. There’s not a single second of peace found in the entire song, and that says a lot about how powerful the music by Prometheus can be.

Moving on with Prometheus’ astounding symphony of darkness we have Seth, a wicked instrumental bridge showcasing acoustic guitar lines and a truly menacing atmosphere, setting the tone for the epic aria Vulture All Black, one of the darkest and most exciting Black Metal compositions of the past couple of years. Aggelos, Esophis and Nodens are in their most demonic mode, delivering an intricate sounding highly recommended for lovers of the darkest side of extreme music, with its Dimmu Borgir-inspired keyboards being a thing of beauty. After such brilliant sonic torment, this Greek power trio gets faster, heavier and more menacing in Prometheus Rising, as if Behemoth went full Black Metal, with Nodens delivering his most insane performance of the album while Aggelos continues to vociferate like a demonic entity. Put differently, you can feel their devilish power growing inside you while listening to such blackened tune.

Prometheus are absolutely on fire in another spawn of furious Extreme Metal entitled Hatesworn, where Aggelos is the beast incarnate on vocals supported by Esophis with his old school Black Metal riffs and the classy, demolishing beats by Nodens. Furthermore, in the last two minutes of the song we’re treated to a devastating feast of Black and Death Metal, including an amazing solo by Esophis, just to make things even more epic. The title-track Consumed in Flames, a vicious onslaught led by the Stygian drumming by Nodens and the deeper-than-hell guttural by Aggelos, showcases a mid-tempo sonority with its Black Metal core essence rumbling stronger than ever, not to mention that its lancinating riffs and extremely aggressive ambience will crush you mercilessly. And lastly, closing the album in great fashion we have an instrumental version of Hand of War, where you can enjoy the thunderous and piercing sounds of each instrument in detail.

Let’s all get consumed by the Hellenic flames created by Prometheus in their superb new album by following them on Facebook and by purchasing Consumed In Flames through the Katoptron IX Records’ Big Cartel. Such masterpiece deserves to be admired by all of us metalheads who love extreme sounds with dense melodies and a grandiose background, and Prometheus simply nailed it in each one of the eight tracks found in Consumed In Flames, proving once again how fantastic the underground metal scene is in one of the most fascinating countries in the world.

Best moments of the album: The Disgusting Tongues, Vulture All Black, Prometheus Rising and Hatesworn.

Worst moments of the album: Absolutely none. This album is a lecture in extreme music.

Released in 2017 Katoptron IX Records

Track listing
1. The Disgusting Tongues 6:49
2. Hand of War 5:20
3. Seth (Instrumental) 2:23
4. Vulture All Black 9:18
5. Prometheus Rising 6:04
6. Hatesworn 6:57
7. Consumed in Flames 6:58
8. Hand of War (Instrumental) 5:20

Band members
Aggelos – vocals
Esophis – guitars, bass
Nodens – drums
Qsnc – synthesizers

Album Review – Primeval Mass / To Empyrean Thrones (2016)

A primeval and aggressive feast of Black Metal crafted by a proficient and occult one-man army from Greece that will darkly guide your soul to empyrean thrones.

Rating4

cover“Amongst the Ruins of Cosmos…To Amaranthine Empyrean Thrones.”

Although there are tons of Black Metal one-man armies spread all over the world, and despite getting accustomed to their undeniable talent and eccentricity, I have to say those lonesome metallers of evil continue to impress me every single time I get to review their music. This time, what we have in our hands is a top-tier feast of the occult entitled To Empyrean Thrones, the brand new release by Greek Black Metal act Primeval Mass. If you love the heavy and thrashy sound of sheer aggression and the disturbing sense of pitch black darkness, you’ll have a blast listening to this excellent album.

Spawned at the dawn of the 2nd millennium in Athens, Greece by multi-instrumentalist and warlock Orth, Primeval Mass have been causing a significant impact in the underworld of extreme music with each and every release since the band’s inception, which includes two full-length albums (As Solemn Maelstrom… and Blood Breathing Idols), a couple of demos and some split records. However, after taking a listen at the band’s previous releases, it becomes clear that To Empyrean Thrones (conceived, arranged and performed in its entirety by Orth) is by far Primeval Mass’ boldest, most solid and most exhilarating opus to date. In addition to that, I guess I don’t need to mention how kick-ass the album art is. Designed by the exceptionally talented Karmazid, it’s incandescent, obscure, and therefore perfect for representing high-quality Black Metal.

There couldn’t be a better way to start the album than with the creepy and atmospheric In Fiery Ascent, which intro goes on for almost three minutes in a great display of Blackened Doom before darkness rises in the form of blasting Black Metal. Orth showcases his total control of all instruments during the almost ten minutes of blasphemy brought forth in this ruthless tune, followed by the amazing For Astral Triumphs. Orth definitely puts the pedal to the metal in this great composition, growling like a possessed beast amidst nonstop blast beats and endless savagery, with its harmonious guitar riffs and solos bringing balance and intricacy to the overall result.

primeval massAdding Death Metal and especially Thrash Metal elements to the music, with some riffs reminding me of the early days of Slayer, Orth fires another high-octane demented tune to haunt our souls named Their Eyes of the Abyss, one of my favorite tracks where his harsh vocals rise to a whole new satanic level. And when you think Orth will keep storming our souls with his fast and furious brutality, he surprises us all with Behind the Watching Shadows, a melancholic instrumental Doom Metal aria spreading despair and sorrow through its soulful riffs and sluggish beats. Of course, it doesn’t take too long for the sonic havoc to start again with yet another thrashier than usual Black Metal tune called With the Emblem of the Blackwinged (beautiful song name, by the way), with its disturbingly amazing rhythm enhanced by Orth’s hellish growling. Moreover, its unstoppable drumming will puncture your ears while the guitar lines will cut your flesh like a sharp razor during its seven minutes of mean and ruthless music.

Going back to the foundations of Black Metal, the ambience becomes the main element in The Grand Ordeal, with Orth’s solid guitar lines guiding the musicality together with his bloodthirsty growls, whereas in Hour of the Stellarnaut, a professional exhibit of what true Black Metal can offer fans of extreme music, our fearless metaller breathes fire an sulfur through all instruments. And how about a 12-minute dark opus entitled The Mansions of Night to conclude the album? Featuring hints of Doom Metal, this is a powerful and complex composition that switches from slower but brutally heavy passages to extremely fast riffs and beats, culminating in a spot-on Stygian ending. I’m not sure how Orth can keep that level of ferocity on vocals for such a long period of time, but the final result is amazing anyway.

In summary, To Empyrean Thrones sounds so professional and impactful it’s hard to believe only one single person was responsible for giving birth to such a strong album. Well, that’s the reason why Black Metal never gets stale, thanks to the passion skillful musicians like Orth have for this type of music, and I can’t wait to listen to his future endeavors if he continues following this hellish path.  Thus, in case you want to join him in his shadowy journey to empyrean thrones, all you have to do is connect to Primeval Mass through the band’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, SoundCloud or ReverbNation, and get your copy of the album at the Primeval Mass’ official BandCamp page.

Best moments of the album: For Astral Triumphs, Their Eyes of the Abyss and With the Emblem of the Blackwinged.

Worst moments of the album: The Grand Ordeal.

Released in 2016 Katoptron IX Records

Track listing
1. In Fiery Ascent 9:55
2. For Astral Triumphs 7:29
3. Their Eyes of the Abyss 4:04
4. Behind the Watching Shadows 4:45
5. With the Emblem of the Blackwinged 7:02
6. The Grand Ordeal 4:05
7. Hour of the Stellarnaut 2:56
8. The Mansions of Night 12:06

Band members
Orth – vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, bass, storms and invocations