Jan. 16, 2020


Share This Review


Connect with Kawir

Kawir may not be quite as well-known as some of the other Greek black metal bands that formed around the same time period, they’ve seen a resurgence in recent years thanks to a pair of albums on Iron Bonehead Productions that showcased their ability to channel pagan black metal at its most mystical and powerful level.  Three years after their last album the band has returned with Adrasteia, which moves skews a bit more towards the pagan and heavy metal side of the spectrum compared to its predecessor.  It’s an effort that is capable of reaching the powerful and mystical atmosphere of its Hellenic roots and while there still a few passages that drag it’s another strong showing from this long-running group.

Given the band’s focus on the gods and legends of their home country, it makes sense that the instrumentation showcases a flair for epic and heroic sounding leads that amp you off and make you feel as though they’re sending you directly into battle.  Stylistically the way the guitars ebb and flow channel just as much heavy metal as black metal, with galloping mid-tempo riffs transitioning over to blasting that reaches an immense level of power.  In between these intense passages Kawir intersperses melodic elements that showcase their pagan elements and are capable of transporting you to eras long past.  It’s an engaging approach that instantly grabs your attention, and unlike some of the other Greek bands that have been around for the same span of time this group retains a raw edge that works to their favor.  Tracks like “Liminades” build from softer melodies to warlike climaxes, which suits the lyrical content perfectly.  Admittedly even though the band has reigned things in and kept the album at just over forty minutes in length there are still some riffs that stretch on for a bit longer than they need to and drag down the listening experience slightly.  The high points still outweigh the lows, especially when Kawir is bursting forth with maximum fury, but it does keep Adrasteia from having the full impact that it could.

The vocals skew towards the harsher side of the spectrum, as Porphyrion has one of those raspy screams that cuts through the recording and pierces your eardrums.  In addition to the screaming there is also singing and chants courtesy of guests like Alexandros from Macabre Omen and Lindy-Fay Hella, which add to the atmosphere and gives the album considerably more variety.  The latter takes the spotlight on “Colchis”, where her voice soars over acoustic instrumentation and draws you further into the mystical atmosphere that Kawir is able to conjure over the course of the album.  While the screams are on par with what you’d expect from a typical black metal release, the incorporation of these guests in ways that are more meaningful than just a quick appearance differentiates Adrasteia.

While there are some passages that drag slightly, Kawir’s still able to reach soaring heights that do justice to Greek black metal’s earlier decades without coming across as a mere rehash.  With equal amounts of majestic heavy metal and jagged black metal, this is another strong showing from this incarnation of the band and it’s clear that groups from this country channel the heroic and mystical elements of their roots in ways that no one else can match.  Adrasteia is available on Iron Bonehead Productions.

-Review by Chris Dahlberg

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter for Updates on New Content