Sail the Black Sea

Oct. 23, 2015


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Archemoron is black metal from Greece. While the region has been a hub for a very specific movement I have heard Fenriz refer to as "The Greek Sound," Sulphur and Fire is more grounded in the classic 2nd wave of Norway, specifically the folk-tinged leanings of early Enslaved.

I will make the remark that songs here can be a little long for the content, though not begrudgingly so. But roughness around the edges is also greatly where Sulphur and Fire succeeds. I have grown less and less interested in new groups that forcefully adopt the kvlt approach. It often just sounds so insincere. In the case of Archemoron, it not only works, it sounds organic.

"Sailing to the Black Sea" is a great track with a touch of viking-era Bathory. With a folky riff and atmospheric intro, it's hard to not get swept up. I also particularly love the jumbled, ugly little minor chord sweeps on "Aristomenes." Satisfying. "Lemurian Silence" is a more unsettling affair, with great use of ambience for an interlude that touches on industrial. It's actually not too unlike one of Trent Reznor's instrumentals from the 90's.

As is common in albums of this style, it is easy to view the songwriting as fairly simplistic. However, it's clear from tracks like "Lacerate the Mind" that Archemoron know how to play their respective instruments. Blazing, shifting tremolos are backed by fiery blastbeats. And there are some finer points to this composition exemplified in transitions between paces. I'm particularly thinking of the middle section with the dreary chords and tapping solos. There are quite a few quality here solos, speaking of which.

All in all, I would say that for its length and overall depressive atmosphere, it flows nicely. The production gets all of the elements right in creating a gritty sound, but in a way that sounds quite genuine. You can stream it through youtube below, and then purchase through the links provided above.