Back in the mists of time circa 1994 you may well remember Greek black metal act Kawir releasing a split vinyl with Jap nutters Sigh on our very own and newly reactivated Cacophonous Records label. Both bands have been working hard throughout the years although Kawir may well have faded from memory compared to Mirai and company’s somewhat higher profile. There was no way this was escaping us though, it was hard to ignore the deranged looking band pic that caught attention with the promo download of the bands 6th full length album, the group look completely off on one. Anyway a dose of true Hellenic blackness was just what I was looking for and Father Sun Mother Moon proved to be a treasure trove of delights from beginning to end.
There has been no shortage of upheavals within the line-up and indeed the group have had to draft in players outside their home country in the past, now they are back to full Grecian strength and ready for war. We are summoned into the battle by clanging chimes and pipes and then furrow off into a rich melodic weave full of bravado chanting and passionate vigour. It’s enough to take your breath away and when tempered with a strumming guitar flurry and venomous rasps from singer Porphyrion the King Of Giants himself you are aware you are in for one hell of a ride over these 8 epic numbers. Perhaps it’s due to the call of the pipes which infect with delirious harmony throughout (check out the intro to the video bellow for Hail To The Three Shaped Goddess to hear just how effective they are) as well as the heroic choral parts but this has a real pagan feel to it. You could compare to others within the scene such as Rotting Christ mainly due to the blazing guitar histrionics but this does not exude a Satanic bent and is very much a different horned beast. It’s as good as anything that the dark overlords themselves have delivered (and believe you me that is really saying something) and makes me wonder why this lot are very much as the biog contests “unsung pillars of the classic Greek black metal sound.” Perhaps now rejuvenated with a new line up and their first album since 2012 they can truly rise in stature. This material certainly deserves some live adoration.
Speed flies off the handle on tracks such as ‘Dionysus’ and the barking vocals are completely unhinged and furious in their wake. Add to this some classic sounding Greek guitar squeals and a backing warrior chorus from members of Thou Art Lord, Soulskinner, Nergal and Septicemia and the overall impact is huge! Flurries of extremity aside there is a wealth of control here and this lot can really play drenching the songs with dark majestic melody and really captivating the listener throughout their long running times which never get stale in the slightest. It’s impossible not to bang fists, heads and stomp feet along to this exercise in bravado and as for the clash of steel and charge of horses that clamours away at the start of ‘To Diouscuri’ you are in no doubt that if you join in you are going to be well and truly on the winning side. It’s near impossible to pick a favourite number, everything here is stellar and the album demands attention from beginning to end with each individual track having its own captivating nuances. Keeping the burgeoning swagger and pace up over the first 7 tracks it is left for ‘The Descent Of Persephone’ to conclude the album in fine style. Changing the pace this monumental 11 minute closer drenches in atmosphere taking the listener down to crypt like stygian depths with austere chants and hypnotic tones, building from an already mighty start into a clash of chimes summoning closure in much the way the album started.
If you are looking at being transported off on a historic and ageless journey to far off places you won’t go wrong here and Kawir have delivered an absolute masterpiece of an album that really should have devotees of classic black metal lapping it up.
(9/10 Pete Woods)