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Scything away at the same old hateful harvest - 68%

autothrall, July 28th, 2011

In time, Naer Mataron has gained the reputation as one of the most fierce and ripping black metal artists within the Greek field, but they did not originate as such. Their debut Up from the Ashes was a decent first stab in the genre, but it was more or less derivative of what most of the audience had become acclimated to through the Scandinavian scene. Skotos Aenaon is an improvement as far as its production values, which are bold, brash and hostile, with a killer mix of bleeding guitar lines and Aithir's volatile rasping, but after a strong first couple of tracks, it devolves into a fairly predictable experience unlikely to sway anyone that has already soured on the repetitious riffing currency of barnstormers like Dark Funeral, Enthroned and Marduk.

"...And Bloodshed Must Be Done" is such a strong, sweeping orchestral inauguration that the expectations for the album run immediately high, a martial escalation that leads into the blasting vortex of "Diastric Fields of War", with a potent lead-in riff that will have fans of Emperor, Dark Funeral or Marduk howling exultation. Fast, cold and uncaring, it soon transforms into arching and descending riffs with brief, cleaner vocals strewn about, and a misting of keyboards through the bridge. But as soon as its successor, the rolling, Bathory-like "Iketis", the guitars start to seem incredibly familiar, as if the band simply is incapable of curving off into some unexpected pattern. That's not to say all of them are bad, and certainly "Astro-Thetis-Cosmos" and the wintry and warlike march of "In Honor of the Wolf" manifest enough cruelty to involve the listener, but this is not often through any characteristic of variation, but the strong mix of the album.

When its hellish smoke has cleared, despite its superior depth of sound, I actually liked the song structures marginally less than on the debut, which felt just a glint more original. Skotos Aenaon is not a monotonous album as far as all of its tempos, but quite often the band meanders into what seems like an incessant swath of blasting, and unlike, say, Vobiscum Satanas, which keeps this style entertainingly vicious despite its rather one-track mind. The pentagram cover, the spikes and the corpse, all of this had been done to death by the turn of the century, and sadly Naer Mataron is not offering a compelling enough spin to admonish.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Big Imorovement! - 91%

ict1523, May 25th, 2006

This album is a much better improvement from the last one. Naer Mataron seem to have decided to just play heavy and raw black metal, and they did quite a good job at it.

The album starts off with an intro, "...And Bloodshed Must Be Done", which is quite enjoyable and has a little medieval feel to it. We get some different instruments such as flutes, drums, violins, and even some keyboards. The next song, "Diastric Fields of War" is a really good song. It is raw and heavy, the vocals are great too. Basically a raw inaudible shout. The song also has some clean vocals in the middle. The song is a bit atmospheric too, but not very melodic.

The rest of the songs are similar in structure. The guitars are great although the riffs sound a bit similar at times, the drumming is great, the vocals are terrific through the whole album, and it has great production for raw black metal. Basically everything blends in quite well.

Some songs that do stand out though are "Wolf Of Ions" which starts off with a nice wolf howl and then just explodes into guitars, drums, and vocals, with the howl still being heard in the background. "Hyperion" also starts off with some really cool riffs in the beginning, and they are present in the background through parts of the song, so it does give the song a bit more atmospheric and melodic feel. "In Honour of the Wolf" starts off pretty bland, but toward the end of the song, they actually add some keyboards in, and you could hear them quite well, although maybe not typical for raw black metal, it definitely sounds well with the other instruments.

Overall this album is a classic, and a must have for all black metal fans. The songs on here are long as well, with the entire CD being nearly an hour long, and it doesn't get very boring even with its length so that is another plus. Overall great work with this.

Elite Greek Nationalism - 96%

Grotavrath, July 22nd, 2004

First of all i would like to say that couple years ago this band was unheard of. Now it seems people are starting to find interest in this gim band.

Skotos Aenaon means Eternal Darkness(Darkness Eternal as i was told). This band would find itself in the sector of National Socialist Black Metal. I guess NSBM always has that extra slap of hatred that other bm bands lack today. Furthermore, as I spoke about this band on a forum, lyrics include Greek mythology as destruction of the so called "sub-human" race. I am quite fond of the paganism as much of the paganism they include I have never herd yet.

Music can be described as Raw Black Metal with a great production. On top of that the vocals match the production and are a great substitute. They have the occasional keyboard behind the rawness. Some may say thaqt this would be a deterrent but, if you ask me not only does this add to the hypnotic music but makes this better sounding and more complex in every possible way. For example, Track 7(Wolf Of Ions) has this really shredding keyboard part that jumps right in your fukking face, out of nowhere. Not only is it perfectly placed but it's structure adds to the greatness of the song.

Recently Naer Mataron has been diffusing in the metal scene partly because they have been touring with bands like Gorgoroth.

I have River at Dash Scalding, and that cd is not even close to the superiorit yof Skotos Aenaon. Purchase it now, or you will be thrown into lairs for blood hungry wolfs!