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It's only been a very short time since I've discovered the rather mysterious band Tatir from Greece and I still feel like I missed out on some excellent Hellenic material for far too long. When I first heard this demo, I was blown away. It's been a while since I had discovered a Hellenic band that really fulfilled my expectations (most have been too modern or completely off the mark - read my review for Zephyrous' "Towards..." to see what I mean) but this one is so deeply rooted in my desired sound that I just had/still have to give it the recognition it deserves.
"Dark Autumn Nights" is a demo that combines various elements of the now fully developed (back in 1995) Hellenic black metal sound. Their riffing style sounds like a crossbreed of the uprising genre leaders Varathron, enriched with touches of early Kawir for an ancient folk flavor (especially the track "Katavasia" is a testament to this) and the brutality and trance-inducing, yet tasteful repetition of Thou Art Lord's debut. As any fan of Hellenic black metal would expect, the bass is also quite audible and delivers some great lines which tend to stray away from the guitars quite quite often.
The vocal work consists of very harsh shrieks that remind one of a mix of the great Magus from Necromantia and Gothmog from Soulskinner. Truly convincing, pain-ridden shrieks of excellent quality and the deeper growls could very much stem from that utterly amazing vocalist that is Necroabyssious of Varathron fame. There are also some good spoken word passages that remind one of Kawir again.
"Dark Autumn Nights" was recorded in the famous Storm Studio, which was known for not being big enough for having a drum booth for recording, but as I expected, the drum-machine is not irritating in the least and only adds to the dark atmosphere created by the slightly repetitive riffcraft.
Something you might have noticed while reading this review is that I draw a lot of comparisons. Yeah, it's true - Tatir might not have been the most original band in Greece back then, as they missed the great development of said scene by about a year or two, but they managed to mix all those aforementioned elements so well that the rather obvious links to the forerunners of the Greek scene don't detract from the great music anymore.
So if you are, in any way, interested in Hellenic black metal, or just quality black in general, check out Tatir's debut demo - you won't regret it. Their following demo would even surpass the gifted craftsmanship of "Dark Autumn Nights" but sadly that second demo would be their last sign of life, as the band broke apart far too early...