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I consider myself a Hellenic black metal addict. Everyone and his mother knows that calling me a fan of this style is the underestimation of the year; the blazing, harmonized tremolo-picked guitar riffs, mixed with the classic heavy metal rhythms of a glorious past, combined with elements of Greek folk music and captivating occult themes - those ingredients are just something I can totally connect with.
This scene has brought forth many excellent releases and even a few precious ones that won't ever leave my playlist. "Fons Acheron" belongs to that categoy. Even if there are only two songs on here, these two belong to the absolute top of the genre, a climax of all elements prominent in said style.
Tatir might not have been the most original band back in the mid-90s, as they broke into the scene a little too late, but their craft is still masterful, combining the greater ideas of bands like early Rotting Christ, Varathron and Kawir into one powerful mixture.
"Mistress of the Mountains" opens with an introduction reminiscent of Kawir's first demo. Starting with folkish clean guitars and a deep choir, the thick atmosphere is immediately omnipresent. Blistering tremolo-picked sections and crushing midpaced riffs (almost Mercyful Fate-like) alternate, always flowing very well within the structure of the song.
The ultimate highlight of this demo is the second song "The Invitation of the Heralds". Its structure is pretty similar to "Mistress..." albeit with several more overwhelming moments here - moments of such intense atmospheric glory that one would like to start a shamanistic ritual himself. I'm talking about a spoken word passage backed up by haunting synths, followed by a highly dramatic guitar solo and a King Diamond-esque riff underneath - simply imposing.
Again, a classic record has been recorded at the infamous Storm Studios, meaning that there is the loathed machine-made drumming, yet programmed and executed very tastefully, once again proving that the Storm Studios were a fertile ground for various gems of the Hellenic scene.
So if you call yourself a fan of any kind of atmospheric extreme metal, check this out - an essential part of Greek black metal history and a more than worthwhile addition to your collection. It took me a long time to find releases that could stand side by side with the first two Rotting Christ/Varathron full-lengths, but as this is one of the strongest demos I've ever heard, Tatir deserves to be mentioned alongside the leaders of the scene.
It's a bitter disappointment that Tatir only left us two great demos before their demise and all one can hope for is an unexpected reunion; 'cause when even a long defunct Greek band like Nergal can be resurrected, I'll have my hopes up.
This is my first article, so don't expect a whole lot. The band Tatir is really something to listen to. To tell you the truth I've never been a big fan of hellenic metal. But there sound is quite good, compared to most of the Greek metal I've heard.
The first song titled as "Mistress of the Mountains," starts out with a somewhat complicated acoustic guitar riff, which is being play in unison with a flute, and then a distorted guitar with operatic vocals in unison after that. When I first heard this song I instantly thought folk metal, until the blazing black metal guitar riff thought came out of nowhere instantly changed from a peaceful, folkish sound to a true black metal sound. So you know, blast-beats, heavily distorted guitars. But then it stopped, and came out again with an epic, folk inspired guitar riff. The vocals actually start here as well, with almost whispering harsh black metal vocals. This song is truly just awesome. The instant change in mood is something to be acknowledged. The song goes through a cycle of peace, and mayhem. The song is always changing. It is my favorite of the two.
The song titled as "The Invitation of the Heralds," starts out with a two large power chords that switch back an forth on a distorted guitar. That is repeated three times and a flute joins in as well. Giving this song an eerie sound from the beginning. Then the vocals also come in, Heirophant's voice can range anything from an epic style of clean vocals, to harsh black metal vocals quickly. Just as the last song, the song switches tempo often. This song is the more folk inspired. Another thing that impressed me is how they were able to put a guitar solo in there. This song is also rather good.
The vocals in this album switch constantly from a epic sounding style of clean vocals, such as Quorthon, Bathory's only member, folk albums. But then he can completely change to harsh, grim black metal vocals. I would say Heirophant, if he stays in music, has a rather good road in front of him for years to come.
The guitars in this album done by "Necrolord," are mostly distorted with many epic power chords, and high pitched traditional tremolo picked black metal riffs, with the exception of some of the acoustic parts, which I must say were very good and paganistic. One reason I didn't give this album anything higher is because of the inaudible bass. I'm sure from the rest I've heard you could also make epic bass riffs.
The drums were also rather well played in this release. The arrays of toms used in this gave it a very tribal, pagan sound vibe, that really helped with the setting. One thing I see a lot is when a drummer either doesn't play, or blast-beats through the slower parts, even though he could do that well too. But these drums matched the songs and everything. Impressive, really.
The keyboards were also impressive. The effect using the choir vocals was quite good. Now, one complaint is that the guitar lead the keyboard. No, the keyboard leads the guitar, especially when using choir-type vocals.
Lord Necorium is the flutist, or whatever they're called, anyway they definetly were able to increase the entire atmosphere with the flute. My other complaint is they didn't use enough. With such a flutist, yes I know, they should've of taken advantage of that. Well, not to much anyway. But the flute is the second song is terrific.
Now for the entire production, it was a great demo, needs a little work with production. But besides that I am really looking forward to hearing them in the future. Or to hear some of them proceed in their music career.