without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
ΔΑΙΜΩΝ (retitled 'Daimon') is another of those split records meant more for its rarity and value to collectors than listeners, pairing up two of the more primal acts of the Athens underground who had in general maintained an incestuous relationship (members of Zemial appearing on Kawir releases, etc.) I'd say that the match is pretty natural, not only from the bands' friendship, but from a stylistic standpoint. While Kawir had been notably more pagan in their approach, Zemial was also a band who incorporated elements of atmosphere through their works, first with keyboards on Sleeping Under Tartarus but later writing up even a tribal instrumental piece for their Face of the Conqueror EP.
Unfortunately, while both bands bring their interpretation of a 'Daimon' track, that's all you will find here. Not even eight minutes of content. Zemial's 'Daimon (Morpheus)' is identical to the track on Face of the Conqueror, only marginally rougher and 'blacker' in its production here, but the same savage speed metal slathered in rasped, hostile vocals that you'd expect from them. As expected, the Kawir addition is more moody and atmospheric, granted a truly grimy guitar tone and very faint, crashing drums that make it sound more crushing and oppressive than their various albums and EPs to this point. The riffs are more or less a variation on the Zemial tune, and in truth both sound familiar and predictable to anyone who has been listening to black metal since the first wave and all the underground acts that have followed suit, but Kawir inserts a few segues of chanting, laughter and ominous ambiance that break up the meat of the guitars.
Again, this was released as a collectible 7", with about 1000 copies, so the intention was never to manifest anything other than an obscure product for their diehard audience. The musical content is not really of huge concern here, which is appropriate, since it's admittedly nothing special. Add to that the fact that the Zemial track sounds better elsewhere, and just about every possible compulsion to attain this is swept clear beneath the Parthenon into the waters of the Lethe. Both acts are better experienced elsewhere in their respective catalogs.
What we have here is a split EP with two of the most influential and monumental groups of the hellenic black metal scene. This EP is dedicated to daemons, the ancient souls that were interacting with human beings.
Kawir's song is dedicated to Empousa, the female monster that is worshipped alongside with Hecate, the goddess of the underworld. The sound of this song is very close to earlier Kawir sound. Slow, distorted and very rhythmical black metal with very good production. In the middle of the song there is a break with clean guitar, eerie keyboards and ghostly whisperings that wring your heart. And all of a sudden the familiar distorted sound starts again, faster than before with hellish vocals singing in ancient greek. The song closes with a superb melodic solo and eldritch voices.
Zemial's song is dedicated to Morpheus, the one who has many forms and who appears in peoples dreams, the son of Hypnos (Sleep) and Nyx (Night). Again, the music here is the classic Zemial sound, pure black metal with rhythmical guitars, technical drumming and dirty production. The song is not very fast, it is mainly mid tempo with some slow moments as well, especially in the middle of the song where the solo also kicks in while the guitars play the riffs in the background. Zemial's song does not have keyboards or any otherworldly voices, like Kawir's, it is straight, pure, technical and melodic black metal. Exactly what we expect from a group like Zemial.
As I review this split on Zemial's page I'll start with a short intro about Zemial.
Zemial is a band that exists in Greece from 1989. However, the involvement of Archon Vorskaath and Eskarth the Dark One in bands like Agatus, Kawir and Nocternity hold them back. So, in 2003 they co-operated with Kawir in order to state that they are active again and that they are going to kick some butt.
And that's what they do. The split starts with Zemial's Morpheus. This song starts powerfully and forces you to pay attention to it. This song is one of the best black / thrash tracks I've listened to. It can only be compared to Societas Satanas from Thou Art Lord. The song doesn't differ that much from the structure of Societas Satanas either. It starts up thrashy, it gets slower and then you are treated with a great solo. That's seriously all you need. You'll get back to listen to this song over and over again, trust me, especially if you are a fan of Hellenic black metal. Verdict for Zemial: 100
The next song is Kawir's Empousa. Back then Kawir had Diavelgenus (aka Archemoros) on vocals. However, his vocals are a lot lower in the mix than Kawir's debut album (To Cavirs). The mood of the song is different from previous Kawir releases. It starts off with a quite rockish vibe. Midway the song slows down, acoustic guitar kicks in with some whispers on top of it. Afterwards, drums and guitars kick in again the song speeds up nicely. When the song reaches its ending point you get treated with a nice keyboard lead. Empousa is a nice song. It is different from the general style of Kawir. I guess that happens mainly due to the poor production Empousa has (which gets better on Zemial's side). Verdict for Kawir: 80
If you are into Hellenic black metal this split is essential. It was the turning point for Zemial (a band that in 2006 released some of the best Bathory-related material ever written) and for Kawir it was the last work of Diavelgenus. Get this split if you can find it in any cost.