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A Greek Fullmoon Conspiracy - 92%

tomcat_ha, December 7th, 2017

Often it is said that metal bands would write better music in times of crisis. In reality we see that the classic metal scenes popped up in areas of economic prosperity. Teutonic thrash emerged from the Ruhrgebiet in Germany and we all know about Birmingham. Of course most of these bands consisted of people with a workers background and were not caviar eaters themselves.. At the end of the day you gotta be able to afford a guitar and studio time. Now when it comes to Greece there is something weird going on. Greece has been in economical dire straits for decade now, yet somehow the last 5-10 years we have seen so many bands release works of high quality. From psychedelic rock to death metal but this becomes especially obvious in the black metal scene. Now Greek black metal has always been highly regarded(and rightly so) and is as old as any black metal scene out there. These days it seems however that pretty much everything black metal from Greece is well above average at least. Considering the staggering levels of unemployment one starts to wonder how they manage to afford to be musicians at all over there.

Lykaionas are from Athens and as far as I've noticed in recent years when I visited Greece, Athens has been hit the worst by the crisis. Yet somehow they released one of the best black metal albums of 2016. Stylistically “Luciferian Fullmoon Necromancy” takes about as much from the Greek sound as they take from the melodic side of the Norwegian sound. What lifts this album from the oceans of mediocrity is the simple fact that they have a superior sense of melody and realize that what truly matters in all forms of heavy metal are the riffs. These riffs are Greek in the sense that they are rooted in traditional heavy metal. However they give these riffs a more northern European spin. This is coupled with very well written songs and a very effective drummer that knows more than just blast beats. I have to say this is very welcome in this age of black metal in which every band writes very long songs with a heavy focus on atmosphere and repetitivity. I do like that style but it is definitely an incredibly overcrowded field these days. Lykaionas shows the world that a traditional approach to black metal when done by the right people can still deliver an absolute banger of a record.

This not a completely flawless album as the vocals are in my opinion a bit too prominent in the mix and also a bit too present. Considering that otherwise the vocals are fine and there are not really any other issues these minor flaws are very easily ignored. It is almost incredible to think about how this album is sort of a second tier release in terms of quality when it comes to the Greek scene. This album falls just short when compared to recent works by Kawir or Macabre Omen. Funnily enough both main members of the band are in Kawir as well. It makes me think that they don't write that much for Kawir. I mean you would expect a band to be on doping if they had so many good ideas in their head at the same time right?