Okay, I confess to not really acknowledging the music scene in Greece until I found a band called Lizardia. Despite my great love for their self titled debut released in 2014, this isn't about them. It's about a melodic black/death metal band named Fovitron and their eponymous release unleashed on the world February 18, 2017.
This band is exactly what they say they are. The music isn't complicated by random influences so far removed from the black/death metal world that it's funny. That's actually the beauty of black/death metal to me. It is what it is and it doesn't try to be somebody else. This is in your face instrumentals with the classic style of vocals you would expect in this genre. It sits well within the Greek black metal methodology, utilizing elements of death metal and heavy metal. With song titles like "Dark Waters" and "The Order of Griffin Riders", the brain certainly doesn't think nu-metal or shoegaze.....Well my brain doesn't anyway.
Sometimes straightforward is a good thing. I can appreciate music that does what is says and says what it is. Can you tell?
On to the track list.....and on to my being baffled by what made the sensory aspects of this EP appear turquoise in the minds eye. For me there is always a mix of colors that I see when music plays. This one had only one. That's weird.
Track 1) Dark Waters....The first few bars of this track don't immediately feel like a black metal intro to me, at first it felt thrashy. Then the keyboard kicks in, and suddenly there's no mistaking what you're listening to. I appreciate the atmosphere the keys create. It pulls you into a deep dark place without hurling you too far toward the symphonic. Nuntius Mortis has shades of Shagrath in his style. I'd be curious to see who he considers his influences. This is black/death metal raw and unfiltered without the "clean" qualities you would get if the album were over produced into something that just isn't black anymore. I want my black metal to feel dirty, not like a John Williams symphony.
Track 2) The Order of Griffin Riders....Atmospheric keyboards with a chord progression that brings to mind a black robe clad choir singing praises to the dark one. That's all I'm saying. Okay, not really. This track is a lesson in how to make your music really fucking visually evocative. It rides the line between balls to the wall headbanger glory and elegance be damned I'm going to direct this orchestra like a madman. Okay, maybe that doesn't make much sense to you. A couple of plays in, I wasn't sure if I wanted to headbang and pound some blast beats or jump up and conduct the orchestra with hands and hair flailing.
Two tracks into the EP and I believe that Fovitron knows its role. They are consistent. I like consistent.
Track 3) Lands forlorn....
"A man of arcane powers
A mystic of the planes
Rides upon a nightmare
With hellish legs ablaze
Lands forlorn The crown of fear"
This, song much like the rest of the album, is the quintissential display of what black metal should be. From the title of the song down to the muted bass on the drum kit. It knows exactly where to be and when to be there. Funny thing about this track....my ear kept expecting ICS Vortex to pop in and sing a few clean notes at the top of his range. Humor me. I don't know why my brain goes where it does.
I like "Lands Forlorn" the way it is, but it would be interesting to hear it with a clean vocal interlude. It's just the sort of sweeping heaviness that would balance such a thing. Actually, that's how I would summarize this song. Sweeping heaviness.
Track 4) A Song of Death...."Hear the screams of pure despair" Again I say, this band knows its genre. The bass is more in the foreground on this track. It strikes a nice balance to the naturally treble heavy black metal vibe. One might even say this one tends toward symphonic, but the overwhelming sense of melancholy keeps it within it's black metal personality traits.
"The lake of sorrow now awaits
The waters call my name
The stars reflect in pools of chaos
Astral gates of planes – inferno"
Come on kids....you won't find lyrics like that in top 40 hell. I hope to see this band do more. They can certainly find a place within the black metal pantheon if they stick with it, smooth out the rough edges just a touch, and keep doing exactly what they are doing. They are good. They have potential, and they are black metal AF.
Go give it a listen. The link is up top.....