Greece is the land of ancient traditions, powerful gods and unstoppable heroes. But besides history and mythology, Greece is also well known for its extreme metal music scene, having created the so called “Greek sound”in black metal, which started with Rotting Christ, Necromantia, Varathron and Thou Art Lord.
Since then, the Hellenic scene has developed drastically and gave birth to many, many good bands that dwell in this mystical current that is black metal. But, unlike other bands, these Greek entities have again managed to create something completely different, mixing black metal with magic and witchcraft, thus developing a quite unique sub genre that happens to be very appreciated.
Choasbaphomet is one of these bands and, together with Acherontas, Thy Darkened Shade, Acrimonious and Serpent Noir, just to name a few, are the flag bearers of this modern black metal assault.
Having formed 13 years ago, Chaosbaphomet’s discography is not very rich: a demo, “Temple of the Serpent Baphomet”, 2 split EPs and a 7″ EP, “The Black Communion”, released in 2012.
Earlier this year, their debut album, superbly entitled “Promethean Black Flame”, was released by the Spanish label Deathrune Records, on cd and LP (soon to come).
Composed of 7 songs and with a duration of 35 minutes, “Promethean Black Flame” is a majestic piece of art crafted by some very skilled and talented musicians. Long time Empire of the Moon bassist/vocalist Ravenlord Wampyri Draconium and ex Kawir vocalist Iapetos 666 deliver a great homage to the ancient gods of the Greek black metal pantheon, yet adding a personal touch of evil and magic to their own black metal.
The album starts with “Chaosgenesis”, a ritualistic intro where bells, acoustic guitars, incense, flutes and chants immerse the listener into what will become a trip to Hades. This track illustrates perfectly what we have to deal with on this album: black metal magic, in its purest form.
“Fire of the Titans” explodes in a savage way, displaying the drumming skill of Yngve, the session drummer that literally destroys the drum kit. The blast beats are immense and, together with the guitar riffs, are this album’s strongest points.
I have not listened for quite some time to such a display of brute force, yet melodic and slow when needed. The whole instrumental part is absolutely amazing, destroying everything in its way. The instruments benefit of a might production which makes everything extremely audible. This is a plus for the album, otherwise many aspects would have been lost if the sound was murky and raw.
If the first time I listened to this album I was bothered by the voice, which I did not see very inspired, the more I listened to it, the more I began to like and cherish it. It reminds me somehow of the old Emperor, but, after several spins, you realize how well these vocal parts are created.
Speaking of vocals, on track 5, “Blood of Hydra”, we have the pleasure of hearing 3 guest vocalists, Ouroboros (Empire of the Moon), Gothmog (Thou Art Lord) and Acherontas V.P (Acherontas), laying their voices together to create pure chaos.
If the keyboards, an instrument the early Greek black metal bands liked so much, were not present until now, on track 6, “Nightside Realm”, they make a sinister appearance, contributing a lot to the already twisted, occult atmosphere.
The perfect example of how devastating is Yngve’s inhuman drumming is revealed when it’s combined with the insane guitar riffs that start at 4’17” on the above mentioned track. This 1 minute part is basically the quintessence of this record, describing perfectly how aggression, madness and skilled musicianship can create a beautiful album.
To make a communion with the past, Chaosbaphomet decided to end their release with a majestic cover of Necromantia’s “Spirit Forms of the Psychomancer”, from the band’s 1997 EP “Ancient Pride”. Again, keyboards, acoustic guitars, blast beats and savage riffs are brought together and create a superb ending for this material.
“Promethean Black Flame” is a very promising debut for a band that already exist for 13 years. It clearly shows the potential these musicians have and I hope Chaosbaphomet will release more good albums like this one, I for one really need and appreciate this breath of fresh air they brought to this scene.
Iapetos 666: Vocals
Ravenlord Wampyri Draconium: Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Nick Yngve: session drums
2 Fire Of The Titans
3 Dynasty Of Tiphon
4 To Eos
5 Blood Of Hydra
6 Nightside Realm
7 Spiritforms Of The Psychomancer (Necromantia Cover)