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The Era of…Hades Rising
Finally, after what felt like a decade of near-silence, Thou Art Lord returns with this little EP to please fans of the grittier side of the Hellenic metal spectrum. With only about 9 minutes of punk-infused Greek black metal, there are little questions asked and trademark sounds delivered. Without too many surprises, a lot of enjoyment can be found within these tracks, especially in the main attraction that is “Hades”, which feels a lot like a reprise from one of their earliest attractions, namely “The Era of Satan Rising” from their 1993 cult demo The Cult of the Horned One.
Riding on a similar main riff and melodic hook, that special Hellenic touch is applied to the package, emitting both a sense of familiarity and nostalgia, which is not limited to the guitars, since the vocals of Grand Magus and Sakis Tolis, who are of course among the original creators and shining stars of an underground scene that does still not receive the credit it deserves compared to some more (in)famous ones, are as memorable as ever.
To be grimly honest with you, though: in terms of songwriting, there have been better arrangements within the belly of this beast. Both the opener and its following track “The Black Halo” show signs of grandeur with the subtle choirs howling away below the palm-muted riffage, yet they never excel in their performances. The fairly bog-standard writing does not allow them to impress beyond basic flirtation, though the soaring lead guitars still manage to rise above surface-level excitement.
Song #3 is being listed as a digital bonus track and it definitely feels like one, being kind of forgettable as it omits the atmospheric qualities and drives the punk level up to 11 without much thought in the process. Surely a lot of intensity in here, but I can barely remember a thing about this piece despite its simplicity.
Still, even when a legendary band like Thou Art Lord is going through the motions a little bit, there is quality music to be enjoyed and you can safely add two-thirds of this EP to your Hellenic black metal playlist without breaking a leg. I’m just hoping for a more profound album next time to satisfy the craving.
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