Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unholy Archangel - The Wrath of Kosmosistis (2003)

Around about the time they released a few compilations of their old demo material, Greek's unholiest black metal dirt merchants also gathered their strength for a new assault. Anyone familiar with their more recent album Obsessed by War, or the demo material will know what to expect here: crude, spewing streams of disheveled black metal in the vein of Blasphemy or the grimier Scandinavian recordings of the early 90s. Despite that, though, The Wrath of Kosmosistis is undoubtedly the most structured and polished work I've heard from Unholy Archangel. The songs feel like actual songs rather than vomit splattered upon a tape reel, and though they're not necessarily strong, they get the point across.

Like their demos, you get this enormous contrast between the clean sounding ambient pieces and metal content. "Zeus Worship" features some flutes with a narrative ritual, and "Desecration of Judeochristianism" is a swelling if monotonous marriage of synthesizer and low pitch male choir voices. The black metal tracks "Storming Attack of the Makedonians", "Makedomonions War Supremity", "Release the Typhon" and "The Katastrofik Wrath of Kosmosistis" are more or less one trick ponies, blasting along messily while the growling, tortured vocals drone out the band's Hellenic pride for ancient violent. A few of the tunes feature breakdowns with muted riffs that feel like an attempt to shift the tempo, but these are quite weak, really, and like a lot of acts in this mold, they could use a greater level of variation when composing, because the faster black riffs just don't amount to anything memorable.

Still, I can't say that this is necessarily a bad recording, it's just trite and typical of the deep underground of the genre, where black, death and raw thrash all tend to blend into the same category of extremity. The production is nothing to write home about, but if you've heard some of their other work, then it's a step up. I love the concept of Hellenic war metal, I just wish it were delivered in a more interesting context.

Verdict: Indifference [5/10]

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