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Bythos – The Womb of Zero Award winner

The Womb of Zero
by Gary Hernandez at 17 May 2020, 4:58 AM

There are centaurs and then there are Ichthyocentaurs. Like their more grounded cousins, these sea gods have the bodies of men and the lower front of horses, but they also have the back end of serpentine fish. And they sport lobster claw horns and are in the astral constellation of Pisces. The most famous are Aphros (Sea Foam) and Bythos (Sea Depths). Bythos is also a Gnostic term referencing an emanation of God and connoting profundity and depth. And then there is the Melodic Black Metal band out of Tampere, Finland made up of members from BEHEXEN and HORNA who also go by the name BYTHOS. Of the three, the band is the more interesting. Now, granted the band is likely to have been named after the sea god or the gnostic term, but who is to say which way time flows? Maybe the sea god and gnostic thing were named after the band. Mind blown.

On April 24, 2020 BYTHOS released their full-length debut, “The Worm of Zero.” The album has nine tracks and spans over 42 minutes. Thematically, the songs herald a Luciferian dawn (hint: the last song is actually called “Luciferian Dawn”) and invoke figures such as Sorath (the sun demon), omega dragon (pretty sure this term is made up but omega usually references “the last” and the dragon means . . . well, the dragon . . so, the last dragon, there), Naamah (a demon similar to Lilith), and, of course, Lucifer himself. But here’s the thing, regardless of all these would be dark references, the tone of the album is quite harmonious albeit doom-ish, which I guess is the thing about Melodic Black Metal.

Standout tracks are plentiful on this album. From the sophisticated “Luciferian Dawn” to the epic “Omega Dragon” to the triumphant “Call of the Burning Blood” this is a solid 10 production. Now, I’m sure purist Black Metal fans will bemoan the clear mix and melodic fans will call out even more melodic projects and occult fans will point to more ritually rooted bands, but I really don’t think BYTHOS is trying to be any of these things. They know what they want to say, and they sure as hell have the musicianship and songwriting skills to shape their own musical statement. And this they do.

While every performance on this album is impeccable, I have to call out the drum work of L.R. This guy is all over the place, in a good way. Where so many BM bands go for straight blast beats, L.R. layers in some serious craftmanship. I especially enjoyed “When Gold Turns into Lead” and “Legacy of Namaah,” though my neighbors and their neighbors might have some complaints.

You’ll likely start hearing a lot about this band. I already saw Nattskog give them a well-deserved shout out. “The Womb of Zero” is easily a ten out of ten and pushing 11. You have some seriously experienced artists here delving into subject matter which clearly resonates with them. The result is genius. I am so hoping this isn’t a one-time project from BYTHOS and that we’ll be seeing more from them soon.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10


5 Star Rating

1. Black Labyrinth
2. When Gold Turns into Lead
3. Sorath the Opposer
4. Omega Dragon
5. Call of the Burning Blood
6. Hymn to Lucifer
7. Legacy of Naamah
8. Destroyer of Illusions
9. Luciferian Dawn
L.R. – Drums
M.L. – Guitars, bass
M.S. – Vocal
Record Label: Terratur Possessions


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Edited 08 June 2023

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