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Kawir – Adrasteia Award winner

by Gary Hernandez at 21 January 2020, 6:28 AM

So much great metal comes out of Greece, and so much of it is often overlooked. Case in point is KAWIR who have been cranking out premium Hellenic Black Metal since 1993. On January 10, 2020 they released their eighth full-length album, “Adrasteia.” Although the album was actually recorded two years ago, it is a 2020 masterpiece, giving us scathing Blackened metal accented with folk overtones and melodious acoustic interludes.

The album is titled after the goddess Adrasteia (trans: inescapable), the goddess of “revolt, just retribution and sublime balance between good and evil.” She was the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite and was given the responsibility to nurture infant Zeus in secret, keeping him shielded from his father, Cronus. She also accompanied Ares to war. Essentially, she was one of the original women bad asses of Greek folklore. The songs, six in total, tell the stories of several other notable female legends as well as lands where actions on and by women played a bloodied role.

Adrasteia” satisfies on multiple levels. The songwriting blends exquisite 12-string acoustic melodies and poignant clean vocals with distorted riffs, razored tremolos, and raw, visceral vocals. All the clean vocals and choirs on the album, btw, are performed by Alexandros (MACABRE OMEN). The album opens with the epic and classically folk-infused “Tydeus,” a microcosm of the rest of the album, showcasing multiple styles in one fluid, musical and lyrical narrative. Following is “Atalanti” an unrelenting onslaught of tremolo and blast beats which right at mid-track lays out a gorgeous lead solo played against the backdrop of galloping of riffs.

Track three, “Danaides,” is the shortest track and, true to the story it tells, is a full-on brutal assault with Ashmedi (MELECHESH) providing a blistering guitar solo. “Lumniades” follows and comes on with a bagpipe intro — yep, bagpipe. Like several tracks on the album it features a tempo break at mid-point, shifting into a full-noted riffs, a harmonious lead solo, and epic chorals. These eventually give way as the vicious licks, pounding drums, and harsh vocals muscle back in.

With the start of “Colchis” we know something is different. First enters a full orchestration of acoustic guitars which build to the rhythm of percussive inflections, creating an earnest, repetitive melody. Then, at the 1:15 mark, Lindy Fay Hella (WARDRUNA) enters, adding layers of earthy and ethereal vocals. Unlike the other tracks, “Colchis” never drops the sonic hammer. It is all instrumental. The final and longest track, “Medea,” which focuses on the vengeful sorceress and descendent of Helios, brings back the metal assault, though offering a short 75 second respite at the 5:15 mark.

With such a strong history, you kind of expect a lot from KAWIR, and with “Adrasteia” they absolutely deliver. I love that they stick to their native tongue, I love that they plumb the canons of ancient culture to bring forward tales relevant to modern struggles, and I love that they bring such musical artistry to their work.

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


5 Star Rating

1. Tydeus
2. Atalanti
3. Danaides
4. Limniades
5. Colchis
6. Medea
Therthonax – Rhythm, Lead Guitars and 12-String Acoustic Guitar.
Melanaegis – Rhythm, Lead Guitars, Solos and 12-String Acoustic Guitar.
Porphyrion – Vocals
Echetleos – Bass
Hyperion – Drums and Percussions
Pandion – Bagpipes and Wind Instruments
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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Edited 01 October 2020

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