Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

44 guests

Welcome to our newest member, Maler

Kawir – Exilasmos Award winner

by Jon Conant at 22 December 2017, 3:15 PM

How do you attempt to set yourself apart in Metal? Start your album with wolves howling - just, wolves. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but KAWIR just did it, and I personally enjoyed it. Spoiler alert: the album ends up kicking ass.

For those of you who are unfamiliar (*cough*) with KAWIR are a self described Pagan/Black Metal band out of Athens (Attica) with a long history of releases and lineup changes - but altogether 7 full-lengths out since 1997. It’s worth mentioning that the only remaining founding member of the band is guitarist Therthonax, and most of them are new since 2015. But that doesn’t take anything away from the band’s sound, which is modern and unified.

Their latest full-length, “Exilasmos”, is definitely a move in the right direction for a veteran Black Metal band that wants to gain some traction. It is much more crisp, produced, and melodic than a typical Black Metal sound. However, it still retains the usual atmosphere and overall presentation; although some tracks - particularly “Oedipus” - do see the guitar riffs switch up into a much more melodic and Groove Metal type of stuff.

I like it, it sounds good, and variety in style is what shows maturity in songwriting. KAWIR has been making music for a long time and it’s easy to tell. I do wish some lead guitar lines were mixed in more loudly and consistently throughout the album because they have some amazing melodies, but that’s the cool thing about it. It transcends Black Metal in terms of style, quality, and production, but they still mix it in the same echoed, chambered way that sees the vocals and drums overshadow the guitars and bass. To what extent was this purposeful, who knows, but it sounds great (besides some missing guitar melodies that get drowned out, but whatever).

The first track “Lykaon” is a perfect opener and features the aforementioned howling wolves. It is melodic but black, dark and atmospheric, but it also establishes the strong rhythm guitar that drives the album (which is also unusual in the genre). Nonetheless, that is the modern and more marketable approach of this album, which I think is a good thing. And the vocals are excellent; they have many layers and are blended together well, it’s a fantastic and dark sound.

The second track “Oedipus” is where the guitars really start to turn into a more modern and Groove Metal style. It’s almost reminiscent of ELUVEITIE or possibly IN FLAMES in terms of the rhythm guitar work. The Melodic Death Metal influences are strong, and as a lover of Melodic Death Metal, I am pleased. This song is fucking awesome. And we even get male choral vocals layered in beautifully towards the end. It adds atmosphere, and elevates the song above and beyond. The maturity of their concept and songwriting as a band shows.

Track 4 “Thyestia Deipna” opens with a unique and attention-grabbing chiming melodic line before quickly descending into speed guitar and cymbal crashing chaos. It’s beautiful mayhem, with some of the album’s most technical work and a massive, crashing sound. The only problem is that in and of itself, the song lacks variety. It does sadly go stale by the end, but remains kick ass all things considered.

The album is short, only 6 songs long. Some might say that only qualifies as an EP, but with each song checking in at 6+ minutes, the album decidedly feels like a full-length effort and deserves credit as such. By the end, 7 ½ minute closer “Orestes” wastes no time in executing a bold and large finish with some of the album’s fastest guitar work. It’s arguably the most authentic Black Metal on the album, especially with the vocal work, but the driven melodic approach stays ever present. It’s an excellent combo and a great way to close the short but somehow long album. By the end we hear more male choral vocals, this time much more Pop sounding, driving the melody along with the very much Groove Metal rhythm guitar. The song ends on the catchiest and most epic part of the album, which is awesome. I recommend it as a standout track among standout tracks.

With everything said, this is a fantastic and modern piece of Black Metal work from seasoned veterans who have a clear objective in style and sound. I don’t have a lot of criticism towards it, I enjoyed it all the way through and am happily to again. It was well written, performed, produced and gets better from start to finish. If you are a true lover of Metal it is worth your time.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Lykaon
2. Oedipus
3. Tantalus
4. Thyestia
5. Agamemnon
6. Orestes
Therthonax - Guitars
Melanaegis - Guitars
Porphyrion - Vocals
Hyperion - Drums and percussions
Echetleos – Bass
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


You do not have permission to rate
Edited 19 July 2018

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green