Album Review :~ Kawir - Αδράστεια

Metal’s pantheon is inexplicably vast. Black metal redefined as an exploration of endless skies and elusive eternity, rather than a bitter squint into the abyss. The entities that reside in the depths of the abyss outstrip the heavenly host in variety, if not in devotees. Athens, Greece has become one of the veritable cradles in the metal world, producing countless acts within all of the subgenres, especially black metal. Greece itself is known for producing black metal acts with an aptitude for dark atmospheres and a mild pompous flair, known by most as Hellenic black metal. Greek pagan black metal masters Kawir is indeed one of the most consistently exciting and forward-thinking acts in the pagan black metal landscape. Kawir embarks on a perilous quest to restore the glory of Hellenic metal with their latest full-length album "Αδράστεια" consists of tasteful riffs, artistic vision, rhythm with the sound of triremes traversing the Mediterranean and brought an ancient atmosphere. Numerous bands have created concept albums based around their own ideas that take insight from creative writing, but few bands will dedicate the entire span of an album to an existing piece. Kawir has attempted an unwieldy mission to set the dark sounds of their past to the typically kaleidoscopic expanses of pagan black metal for better, audacity is an essential aspect. It has always demonstrated its malleability throughout its existence, being infused with elements ranging from Avant-Garde. Kawir delivers both the groaning textures and deserved, overpowering climaxes. When they repeatedly cycle through riffs and valleys, that audacity starts to become an onus, turning what should be an adventure into a rote marathon through the vortex of sound and changes less than the music’s overall embrace and intensity.

Hellenic antiquity, Paganism themes based pagan black metallers Kawir unveiled their latest full-length opus entitled “Αδράστεια” on January 10th, 2020 via Iron Bonehead Productions Records label with 41:02 min running time. This new album consists of 6 tracks. Kawir was formed in 1993. Kawir this pagan black metal act is helmed by the ever-provocative my long-time friend Therthonax brings this to another level entirely right and then you dive into the ever-expanding abyss of pure black that has carved from the very souls of the damned gloriously. Kawir's particular sonic vision, things won’t end with a whimper. Instead of dominating the record and coming across as whiny and ear-aching, they are used to emphasize the already melancholy and lugubrious atmosphere set by the albums murky yet coherent production. I'm empowered by the luxuriate vision in hand as it expresses the warrior’s pulse and the unwounded paganistic psyche of the devout and moves me, uncontrollably and repeatedly, toward emotion and imagination. That’s the difference and that’s what separates Kawir from the rest of the younger garb who are trying to innovate and keep things fresh. Kawir invokes scenes of ancient monuments built to honor and subtle layering of harmonious and disharmonious aspects that allow the listener to choose how they want to enjoy the closeness. Now I am straight diving to the point about this new album.

When at first checked out their manifestation I was overwhelmed and the track sounds so authentic, mature from then I was clinched that I have to check this whole material for sure and this would be unblemished. Kawir delivers a distinctly experimental, atmospheric, vibrant form of black metal. Mixing rollicking pagan metal with classic Hellenic black metal was always their forte. Their use of vibrant melodies, even utilizing classic folk materials like the kanonaki, flute, and various wind instruments that all seem to meld together to create the kind of folk atmosphere. The wonderful skills the band possesses that ability hits its apex here. This band's musician did a fantastic job on this album in a radiant way and It’s really great when your high hopes are not misplaced. This whole album reflects the grand diversity of sound brought together on this album. It is really not easy to describe their musical style. A natural synthesis of dissonant sounds and disparate styles all combined in one bold, enlightened display of unbound creativity. Strong melodic riffs with flowing melodies and full bore percussion blend nicely with the wind instruments, offering an album that blends rollicking pagan metal with classic Hellenic black metal. This is filled with more unearthly, astounding, critical acclaimed, heavy, claustrophobic misery, enigmatic melodies and this new album redirect the image of black metal through a dervish funhouse. 

Well, their opening track is “Tydeus” where the stirring meander is inherited by the riff and Kawir‘s inclusion of Alexandros of Macabre Omen for clean vocals is birthed again even more prominent and glorious than prior. Quickly the song returns to the sonic assailment and the musical style transformed into a heavier, melodic musical direction of guitar noise laced with deliberate cadence and progression seasonings. Their whole composition and musical style are impeccable also borrow great atmosphere with majestic riffs work. They emerge undaunted, with black metal sustain, an infinite beat providing platform. This album boasts some of the most creativity tinged black metal and every single song is meticulously crafted and shows an incredible sense of flow and instrumental acumen. Their efforts would subsequently crystallize into the Hellenic black metal sound with a more comprehensive mode of expression and instantly recognizable through its techniques. Where the outward signs of excellence live on long after the initial burst of creativity has been extinguished like a silent witness to the achievements of a once-great but now degenerate civilization. 

 “Αδράστεια”  is an incredibly rewarding album and the musical content remains highly underwhelming. Their distinct entity infused me by a lot. Their musical style has some quite soft and smooth edge in the guitar playing along with clean vox which adds to the more atmospheric, unique kind of black metal but at the same time, the vocals and other parts of the riffing are straight forward ferocious simultaneously. Honestly saying after a multiple listen this album just blew me away with their multi-layered, tricky, complex musical style. Kawir has exuded tremendous effort on this album with excellent diligence and nailed it. Kawir really does the trick for the atmosphere is the overall phenomenal sound that comes from the music. I highly cite and embrace this album. "Αδράστεια" is depicted as a blade-bearing rebuke of hubris between gods and men alike. The greater sum of its influences and everything more than that.

Starting from quaint origins, then swelling ever more quickly into something of magnificent proportions, containing within itself so much power that it has no choice but to end with a massive conflagration, then allowing space to return to the calm stillness it was before. The music is engorged with interludes of peaceful quiet, which is then released in a burst of rage and power. As well bass line up is whopping, intense,  strong,  rumbling, slithering. The guitars are solely focused on creating a grandiose atmosphere but predominantly rely on walls of sound and swerving rhythms. In each track delicious, dark riffs, bass lineups matched in a good manner. The deliberate mixture of vocal, guitar riffs which fluctuate between pride-inducing melody and ominous moods with occasional forays into the traditional acoustic territory and create a truly dynamic experience rarely found in post-90s black metal. They have portrayed the perfect image of the congregation of every emotion invoked from war to make an album that revels in chaos and beauty. “Αδράστεια” endures the beauty of black metal. 

This album indulges strong songwriting and brilliant musicianship. Lyrically, there are interesting, intellectually stimulating and still be interesting to explore. This inhuman ability, however, is inconsequential, as the music needs such a delivery. This album has a hypnotic effect on the listener.  Vocals decently large voice and clean vocals as well do well for Kawir. Tremolo melody just carries Kawir to the epic towering and tragic unraveling, something the band has become the masters of. Daunting and dark as it may be, it retains so much vitality and, dare I say, vibrancy. Vocals howling voice, an immense, deep voice emerged on this album in a good manner adds a thick sound and intertwined perfectly with their utterly spellbinding, obtuse, mysterious black metal, a distant musical style with a lot of musical accompaniment and embedded perfectly. His vocal expressions land droplets over the audience like rain. Overall you will get sinister, gloomy, mysterious ambient from this whole album with hallucinogenic with a healthy dose of harmonization, echoing death growls, and exotic instruments like mouth harps and medieval drums. I really worship this band and highly embrace Kawir‘s heinous deliverance. 

Each song has energy, fluency and draws a flawless landscape. Stand out tracks are all of them. I personally Cherish each and every single track. The vision of the album cover is Pretty neat, solid, atrocious, grisly, gorgeously hideous. Overall “Αδράστεια” whole album is Spectacular,  engrossing,  significant and goes all the way through with a relentless rage from the beginning. The sound has a depth to it, with brief distortion. This album sounds so authentic and a truly remarkable sonic journey from beginning to end. Indeed this album is such a true gem of this year. The production is absolutely impeccable, capable of handling both the massive atmospheric and gargantuan heft. Indeed would be outstanding another one release of this year so far. The full-length clearly show whether this act has enough in the tank to strive on to better things, or eventually dissipate into mediocrity. The Greek bruisers still possess all the necessary skills and hard-won experience to put younger, newcomer challengers in their place. This black metal hybrid has built up steam, showing their ultimate culmination thus far. This is as intended, music meant for submission. Frightful atmospheres bring down the curtain on another exhausting, shattering listening experience that maintains Kawir's status as chief purveyors of pagan black metal yet creative carnage. Kawir has written the material of this album carefully to make every single moment an amazing experience for those who adore the mythological musical theme. The album is full of adventurous journeys into a world long ago and a world today. Each track has some sort of guitar works that deserves to be mentioned. They perfect the image of what they wish to create, which is a congregation of every emotion invoked from war to make an album that revels in chaos and beauty. This is a crowning achievement. Kawir instills expectations for the future. If you choose to embark on this menacing journey then good luck and don’t get lost in the dark.

My Rating – 5/5   Review done by Souvik Basu. Published on 08/02/2020

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