Author: Craig Matthews
It’s fair to say that Greece has a good track record with Black Metal, with big names like ROTTING CHRIST and RAVENCULT calling the small Mediterranean country home. As well this, Greece also has a very healthy underground scene producing some great music. Today we are looking at HAIL SPIRIT NOIR a “Psychedelic/Progressive Black Metal” band and their third album “Mayhem In Blue”.
“Mayhem In Blue” Kicks off with the funky “I Mean You Harm”. Synths comprise most of the track giving it a very chaotic and almost carnival ride type sound, this alongside shallow and gravely growls from guitarist/vocalist Theoharis makes for a very unsettling sonic effect. It’s like being trapped in a nightmarish fairground mixed with falling down Alice’s rabbit hole, very fucking creepy but very effective.
Throughout the album things just get weirder, there’s so much to take in that the listener can start to feel claustrophobic and overwhelmed. HAIL SPIRIT NOIR have used just about every production technique and trick in the book to allow the use of so many instruments and sampled sounds but still keep the overall experience very raw and haunting. I do, however, wish that Theoharis made more use of his fiendish growls as his clean singing voice and some of the spoken word verses lose their edge a bit.
“Riders to Utopia” is possibly my favourite song on “Mayhem In Blue”. Theoharis’ ghoul-like vocals combined with a constant ritualistic drum beat sound fucking terrifying and on top of that there’s a great example of some sublime guitar work. The whole track sounds like a mash up of modern Black Metal and a horror film based on clowns and cults, I love it.
What I like about HAIL SPIRIT NOIR is that they haven’t been afraid to truly let their creativity shine. Even for a progressive band there’s a lot on offer for the listener and every track manages to conjure up another terrifying image. I just wish they had made more use of Theoharis’ growls but that’s only a minor complaint on an album that manages to mess with your head that much that you have to ask the question “what the fuck is going on” during nearly every track. For fans of the genre, this will be a new and exciting experience with a lot to offer; as for me, stop the ride I wanna get off!
1.I Mean You Harm
2.Mayhem In Blue
3.Riders To Utopia
4.Lost In Satan’s Charms
5.The Cannibal Tribe Came From The Sea
6.How To Fly In Blackness
Haris – synths
Theoharis – guitars, vocals
J. Demian – bass, acoustic guitars
Ioannis Giahoudis- drums
Dimitris Dimitrakopoulos- additional vocals