*Sigh*, alright, had a little hiatus while organizing my, technically second, concert. Busy organizing, preforming, and dodging any unforeseen complications that are bound to spring forth. In the end I think the concert went well, people turned up, no technical problems during the performances, and everybody involved seems pleased by the show! A big thanks to all involved and a special thanks to EMOK ALIK who was a great sport and gave an excellent performance; definitely check his stuff out! Hopefully there will be a next time, and keep your ears peeled in the near future for the first cassette released by MASUGN on Vrak!
On with the review!
Ekthros is an interesting little cassette, released in 2011 by the band themselves, then again through Analog Worship in 2013, which is the edition I have. Ekthros is a side project by Wayne Sarantopoulos(Elektrokutioner), who plays in a bunch of bands, Encoffination, Goulgotha, and Eternal Suffering to name a few; and by Jake Kohn who is the singer/guitarist in the excellently gruesome goregrind Prosanctus Inferi. Needless to say, with these two artists behind it, Ekthros is destined to be a really solid release!
One thing you can really hear on Pylons to Thanatos is the blatant gore-grind influence from Jake. Nearly identical vocals, which are a mix between growls and wheezing, and the more melodious guitar work which is one of Prosanctus’ things, and even with the fast, rather mat drums. But still, Pylons is not a grind album. It has a flow between short, high intensity spurts, and pauses where the melody gets a chance to break up the monotonous blasts and growl-wheezing. And there is a air of black metal throughout the album which gives it a more unique feel and a little bit more sinister/dark atmosphere to it.
Pylons consists of four songs, not that you would notice with the songs sounding so similar and bleeding in to each other. The lyrics are the religious/philosophical standard of black metal, but this time focusing more on Greek and some Egyptian variety, what with all the Thanatos and hieroglyphs and shit. The lyrics aren’t anything special, but not total hokum either, just suitably esoteric and archaic.
The cover and design of the inlay is quite good. The front drawing of a figure descending from some sort of hole or portal is very neat and surreal. The sprinkling of Egyptian hieroglyphs is a bit odd to me since there isn’t very much references to Egyptian mythology in the lyrics, but that may be because my lacking knowledge in deep Egyptian mythologies. They could have been a bit more creative with the choice of typefaces though…
Yeah, in the end, Ekthros – Pylons to Thanatos is a excellent little album with the best from both black metal and grind, just long enough to avoid becoming too repetitious but still long enogh to be a satisfying listen. Dark, evil, well compositioned, and with a sprinkling of pleasant melodies should satisfy that itch for great USBM!