Kawir - Father Sun Mother Moon
Iron Bonehead Productions
Epic Black Metal
8 songs (64'33")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Alex

I am going to stay on the Greek black metal tangent for one more week, and the occasion is downright fitting. Famous Kawir have just released a new album. To be entirely honest, I have not heard all of the band's earlier work, but it is a widely accepted notion that Kawir very much stood at the origins of Hellenic black metal next to Rotting Christ and Varathron. Going through the lineup changes and taking longer time between the albums, Kawir did not quite acquire the international recognition of their Greek brothers-in-arms, but the band is considered influential trying to blend majestic black metal and native instrumentation. Apparently, Father Sun Mother Moon is not reinventing the wheel in that regard, but strengthening the roots, and it was my distinct pleasure to enjoy this album for its own merits as well as to establish my point of origin with Kawir. And what a good starting introduction it was ...

Staying within the scope of epic Hellenic black metal, Kawir deliver a number of compositions for which epithets like sweeping, ancient, anthemic and heroic are applied perfectly. The songs last good 7-8 minutes on average, take their time to unfold, and just roll over a full powerful percussion set while using rather clean quality production. In accord with their apparent earlier trademark Kawir also weave in native wind instruments which never sound gimmicky or contrived. Sure enough, Kawir stretch their songs by repeating individual riffs and full portions but when riffs are as rousing as in To the Sovereign Sun or To Dioscuri, leading straight to romanticized battles, I'm not going argue. Instead, let’s hear more of those, and Kawir don't disappoint on Dionysus or Hercules Enraged, with compositions however taking on different personalities. Hercules Enraged still projects potency and might (title demands so), but Dionysus goes from countryside serenity to open bacchanalia (title expectations still fulfilled). Prodded on by cerebral double bass (To Mother Moon, Dionysus) or something which sounds like a bagpipe (Hail to the Three Shaped Goddess), Kawir's vocals, sung mostly in Greek I understand, shift from individual passionate exaltations a to monk brotherhood chants, but whereas Rotting Christ sound much more symphonic and grandeur Kawir manage to remain earthy and grounded. Garnishing the songs with cymbal sounds akin to sword clanks (To Dioscuri) or penetrating whirring melody (Hail to the Three Shaped Goddess) creates effective individualizing touches.

There might be criticisms that dreamy and hypnotic To Mother Moon is stretched a little too long and The Taurian Artemis is not as rousing as the first 4 tracks on the album. Also, Father Sun Mother Moon closes with a 17' choral chant The Descent of Persephone where guitars are muddiest and percussion is an occasional tom hit. This will take an adjustment to fully accept. Kawir obviously planned it this way and will stand behind every note, clean or otherwise, and they should be very proud of their overall monumental work which is how Father Sun Mother Moon comes across.

Killing Songs :
To Sovereign Sun, Hercules Enraged, To Dioscuri
Alex quoted 83 / 100
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