Ithaqua - The Black Mass Sabbath Pulse
Iron Bonehead Productions
Epic Black Metal
2 songs (16'06")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Alex

Greek Ithaqua leave no room for guessing about their origins and make no bones about the style of black metal they want to play. If I recall my Greek mythology correctly Ithaqua is the Greek island where Odysseus hailed from, and it is Hellenic black metal of the early 90s the band presents on their most recent EP The Black Mass Sabbath Pulse.

Just a duo, Ithaqua goes for a pair of lengthy songs seeking resurrection of Rotting Christ earlier days. Persistent, chopping, almost nagging, riffs never muddle up into a blast wall. When overlayed with the zigs of the second guitar, they lead up to a cult-like, almost procession feeling, living up to the title. The Black Mass Sabbath Pulse is another example why Greek and Scandinavian schools of black metal may draw from the same well of dark arts inspiration, yet present it in two totally different aural packages. While Northmen chose a freezing, caustic, dissonant and bone-cutting way, the Greeks opted for an epic, mystical feeling, sometimes buttressed by uplifting melodies. Ithaqua fully intend to maintain this tradition and the only cold touches are here and there synth lines, which pump up some psychedelia into their music. Walpurgis, the Flight of Spectra Witches is even further from pure black metal, has an almost classic heavy metal main melodic riff, which prevails over everything. Ithaqua are also not averse to displaying some of their rather skillful solo work on that composition. The band’s vocals, my understanding the duties are shared by both N.C.M. and Echetleos, are fire-breathing priest-like snarls, not too extreme or wild, but instead prodding and whispering subliminally into your ear.

Not entirely original, the EP is meant exactly this way – to reminisce, pay homage and declare allegiance to the countrymen who came before them. If you like old Rotting Christ, before they came refined and symphonic, or got some interest in Necromancy after my recent review, then Ithaqua operates in very much the same realm.

Killing Songs :
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