A strange one this, as although there are two new tracks – which make up side one – the second side of the album is merely a re-release of Greek black metal titans Melan Selas’ debut EP. Obviously the band think enough of those songs to try and get them to a wider audience, but I for one would have liked to hear some more new music.
That’s because the opening two tracks here, Orkos and Aema, are both absolutely excellent. Strident, mid-paced Hellenic black metal is the order of the day on side one of Reon, and I’m racking my brains trying to remember a band that does this type of metal better at the moment. Both tracks have a bellicose, Manowaresque epicry about them – Manowar circa Into Glory Ride, that is – mixed with hints of Rotting Christ which is a real delight to listen to.
There’s an obvious development between sides A and B, but not so much as to annoy or ostracize longer term fans. Side B is rawer but no less fundamentally melodic, with Ancient Spirit and Of Wither in particular hitting the spot nicely. The latter track brings a stirring intensity to the table, incorporating some rattling bass playing which adds ballast to the traditionally treblesome overall sound. Multi instrumentalist D.K. plays some great guitar on this track.
Of course, no new ground is being broken here; but Melan Selas do what they do incredibly well, and thus I have no reservations in recommending this releases to black metal fans everywhere!
Reon is out now on Iron Bonehead.