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EMPIRE OF THE MOON - ΕΚΛΕΙΨΙΣ

Release date January 10/20 (Iron Bonehead)

Despite being formed in 1996, Empire Of The Moon have a limited discography of only one demo (1997's For The Ancient Light of Sinn) and a lone full length (2014's Πανσέληνος (translation - Full Moon) debut) to their name ... until now. With the turning of the calendar to 2020, the Greek unit have deigned it time for another full length assault on the masses, in the form of ΕΚΛΕΙΨΙΣ (translation - Eclipse).

Initiating with the instrumental 'Arrival', the band set out to create an atmosphere of wonder and dread, the deep bellow of horns leading into a doomed riff. Then we're off to the races with 'Imperium Tridentis', machine-gun riffed with an extreme blackened cackle-vocal admonishing all those who dare attend, before changing tempos into a headbanging trad metal stomper come mid-section. 'Per Aspera Ad Lunae - i. The Resonance Within' is up next, which goes directly for the throat in a blitzkrieg black metal attack before revisiting trad metal riffing terrain, supported by glorious background choir and a concluding oratorial reprimand.

Highlight track 'Per Aspera Ad Lunae - ii. Two Queens Appear' follows, a strident riff accentuated by a strong lead guitar solo and battle drum salvos, evoking memories of Rotting Christ's 'King of a Stellar War'. In fact, the fellow Greek's Triarchy of the Lost Lovers album is a suitable comparison to this album, sharing the same trad metal riffage and epic soundscapes, delivered in a blackened stare.

7 songs and 39 minutes of high quality, well-recorded, triumphant Hellenic black metal to be found here.

(7.5)

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