The meteoric blackened strike of Melan Selas‘ epic melodic black/thrash xiphos carved a great fiery slash to my temple as the thunderous crack of Ῥέον’, compiled with their self-titled 2016 EP, served as a pernicious surprise attack upon my being. In parceling thought on the virtuous self Plato extends his theory of Forms with description of the flow of the immortal human ‘soul’ used interchangeably in poor translation with the chaos of flux. Though I apologize before whatever butchering I manage of the meaning of ancient Greek φ, Ῥέον’ can be interpreted as ‘flow’ and likewise a proverbial genre descriptor of writing unto itself indicative of pleasant epic meter with great meaning. Flow, flux, epic and immortal all offer an incredible start in describing the electric feeling of discovering this Trikala, Greece based black metal duo that take great influence from classic heavy metal, old school Greek black metal, and some measure of speed metal for their riffs.
To paraphrase the unintentionally poetic language of Platonic scholar Andrew J. Mason “Ῥέον” taken to mean ‘flow’ [as a characteristic of the soul] describes a motion that is smooth, regular, effortless and easily maintained (i.e. persistent). This characteristic also serves as the generationally persistent trait, talent, and most striking qualities of Greek black metal history. Melan Selas multi-instrumentalist D.K. (Dimitris Kontogiannis) has a truly gifted set of ear and arm for the Hellenic black metal tradition as well as Zemial-esque, thrash metal guitar work. The regal heavy metal gallop and melodic black metal might of Melan Seas immediately evokes the early works from Kawir and Thou Art Lord but the crushing hammer and sour vocals of “Aima” spirit awake the ghost of thrash-era Bathory in my ears alongside nods to early Destruction.
This compilation’s inclusion of the band’s 2016 EP makes great sense as the older material is exactly on par in terms of the quality and equally epic tone of ‘Ῥέον’. It’d be fair to assume the EP was undoubtedly previously overlooked by many, myself included. This is one of those releases I wished I’d been keen to preview a month ago and not slept on it for so long because Ῥέον’ shows great reverence and aptitude for the traditions of Greek black metal and thrash metal alike. I’ve never heard such a flawless blender of the two styles outside of maybe Rotting Christ covering Kreator twenty years ago and the ~’95 era of the heralded Greek scenes. It is truly inspiring music that has quickly become a most righteous standout among many worthy May offerings. An absolute masterful introduction to Melan Selas and with great hopes for much more to come.
|Released||May 25, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Iron Bonehead Productions’ Bandcamp!||Melan Selas’ Bandcamp|
Black Metal, Melodic Black Metal, Speed Metal
Thy imperishable kingdom. 4.25/5.0
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