Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Universe217 – Never (2013) / 86%

Hellenic Metal Help Fund part III: Fishing in Neverland

A series highlighting the interesting bands the Greek underground metal scene has to offer. In this time of need for the legendary country, let's show our support by listening to their rich musical endeavors.

Never, the third album of this quartet from Athens is one of the most interesting and original pieces of doom metal released recently. Blending a sort of depressive doom metal, almost reaching funeral doom levels of despair, with a soft and reflective aura. Their best component is perhaps their singer, Tanya Leontiou. Her powerful, distinctive delivery reminds me of Agnete of Norwegian progressive doomsters Madder Mortem (we're due for a new full length from these guys, it's been five years!). Her voice is as charismatic and mind-blowing as the (now finite) involvement of Uta Plotkin in Witch Mountain. She has this truly intense approach and a magnificent voice, she's the first thing you hear when you start the album with the song “Mouth”, this proves she's the spirit of Universe217's music, there's no mistake about this.

Their music is slow and atmospheric but the heaviness is still very present. It's brooding and has this overacting sense of modern, quasi-industrial feel. The sole guitar is huge and can switch to mechanical, cold bludgeoning riffs to reflective and calmer ones like the long and incredible “She” with its endearing crescendo and its soft and pop Muse-like moments, it's mixing both the lovely and the frightening. It's also a varied album even if all its parts are in harmony with each others, the song “Harm” for instance reminds me of the Oriental feeling of Loreena McKennitt or Orphaned Land.

They have elements of many genres but all in all, what they play feels pretty unique and fresh. The Metal Archives labels them as “experimental doom” and that's pretty adequate. From the use of a piano to the blues or soul influenced vocals, they're bringing a lot of nice ideas to their metal formula and should be discovered by a larger public.


Apteronotus said...

Really glad to see a review of this release, it absolutely needs more attention. The vocals opening up the album really are unforgettable. Nice review man.

Metantoine said...

Thanks man, her vocals are magickal :) Yeha, the goal of the series is to talk about some very cool and underrated stuff from Greece.