Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Review: Stheno – Wardance

Label: 7 Degrees Records / Chaos and Hell Productions

Date: October 8th, 2021

Ah, Greek black metal… A safe haven for reviewers worldwide. A description that says it all without further need to elaborate. Everyone knows what it sounds like, what it feels like and what it’s all about. With a band name evoking the lesser known sister of Medusa and the cover artwork depicting the same, there is no mistaking it.

But wait! Why is that monstrosity on the cover carrying a pistol, an axe, a machete and a mace? Wouldn’t it be sort of redundant with powers Stheno holds?

To answer these questions, just push play. The one thing that you are left wandering is where did this creature hide its nuclear weaponry?

Well, it hid it in the music displayed!

The only things Stheno holds in common with the mentioned Greek black metal scene are the geographical region from where it stems. Black metal is also there, but this is light-years away from what you are expecting. So, forget Rotting Christ. They were never this pulverizing. Never mind Varathron. Never were they this perverted. Zemial, Necromantia, Kawir… Nowhere near!

We’re heading north. Think about Marduk, Impaled Nazarene, Nattefrost, Anaal Nathrakh and the likes. Fast, ultra-violent, unrelenting, grinding black metal. And a damn good one!

I can only imagine the poor Vaggelis (the drummer) when the recording session was done. Luckily for him, there’s only about twenty four minutes of material on “Wardance”. With two minutes long ritualistic outro.

But we are warned. The album starts with an air raid siren. A cliché perhaps, but rightfully placed, because what happens next is an apocalyptic event. Unnerving from first to last with all the appropriate consequences to the mind and the body. Holy hell, I’m sweating just sitting here and writing.

Yes, we’ve all heard this before. And yes, we can all return to “Panzer Division Marduk”, “Ugra-Karma” and the rest of the masterpieces of hate filled aggression. And maybe “Wardance” is not on the same level, creatively speaking. But these are nuances that don’t matter all that much. I dare say this is an excellent record. I did not find any faults with it, other than the lack of originality.

Does it matter? No! Can you have too much of something good? Hell no! Nuclear missile is armed. Push the button. Now!