Kawir - Dei Kaberoi

Kawir - Dei Kaberoi - 4.5/5

It`s not often that I find a Black Metal band that can incorporate symphonic elements in such a way that it doesn`t sound pretentious or even patheitc. The all too common term "...Black Metal`s biggest salute to Classical..." mostly gives me the impression that Metalheads seem to think that Metal is somehow inferior to other genres and try to compensate by being symphonic. After this, I`ll feel much more comfortable with the idea of Symphonic Metal.

I won`t consider Kawir Symphonic Black Metal, though. Instead of mashing it all together in a bid to salute Wagner, Kawir cleverly splits the different elements of the music to produce clearly distinguishable sequences of Symphony, more traditional Black Metal and Folk. This gives the band a much more intelligeble sound, making it possible to highlight certain emotions and ideas and thusly producing a very comprehensive work. This means that more aggressive, nostalgic, mystical etc. parts are more clearly seperated from eachother and better emphasized.

'Dei Kaberoi' is a Best of/Compalation album and, in keeping with the general themes of the band, is almost exclusively about Greek gods and goddesses. The aforementioned technique of splitting the different sections of the music is therefore a very handy method of describing the personalities of these deities. Almost all the songs have titles like "Hymn to Zeus" and "Artemis" but all have very noticeable, distictive qualities. A myriad of methods are employed to create a mental picture of the gods ranging from the completely acoustic, archaic-sounding "Hymn to Zeus" (using only some very subtle percussion, a whisper and a flute), a song to which one can get VERY relaxed to, to the very aggressive "Eumenides", the type of song to which murders are committed.

As I have metioned, many songs are largely, or even entirely, composed of instruments such as flutes and traditional drums; keyboards are also used to great effect, for instance in "Dei Kaberoi", where the intro includes only keys, closely resembling a trumpet ensemble, that further contributes to the ancient feel of the band`s music. There is also a good use of synthesized effects albeit very subtle i.e. the wind in "Hecates & Ianos". There is also a smart use of the spoken word in the music ("Hymn to Seline"; "Hermes"), performed by both male and female members of the band, which would all, I`m sure, be beautifully poetic and expressive, if I could understand them.

The more traditional Black Metal instruments (guitar, drums, vocals) are also used with great aptness and skill and are by no means inferior to the acoustic sequences. The guitarwork is done very well and very solidly, with mostly nothing out of the ordinary save a few parts, i.e. the last song ,"The Adored Cry of Olympus", which includes something of a (very well-executed, I might add) solo. The drumming is varied and very intelligently done, never seeming over-eager or too subtle, always fitting perfectly with the rest of the song. The vocals are just as well done, ranging from whispers ("Hymn to Zeus") to shrieks ("Daughters of Night") to all-out, blunt screams ("Eumenides"); but, above all, they are never too much or too little, proof of the bands adeptness at knowing when to stop, a very scarce quality in all of music.

The only factor keeping me from awarding them with a well-deserved 5/5 is the fact that the music seems to dissappear in the background all too easily. It takes tremendous concentration and patience to be able to appreciate it the way I`m sure it was intended. This one, sad fact will unfortunately have the consequence that many will never be able to enjoy it the way it should be enjoyed. They might "like it" but they`ll never "love it".