Fans of Greek Black Metal will all have a soft spot for Thou Art Lord, one of the founders of the Greek Black Metal scene and partly responsible for designing the blueprint of this iconic ‘Hellenic Sound’. Although the band never officially ceased to exist, Thou Art Lord’s work rate after their 2005 ‘Orgia Daemonicum’ album was dramatically dropped. Besides reissues of pretty much all of the band’s early work, we only saw one new album and a split 7″ EP with Ravencult since. So great was the joy when this new single was announced.
First, a few steps back. Thou Art Lord’s discography can actually be divided into two parts. The early work can be counted as ultimate classic Greek Black Metal without doubt and exception. This work consists of the extremely strong demo ‘The Cult Of The Horned One’ (re-released in more recent years through a collaboration between Nuclear War Now! Productions and Floga Records), the first two 7″ EPs (one of which is the split with Belgium’s Ancient Rites) and the first two albums ‘Eosforos’ (1994) and ‘Apollyon’ (1996), both of which were released on the legendary Unisound Records label. They then remained silent for several years before returning via Black Lotus Records with ‘DV8’ (2002) and ‘Orgia Daemonicum’ (2005). While both albums are not bad per se, they were received with mixed feelings. In itself understandable, the original sound had become less important and adopting a modern approach and production with which the soul seemed to have disappeared from the band.
So the surprise was all the greater when the band returned in 2013 with the Nuclear War Now! Productions released ‘The Regal Pulse Of Lucifer’-album in which the band had adopted a much darker sound. That unique and so recognisable Greek sound had not been fully restored, but the modern and digital nature of its two predecessors had been replaced for a much more natural and analogue sound, and thus met with much approval. Meanwhile, we are almost another decade on and the band returns with this ‘Daemoniorum’ single. Today the band is reduced to a trio consisting of The Magus (current Yoth Iria member and previously known for his work in Rotting Christ, Necromantia and Zemial), Necromayhem (also known as Sakis Tolis from Rotting Christ) and J. Maelstrom (Caedes Cruenta, Embrace Of Thorns, among others). The past two years we already heard The Magus making a striking return with Yoth Iria to the ‘Hellenic’ sound he helped create.
This must have inspired him, because on ‘Daemoniorum’, too, we hear a particularly authentic Greek sound. On side A, we find ‘Hades’, which was previously sent out into the world as a teaser through various digital channels. This fits right in with the very best work from the entire Greek scene. It is melodic and furious and extremely catchy. The stunning dynamics between the fast-paced pieces, the atmospheric and proud guitar leads and those unparalleled Mediterranean melodies and atmosphere are so recognisable that you could have woken me up any time in the middle of the night and I could have told you we were dealing with Thou Art Lord here. Well, it could also have been Yoth Iria, because although quite a few years older, judging by the impressive grey beard, The Magus’ vocals have stood the years just fine. On the other side of this EP, we find ‘The Black Halo’ and ‘Fire, Chaos And Doom’. These two songs are a bit less catchy than ‘Hades’, but after several listens, they have more than passed the test. They have a punchier character, almost Thrashy, and the lead work is a bit more conventional. In fact, the typical Greek sound is laid on a little less thickly.
Although both The Magus and Necromayhem seem to have their hands full with Yoth Iria and Rotting Christ respectively, with Necromayhem also recently releasing his solo record (Sakis Tolis – ‘Among The Fires Of Hell’, Floga Records), it is to be hoped that they have some time off for a new Thou Art Lord album. Because this 7″ EP is a real piece of work and leaves nothing to the imagination. Should the album be of similar musical content, strength and quality, we can look forward to the best Thou Art Lord material in many years.