This time I may have crossed a peculiar line. I always try to explain why I choose some records to review, and I have my reasons for this one as well. It may not be the kind of music that I listen to everyday but I have my reasons for this choice: female vocals (It’s always nice to feel represented in music), aggressive and intriguing riffs, use of a language that is not English (yes sorry, I’m a simple linguist, I see lyrics in a foreign language and I’m already intrigued). Another brief note to catch your attention: if you’re into black metal with an epic twist this record may be for you!
Our journey starts in the so-called cradle of civilization: Greece. Melan Selas is a duo from Trikala, Zephyrean Hymns is their second full-length that came out a few weeks ago. The band has always mixed their mother tongue into their art, and that’s a thing that I always appreciate a lot!
Zephyrean Hymns is made of eight tracks, each with its own unique set of insane riffs, raw vocals alternating with ethereal ones that don’t bore the listener. The journey is really intense but worth it!
As always, when there is something concerning a foreign language it is my pleasure to dive into the lyrics. I found myself absorbed by the incredible stories that these songs told me. The themes revolve a lot around nature and untold eerie stories that give that epic twist in Melan Selas’ music.
“Mountain Tops” welcomes us and I wouldn’t have chosen a better song to start with. Some lyrics in Greek introduce us to Melan Selas’ world, followed by a sudden change of vocals where Astraea provides the proper rawness. “Dreadful Dome” is the most Black Metal-ish one, and I like it a lot in its own simplicity. “Darkened Cliff” is the song with most lyrics in Greek as well as the one with the most parts with a clean voice most initial ‘’calm’’ before the storm. The eerie vocals here set a very darkened mood, the track is really well balanced between the balladesque and the aggressive parts. I won’t spoiler all the story that’s behind this song but I will share the only part in English just to tick your curiosity “In the darkened cliff /Our hearts are flourished /A new dimension / Great new meaning / Ignite”.
“Wanderer” is the song with the most epic story references in its sound and the most peaceful track of the record (and the shortest too!). We could consider it a break before the end. Though its features, I wouldn’t consider it as a filler, it still has its own place in this story. The lyrics are very poetic in this one, consider taking a look! “Ancient Scrolls” closes Zephyrean Hymns in the right way. One more story has to be told before the end, and Melan Selas seem to pour their everything into this last track.
I haven’t analyzed every song on the record on purpose: I will leave something up to you, our readers. I wanted to give a broad perspective of this work, hope you enjoy it as I did!