Greek black metal band Archemoron will be twenty next year. Formed in 1999, back then under the moniker Ancestor, Archemoron has seen a tremendous evolution, not only in sound but also in overall atmosphere. With 'Year Of The Harvester', the band wants to take its rightful place in the black metal history books.
In 2008, the band decided to change its course towards the blackest of scenes, without forgetting their heavy/thrash metal past. As far as I'm concerned, that was an excellent decision. The blend of epic heavy metal and fearsome black metal certainly works. Opener 'Somewhere Beyond North' shows the best of both worlds. I guess it's no wonder that bands like Rotting Christ come to mind. It contains flashy guitar solos, fingerlicking thrash riffs and soul piercing blast beats. No wonder the song is almost eleven minutes long.
That being said, 'The Year Of The Harvester' is a very long album with four tracks clocking off at over ten minutes. With such a total length, there is always a chance of things getting stale, a bit too much of the goodness. However, if you can successfully tackle everything between Iced Earth and Emperor, things are looking quite good. Furthermore, if you put it epic masterpieces like 'Sisyphean Agos' in there, the whole thing comes close to blackened perfection.
I can give you a lot more bandnames that come to mind when I listen to these tracks, from Judas Priest to Immortal. Somehow, it feels like Archemoron managed to blend three decades of heavy metal into an overarching sound. I think even today's post-black metal fans can appreciate heroic pieces like 'Mother Sea', which perhaps is my personal favorite here. Fans of sheer brutality will easily be satisfied with the punishing 'Nothing' and depressive black metal fans will drool all over closer 'Those Of The Suffering'.
In all, this is a long, epic and atmospheric black metal album that every fan of the genre should check out. Perhaps fans of traditional heavy metal will doubt the screams and blast beats but eventually I predict that they will get into this sound too. So yeah, this thing comes highly recommended.