Archemoron was founded in 1999 as a heavy/thrash metal band, back then named Ancestor. Since several other bands came up with the same name, they changed it into the ancient Hellenic 'Arche', meaning 'beginning' and 'Moros', meaning 'death'. According to the ancient Hellenic theogonia, Moros was the child of Nychta (night), having two brothers: Hypnos (sleep) and Efialtis (nightmare). By then, partially thanks to several line-up changes, the musical direction nudged more and more towards black metal.
With a complete new line-up, with Melikertiis as the sole founding band member, this trio rages themselves throughout a world of 'epic' black metal, much like some of our favorite bands of the nineties but without the over-produced orchestral arrangements. 'Across The Seven Seas Of My Soul' opens the album in a highly convincing way. To hell with intros, here's fierce guitars and blasting drums, accompanied with eerie screams and an almost constant rolling bass drums.
In fact, in a way you can see 'Sulphur and Fire' as a typical black metal album but I have to add that's it's a damn good one. Archemoron doesn't seem to focus purely on aggression and speed. They want to create that 'epic' feeling, which they do perfectly by using a minimum of keyboards and some splendid calm passages. Yet, it's in the mid-tempo passages that the true power of this trio is mostly present. These make up for some violent headbanging sessions. 'I, The Black Desert' for instance doesn't need the sheer speed of blast beats to convince the listener.
Of course Archemoron uses blast beats, just like probably ever black metal band does, but they don't really need them to create this twisted and certainly epic atmosphere. It's already present in the riffs. Somehow these brilliant pieces of guitar-play contain an element of battle, and victory. These can make up for a stunning live performance, where songs like 'Ancient Callings' or 'Sailing To The Black Sea' could easily become audience favorites. Not only in the overall feel of a song but also in the fast, hypnotic and pounding passages.
It's clear that Archemoron used to be a thrash metal band. This influence remains present in some of the guitar solos and in the precision of the drums. I don't know exactly why, but I'm really impressed by the drummer. It's a fact that a drummer can carry the music of a band but this one lifts it up to a very high level. Maybe it's the overall sound or the sheer accuracy or maybe it's the high level of variation but this album contains some of the greatest drums I've heard in this style of music. So kudos to Leogenis for that.
'Lemourian Silence' differs from the other songs, because it's an eerie piece of dark ambient, heralding the final battles on this album. After this breather, 'Omnia Movens' becomes another one of my favorites by once again coming up with that heroic atmosphere, and is again a perfect live song. I can easily imagine a large audience raising their fists and shouting 'hey', 'hey' (or whatever audiences shout these days) along with the music.
'Lacerate The Mind' closes the album in absolute triumph. Once again heavily driving on thrash metal influences, this eleven minutes lasting anthem is a masterpiece of extreme music. Just like in most of the songs, there's a lot of variation, more than enough to keep the album interesting for the entire duration. I'm not sure if this will become one of the best black metal albums this year but I have to say it's a serious candidate. I'm going to remember this name...