This is an all-Greek split of a trio of black metal acts.
Dizziness comes first, and kicks off with a track that plays very much by the Satanic Warmaster rulebook both vocally and musically (“goddess of the moon”), which gives them a major check mark towards the positive in my book. They’re a bit more folkish and mournful than anthemically melodic in tone, but it’s clearly walking the same grim roads as Finland’s finest. Nice.
Unfortunately, they misstep somewhat with their unpronounceable to English tongues second track (your guess on that title is as good as mine, have at it). It’s not terrible, but far less atmospheric and evocative. A serious letdown in tone and style after the grandeur of “goddess”.
Lord Impaler is up next, and they’re working more of a Norwegian sort of thing bordering on Swedish but never quite going “Norsecore” either. It’s that strain of unimpressive late 90’s/early millenium Nordic black metal that bands like, say, Ancient tended to put out. I’d say 1349, Tsjuder or post-Euronymous Mayhem as well, but it’s more generic than the latter and not as Norsecore as the first two.
Even their cover of “call from the grave” kinda sucks – didn’t sound like Bathory in the least. Overall? Very bland and unimpressive, if listenable for the type.
Hell Poemer has a bit more individual character and feels a tad more Rotting Christ in the spastic yet very trad metal-oriented riffing, though the prominent if quirky keyboards bring it somewhere else entirely. The guitarist is pretty decent, actually crafting proper solos with structured individual phrases. If it didn’t start off with Dizziness’ “goddess of the moon”, the standout track of this split would easily have been “the sacral knot of heirophant”.
“My dreams will stay frozen on the mountains” gives the keyboards even more prominence and strays straight into Magica territory, with just a hint of Gloomy Grim to offset all the gothic/symphonic metalness of the affair. Personally, I loved Lightseeker (and to a lesser extent, Hereafter), so this worked for me as well…just didn’t feel very black metal in the end.
Taken on the whole, this is a very strong split that shows the contemporary Greek black metal scene in a positive light: even the least of the acts here (cough Lord Impaler) isn’t exactly lightweight fluff, with nary a Watain wannabe in sight.
Horns up, to be sure.