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Underwater Moon : Wondering

Much to my surprise, I received this promo of a band from the Greek island Syros. First of all, Greece is not exactly renowned for its doom-metal scene (I suppose a lot has to do with the hot climate which makes empathy with the typical ice cold, bleak sound of many doom bands difficult). Second, the small island of Syros is not exactly what you would expect as the breeding place for doom bands. However, maybe it’s precisely due to this geographic isolation that this Greek combo sounds quite original and refreshing.

After a short intro, the band departs with - in my opinion - the best track on this demo: 'Heaven of Eternal Night'. A nice heavy riff while the vocal lines are clearly influenced by the Greek traditional music. Well done.

Also most other tracks on this CD are interesting, offering an eccentric mix of 'Sabbath influenced riffing with heavy gothic rock overtones. However, less to my liking are the two covers of classic tracks from Joy Division (furthermore, the track following the Joy Division cover has a main melodic theme which is too similar to that of 'New Dawn Fades') and Chris Isaak. Musically, both covers are ok, especially the nice dual guitar lines in 'New Dawn Fades', but the self-willed vocal delivery on those tracks is not much to my liking, because it doesn’t do justice to the spirit of the originals.

Speaking about the vocal delivery, the vocals are clearly the most unique and distinguishable element in this recording. Chris' clean, wailing vocal lines give a certain colour to the compositions, which can not be ignored by the listener; at moments (like in the second track) his voice appeals to me because of its special character, while at other moments some of his vocal mannerisms make me cringe. There is a certain feminine quality in the timbre of his voice which shall probably appeal to some fans and put off some others at the same time.

All in all, this is an interesting and original demo and if you are a fan of doom with genuine gothic influences, it might be a good idea to check it out. You can order it by sending 5 euro to Chris 'Count Raven' Papadakis, 5 Tzenis Karezi str, 84100 Ermoupolis, Syros, Greece. Furthermore, you can contact the band by emailing to CountRaven@hotmail.com.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Intro: the Winter and a Burning Promise
2. Heaven of Eternal Night
3. Funeral
4. Gone
5. Beneath a Grey Sky
6. New Dawn Fades
7. A Sun that Never Rises
8. Under Water Moon
9. Wicked Game
10. Another Broken Song
11. Outro: a Whisper to Lord Time

Duration : Approx. 59 minutes.

Visit the Underwater Moon bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kostas Panagiotou
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