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Violet Vortex : Lure Elegant

Violet Vortex is a trad-doom quartet from Athens, Greece, a country better known for turning out bands like Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh. The fresh new groove of Violet Vortex is a welcome reprieve! The sound they're becoming renowned for is deep, soulful, laced with desert-sun groove and edged with an exotic Greek-trad influence, which really makes them stand out from their peers.

Arguably the best band out of Greece since the legendary 70's cult band Socrates, Violet Vortex formed in 1993 and generally plays underground old-school doom in the vein of big-name trad. bands such as Black Sabbath, Candlemass and Saint Vitus, but are particularly hard to pigeonhole because of their innovative touches. Their sound is characterised by its slow, thick riffs, a typically heavy atmosphere and 'Sabbathesque vox.

The tracks on 'Lure Elegant' swing between heavy, yet up-tempo rock beats, to epic doom pieces reminiscent of Dawn of Winter, all executed with brilliant precision between the strong drumming on one hand and the fantastic double guitars on the other. The music is technical and well structured throughout, with lots of innovative guitar experimentation, giving the overall sound a thick and syrupy feel. The vocals are mid-ranged and often highly melodic. The combined effect is a toss-up between the groovy bluesy rock sounds of 'Badlands' [edit by admin.: By Bruce Springsteen.] - a la 'Trouble' - and traditional doom vibes of Black Sabbath, reflected particularly in track 7, 'Blind Truth'.

In short, this album successfully recreates that haunting 70's trad-doom atmosphere, with obvious influences from bands such as Pentagram, Trouble and The Obsessed, whilst forcing their own musical personality through, particularly by way of the intense rhythm section.

The production on the first couple of demos leaves quite a lot to be desired owing to time constraints but has improved in leaps and bounds with 'Lure Elegant' having been produced, recorded and mixed at Reflection Studios by Violet Vortex and Stathis Pavlandis.

The only criticism that's easily levelled is at the vocals which, in comparison to the trademark technicality of the music and lengthy but interesting solos, seem bland and colourless. Having said this, Spyros' vox have shown steady improvement since the first demo, 'Rush Hour of Lust', so don't let this deter you!

The band has future plans for the release of a live videotape limited to just 100 copies, set to contain the show that took place at "Ston Aera" club in April 2001, as well as plans to release a split 7" with Finnish doomsters Reverend Bizarre, so watch this space!

What can I say? Modern-day Black Sab's? Definitely! All in all, this is some very catchy stuff; slow, heavy, with just the right amount of groove and originality, finished off with some fantastic artwork inspired by John Tsakonas and the band members themselves. For further information, you can contact the band at vortexgr@hotmail.com.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Trouble
2. Luv
3. Bitter Love
4. Riding Forever Free
5. Ultraviolet Dreams
6. Marsyas, the Satyr
7. Blind truth
8. Lure of Visage Elegant

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes.

Visit the Violet Vortex bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Keti Tano
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