Land of Oyr’s Epic metal reviews 1. Reflection – Bleed Babylon Bleed

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Reflection is a greek band with more than twenty-five years of history. They play epic/doom metal and they have chosen an underground pure path outside of commercialisation and marketing tricks. They stay true to heavy metal and play their music for themselves and their fans and not for money.

Their newest fourth full album has many different elements. Epic fantasy, doom metal, historical references, religious problems all the matters that torment the artist until he releases them…

The artwork is wonderfully strong and sad depicting a classic photo of the pontian refugees that left their ancient motherland hunted by the hordes of Kemal Ataturk, a sad picture enclosing a tragic moment in the history of the pontian greeks.

The sound is vibrant and heavy, vocals are clear and strong and the riffs are old school metal.

  1. the first song is a short prologue called Marching to glory, it’s about war and death in battle but as an aphorism because Victory is what we sought foremost!
  2. after the prologue comes the song Glorious Victory a hymn to ancient Macedonia warriors and their achievements a classic heavy metal song with galloping riffs and an amazing solo,
  3. the Iron Tower is a darker song heavier and med tempo about the atrocities done by the cristian inquisition to all unlucky ones to fall on its path,
  4. Fallen Shadow narrates the history of an entity eternal and immortal that fell (from heaven?) and was trapped in our plane for reasons unknown, anentity ancient and forever doomed, the vocals are more harsh and the music is dark as the mood of the lyrics,
  5. with Takla Makan we border the conspiracy theories and the unconventional history the white pyramid in the lost desert of the western china has attracted many researchers but never (as far I know) a heavy metal band! the rhythm is med tempo but clearer and more relaxed, the song is sung by Candlemass singer Mats Leven!
  6. Time traveller enters the sci-fi region and the exploration of space and time, a faster song to match the cruising space ships,
  7. with Stormbringer we are back at classic epic metal themes the song emphasises the sword’s approach on matters with slow acoustic music mixed with epic metal riffs to form an incantation to the legendary battle blade,
  8. Ruler of my own land is a lament for the lost land of Pontos and a promise of the new generation to return back to claim what was taken away unjustly but not lost, classic heavy riffs quick tempo a song to be listened loudly! (you can watch the video on youtube,
  9.  continuing the tale of the pontian genocide but this time it is a lament for the loss and death comes the last song Bleed Babylon Bleed the pontian lyre blends with the pained metal riffs and creates a powerfully enchanting sound the vocals are moans of pain memory of the loss bring back to the last living survivors and their descentants…

 

I asked a few questions the band which I will also comment!

  • you are a band with a long history but Bleed Babylon Bleed is your fourth full album, I wonder why?

Because there’s no need to do albums for no reason. We do an album when we feel ready to do it. We are not a professional band that HAS TO MAKE ALBUMS… We don’t have a bunch of tracks and choose what to record. We complete every song with passion and no hurry at all. But to be honest, Bleed Babylon Bleed was about to be released at least a year ago. Unfortunately, a huge personal health problem kept me way from everything and I did a very long time to recover – and still recovering…

comment: i respect people who dedicate their time and effort just because they want and like it and not because of money. it had shocked me when i read in the wiki the history of Black Sabbath, most of their albums weren’t supposed to be the band’s but project’s of Iommi and when you hear them you can notice which is which, but the company to ensure commercial success using complex contracts forced them to, its a sad story…

  • you are a doom-epic metal band, for sure you have influences, what are your favorites writers, books and from what other forms of art do you drew inspiration?

Personally, I love fantasy/sword &sorcery books and books in general! I read plenty of things and I  declare addicted to reading! From Michael Moorcock, Ambrose Bierce, Robert Sheckley, Clark Ashton Smith, Graham Masterton to Nikos Tsiforos and Andreas Karkavitsas and Giannis Ritsos and many more! The sea is inspiring me. I love sailing and spearfishing and listening/watching the waves and the sound of the water. I don’t watch TV AT ALL, not interested in any kind of series,/shows etc. Love listening to music in my home hi fi (not in the pc) and spinning records.

comment: a man after my taste! a bit hardcore even for me because i would download a movie or two and am expecting game of thrones i admit but i put reading above all, if a man reads such quality authors you can’t find a word to blame him, continue brother you are in the right path!

  • the last five years wε have seen a great come back from legendary epic bands (warlord, manilla road for example) do you believe that other influences (like epic movies as the lord of the rings and epic series like game of thrones) there is a revival of epic fantasy in general?

As I told you I do not watch TV series/shows etc, so I don’t really know. To be honest I don’t believe that a movie or a tv show can motivate feelings or emotions. They’re just movies…entertainement….Maybe it’s a kind of fashion nowdays because of all these, but I believe that music is doing circles. Some years ago epic metal was into the “eye of the storm”. The wheel turned and other kinds of music came in front. Now the wheel has turned again(?) and all these gorgeous bands are again dominant.

comment: the wheel turns but we will be true to epic metal even if it is banned by law! also here i would like to say that i really hate the lort movies and ignore the hobbit movies, people must read the books and not watch the movies of the books!

  • what are your plans for tours and promoting your new album?

We have our first headline show in Athens on May 6 along with the great doomsters Forsaken from Malta, and Achelous-a new great epic HM band. Some tour dates will be announced soon inside and outside Greece! Our Label Pitch Black records is doing a hell of a job regarding the promotion, so there’s no need to have this in our minds!!!

comment:  a true artist! he plays music and leaves base matters like marketing to others, alas for the self-published who must spend his time on promotion instead of writing… information about the show for those interested.1487109934_l

  • besides being and epic metal band you are also doom metal (50% more or less?) what is your relationship with Candlemass as the leading doom metal band of all ages!

We do not have percentages!!! The previous album was a 90% doom album. This is more epic maybe the next will be more power. Depends on the mood! Candlemass have been a great inspiration, and on this album we have the honor to have Mats Leven as a guest! He sings “Takla Makan” a really doom song and he is nailing it! It was a dream come true for us!

  • your lyrics touch a difficult subject that of the Genocide of the Greek Pontian people during 1914-1923 by the ottoman turks, do you have relatives that were evolved in that tragedy, what made you write about this tragic event?

Yes…..My grand parents manage to survive from this hell and I grew up with this tragic story. It was something that I had to do as a tribute to them. I know all the details from this trip through hell and I see that genocide is something that though should have been only in the books, is something that we live every day again and again in many places in the world.

Both sides of my family experienced  genocide. From the side of my father, my grand parents in Pontos, and from the side of my mother my grand parents in Pireas/Athens during the occupation from the Germans in 1940… The memories are still so intense …

no comment:

  • there is a pontian lyre playing do you believe blending metal and folk instruments?

The pontian lyre is my “first” instrument.I started “playing” in the age of 6. Back in 1995 I recorded the outro of “Fire” on “The sire of the storm” 7inch EP. Since then I have never tried to combine metal music with traditional music. But this one was different. Bleed Babylon Bleed is not exactly a metal song. Not a folk song either. We tried to keep a balance. I don’t know if  Metal and folk should be combined. Sometimes some bands did it with big success and sometimes not. Music has no …  It’s just a matter of taste I believe.

comment:  well i am in favor of blending different instruments although extreme care is needed to avoid turning into something silly, in this case the result is more metal than with “traditional” instruments!

I would like to thank the band for their time and dedication, i am expecting a vinyl edition of your album and I hope to see you in the arena!

REFLECTION lineup:
George Thomaidis – Vocals
Stathis Pavlantis – Guitars
George Pavlantis – Drums
John Litinakis – Bass
Iraklis Loukakis – Keyboards/Backing Vocals

reflection-cover

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