I'm not quite sure how I even stumbled upon this one. I've never seen or heard the band mentioned on any metal sites or through friends, so I guess seeing "experimental doom metal" made me click on it out of pure curiosity.
What exactly is experimental doom metal anyways? I still can't answer that question. But I can say this is one of the best albums of 2013. This Greek band has been around since 2005, this being their 3rd album, released by the Greek label, Venerate Industries. Vocalist, Tanya Leontiou, is the standout here (no offense to the bandmates who do more than an admirable job in the song writing department). She reminds me of a metal version of Ann Wilson from Heart. Yes, the Seattle rock band from the 70's (who are still going strong mind you). Tanya's voice is powerful, soaring and dripping with emotion, without ever going too far to make you think it's being forced or trying to sound retro. It just oozes naturally. Musically this is doom metal, no huge surprises there. There's a hint of that old school vibe and feel, but its in the background and never screams out too loudly. A plethora of bands these days are on the whole "let's be retro, its the trendy thing to do, I can squeeze onto that bandwagon". Thankfully, Universe 217 is easily able to avoid this, mixing modern doom with some subtle nods to the past. If that's too "experimental" for ya, I pity thee