It's been a stupendous year in Greek metal, with a seemingly high quality release coming out every couple of weeks. So it should be no surprise that we are about to add yet another one to the list, via Athens own, Universe217.
Practicing what I guess you would call "experimental doom", they released their stunning 3rd album, Never, in 2013. They have now followed that up with a new EP, appropriately titled, Ease. Just like the name implies, the band is showing us their mellow side without losing an ounce of effect. I would say this is similar to what Alice in Chains initially did between their full length albums on SAP and Jar of Flies. They went acoustic, slowed things down, got tender, wrote great songs, and still maintained their identity. If these Greek maestros continue to do this, consider me on the bandwagon.
|Photo by alepuda|
Throughout the course of its 21 minute run time, there isn't a single wasted note. It starts off with this ambient ethereal sound (like the morning sunrise) with vocalist Tania making her presence felt immediately. To say I'm in love with Tania's voice would be as dramatic of an understatement I could make. She could read the classified ads and I'd find it utterly enthralling. For those new to the band, think Janis Joplin, but less raspy, with maybe a touch of Ann Wilson, singing metal songs.
Once the opening track kicks in, its memorizing. The beautiful bass tone, tasteful drums and gently picking of the guitar, They exercise such restraint, that it always leaves you wanting more, but in the best possible way. Sometimes a song winds down and you almost expect another chorus/bridge (just out of habit with most music) yet its not there. Whether this is intentional or not, I'm not sure, but it's brilliant. I'm never unsatisfied, yet always craving more.
Picking out a favorite track is next to impossible. Every song has its moments that I could point to as a highlight. Not only do I highly recommend this release (since it is THE BEST EP I've heard all year), but suggest you to listen undistracted and in one sitting. Let this envelop your mind. I don't even want to taint your experience by getting overly detailed about the music either. Stop reading and press play. I implore you.