Black Lotus Records
Simplistic Groovy Power Rock
10 songs (46'15")
Release year: 2004
Black Lotus
Reviewed by Alex

In order to review Olethrio Rigma I needed to do three things: 1) brush up on my Greek (no chance of that happening); 2) make sure I have Symbol font installed (all lyrics and song titles, except instrumental opener, are in Greek); and 3) throw out genre conventions out the window.

The promo sheet said this band is one of the most respected in Greece in punk metalcore genre. Oh, man, I said to myself, I am, sure as hell, not going to like this. Good thing then that the Greeks have very different definition of punk metalcore. No whining angry male sing-screaming, no downtuned 1-2 chord riffs with an obligatory melodic chorus breakdown, no radio friendliness targeting 18-yr olds is to be found on O Tromos tis Exousias.

Opening instrumental In to the Fucking Death with its synthesized hymnic chords and military sound samples does not provide much idea on what is going to follow. And what follows ain’t punk metalcore if you ask me. Instead, we are treated to some raw sounding gritty power rock. Olethrio Rigma music, on just about every track, is constructed around rhythmic chugging chords incorporating very simple, but nonetheless definite, melody. You would have to excuse me if I am going to mess up tracks names and numbering as the CD has ten cuts, while the booklet lists only nine. The opening of Ipak Opa O (3rd track) is very melodic with its metallized riffs carrying very decent power chops. The song also supplies a power metal inspired solo. Basic beats and groovy chords – O Tromos tis Exousias is not your world’s most complicated music. I am not sure where “punk” comes from, actually, as when the band tries to speed up its simplest Iced Earth inspired chops in Skatokosme (8th track) and O Tromos tis Exousias (10th track) rhythm section stumbles and fails to keep up.

Dirty garage production and simplest groove, Olethrio Rigma does remind some of Motorhead and no doubt is popular around Greek bars with its simple melodic chugging and 2-string bass patterns. To distinguish themselves, Olethrio Rigma has a very interesting approach to vocals – it is a free for all, every member has a say. Therefore, on just about every song we have a combination of female boyish scream, clean male scream and male guttural growl. Imagine the jambalaya this becomes. I have no problem with male vocals just being screamed out, but guitarist Emi would have done well to refrain from “singing”. I happen to think she is a terrible fit (Fotia, 4th track). Being weak in my Greek (see above) I have no idea about what the guys are singing about, so I have to rely on the booklet saying it is mostly anti-government anti-authority content. One thing is for certain, it is not very complex as I can pick out the word Dolophonos (5th track) repeated about 100 times on the eponymous track.

OK, so I have been spilling enough bile over this. It is not that bad, especially, if you know what to expect. Full of “trucker bar” attitude, catchy simple melodies and local Greek flavor, the band will appeal to the inhabitants of Peloponnes Penninsula who happen to be into rougher rocking sounds of their compatriots.

Killing Songs :
3rd track whatever the name
Alex quoted 55 / 100
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