Oletir – The Wind ...that at the Woods is Blowing (Demo, 2016), Black Metal, Greece – self-released
Oletir is a Melodic Black Metal band from the city of Trikala in Greece formed in late 2013. This demo, which bears the poetic title The Wind ...that at the Woods is Blowing is the band's first ever recording and, in all honesty, it was quite a satisfying listen that motivated me just enough to start writing this text. The demo was released digitally on February 2016 and consists of two songs of melodic black metal mixed with some heavy metal elements.
Oletir's "Nocturnal Journey" begins with a clean guitar intro that sets up a dark and moody atmosphere, before a tremolo picked riff is introduced with a melodic burst. Things start to get slightly more aggressive some seconds before the 2nd minute mark as the riffing gets sharper and the vocals take their rightful place in the song. Upon a first listen, it is easy for one to distinguish the musical traits shared with early-Rotting Christ and Varathron. Although Oletir utilizes a similar guitar style and general music approach, Astraea’s low and, at times, inarticulate growls give the song character and keep the listening experience interesting. “Nymph's Dark Dance" comes next, telling the tale of divine spirits, dwellers of mountainous regions and forests, who seek revenge upon their violators. The song follows, more or less, the same formula of fast-paced tremolo-picked sections juxtaposed with heavy metal riffs and misty melodies, albeit with an extremely catchy chorus. Both the vocal lines and the guitars that underline them are really well-put, elements that add to the song's replay value to a great extent.
Generally, the compositions are simple and to the point, offering a consistent result. The dominant style is fast-paced and intense, though a balance between melody and heaviness is maintained at all times. As one would expect, the songs evoke an old school vibe, which is accentuated not only by the band’s influences, but also by the demo’s unpolished and distortion-soaked production. The direct influence from Greek Black Metal bands of the early 90s is obvious and worn proudly on the band's sleeve, a fact totally acceptable as this is only their first demo. It will be interesting to see how the band will evolve in its future works and how they will hone their skills into forging a more personal sound. I would personally love to see the band experimenting with ethereal vocal layers like Myrkur's, but time will tell.
In conclusion, The Wind ...that at the Woods is Blowing is a little rough around the edges but a great first effort nonetheless. The advantages more than balance the disadvantages, especially when one takes into consideration the young age of the band members, as their compositional skills are noteworthy and show promise. This is definitely a pleasing release that made me look forward to their first full-length.
Author: Lefteris Kefalas