One of the more respectable bands from Greece to emerge from the second wave of Black Metal was the once semi-decent Naer Mataron. With lyrical content regarding Ancient Greece and Greek myths, the band was paving new roads while avoiding all the synth-shit being pumped out by shit labels like Century Blast and Nuclear Napalm. Labeled as "Hellenic Black Metal", Naer Mataron marched forward with strength...
(Left: Not even the thickest chain mail can hide a mallcore band t-shirt from my elitists eyes )
However, after two "acceptable" albums, the band put out a bunch of uninspired shit and eventually lost all members except for bassist Kaiadas. Being the bassist and the only surviving member of the band pretty much renders you worthless, in my book. However, Kaiadas oddly chose to move forward with Naer Mataron (most likely because he had no alternative financial backup plan ).
(Left: "Don't worry guys , I will run this through photoshop, and add flames and pentagrams in the background!" so said the idiot photographer who took this timestamped picture. Naturally, the humiliating original eventually found its way on the internet and began heavy circulation in the underground elitist message boards.)
Kaiadas, being the only "original" member of the band, had the hefty task of hiring a new vocalist. Hrrmmmmm... a seemingly hard choice, but apparently an easy one for Kaiadas, as Yusaf Parvez (aka Vicotnik) was chosen. Why not? He had done guest vocals for the band before, and even comes from Norway's very own Dødheimsgard (whom should have their own post next month). Dødheimsgard, as we all know, now sing about comic book super villains and other clown related nerd shit that I could give a two-headed camels ass about. So, was this a good move, or simply a "hey, he will help sell records!" move? Let us look deeper...
(Left: Something is just not right about this picture... I cannot seem to put my elitist finger on it...)
In an interview for Sinster Webzine, Kaiadas had this to say about Vicotnik's addition to the band:
"Vicotnik is a mastermind, a guru of black metal, he has been doing this thing for many years and he knows how Naer Mataron should sound. We asked him to create a personal and unique sound for us, which is more obvious in our new album 'Praetorians'."
Yeah, ok... Obviously if you are lucky enough to grab a vocalist from a semi-respectable (at one point) black metal band, then you'd probably let him get away with running over your pet dog completely intoxicated right in front of you, right? Kaiadas moronically decides to put full confidence in Vicotnik's ability to lead the band; obviously ignoring his work in Dødheimsgard's previous three releases.
(Left: No matter how grim you try to act in a cave, it is never going to overshadow the guy in blue body paint wearing ripped underwear)
The band would then strike a deal with notoriously shitty Season's of Mist, whom have put out a magnitude worth of dung-metal like Bloodthorn and the newer Drudkh crybaby shoegaze albums. And with a new album, label, and vocalist, Naer Mataron would need some killer artwork to showcase their accomplishments, right?
Perhaps this is why purchasing "Praetorians" is not too different a experience than grabbing the soundtrack to the Spawn comic book series. Great idea!
(Left: Sign to Seasons of Mist and they will provide you with retarded artwork like THIS!)
It's also worth noting that Vicotnik produced the album as well, which is probably why you'll hear random techno-industrial/rave breakdowns from time to time. So in the end, Naer Mataron venture into an unforeseeable future... Actually I don't give a damn where they go, because I stopped listening to them in 1997.
(Left: Good thinking, hiring a blue drunkard to lead your Hellenic Black Metal band.)
Post Sript- It is also worth noting that recently, Near Mataron announced they would be hiring a female vocalist for their upcoming release...
(Left: Mysterious, Evil, Gross)
With that said, it looks like a nice lead into our next installment of "Women in Black Metal"...