For 20 years Agnes Vein have been blazing a path through Greece's underground extreme metal scene, their fusion of epic black and doom metal helping to carry the torch set by luminaries Rotting Christ, Necromantia and Septicflesh. With their latest album Deathcall released on December 17th, we thought it best to catch up with the band to get a guide to some of the most exciting things happening in the Greek metal underground today.
1. Universe217 (doom/sludge/post-metal)
"Universe271 sound like no other band - it’s as simple as that. The sum of what one will experience particularly when witnessing them on-stage is incomparable. They master an artistic blend of doom, sludge and post-metal, with solid dynamics and this eerie voice capable of bringing down mountains. They have been leading the local underground for many years, never compromising and delivering top-notch quality music every chance they get."
2. Head Cleaner (grindcore/crust punk/death metal)
"A band rising from the ashes of the historic act Homo Iratus, Head Cleaner are the finest example of Thessaloniki’s extreme metal scene that exploded and then started to fade away during the 00s. They are a political grindcore band that carries the Napalm Death legacy at its best, delivering their gasoline-soaked frantic tunes with precision and punk-tuality."
3. Spineless (doom/post-metal)
"Chrysa Tsaltampasi is a vocal chameleon. She can move from velvet jazzy frequencies to nightmarishly unearthly growls in a minute while having breakfast at the same time. Her latest lovechild Spineless is a deep endoscopic trip to the darkest corners of her mind, using everything from sludgy post-metal soundscapes to catatonic piano interludes on its way."
4. Freefall (death metal)
"Our roomies Freefall are a band best described as athletic death metal. That equals to a band that definitely enjoys being groovy and ripe at the same time. Combining mostly elements from the great death metal schools of England and Sweden with a touch of Floridian sun-drenched darkness and an unambiguous love for post-punk sounds, Freefall is one of the finest examples of a band you could jog listening to."
5. Stereo Animal (hardcore punk/alt-metal)
"Another band that rose from the ashes of the mighty Homo Iratus, Stereo Animal are the Greek underground's best-kept secret. Carrying too many aces up their sleeves (amazing musicianship, distinctive sound, distorted influences of Ministry and Prong) and with the undisputed reputation of a demolishing live act, they have made a name for themselves as bannermen of the local underground."
6. Krause (noise rock)
"Are you thirsty for some filthy down-tuned noise rock but unable to find some? No worry, Krause is your dealer. This Athenian quartet (containing veteran members of the local extreme metal/punk scene) is the musical equivalent of Athens: dirty, decadent and rotten, yet full of charm and too addictive to leave."
7. Kemerov (death'n'roll)
"Unlike the local stoner rock scene, our country is surely not known for its death'n'roll division - with one exception. Hailing from Serres, a small town in the northern part of Greece, Kemerov are the undisputed local kings of rot'n'roll. They don't even try to hide their Entombed obsession but are enriching it, drowning inspiration from the mighty Scandinavian punk rock scene. Narrowing it down, this is how Turbonegro would sound if they were a death metal band."
8. DreamLongDead (death/doom)
"DreamLongDead is the perfect example that an unholy Lovecraftian worshiping band could be fun and uplifting (kinda). Presenting a ferocious double vocal attack, the band balances between doomy death and deadly doom, creating lengthy yet simple song structures that absorb you, leaving you longing for the great old ones."
9. Mammock (avant-garde/post-punk)
"Mammock are the newest band in this list, but at the same time they blew our minds during the last couple of (difficult) years. The band draws inspiration from what is considered (from us poor boomers at least) to be the most innovative eras in the extreme musical spectrum; the early 00s. Combing elements of metal, punk , jazz and avant-garde they are creating a perfect amalgam of what we could describe as mosh pit music for jazz elitists."
10. Zvarna (d-beat)
"My personal favourite, the d-beat maelstrom Zvarna feature one of the best extreme and original singers in the local scene, drawing influences from both John Cleese and Barney Greenway and singing exclusively in Greek language idioms. The outcome is 1-minute punk in 78 rpm punk hymns that leave you cleansed."