Hail Spirit Noir is something as rare as a Greek Psychedelic Progressive Black Metal trio, one that can celebrate its six year anniversary this year. In that timespan they have released three full-length albums, the most recent of which carries the name Mayhem in Blue and is set for release on vinyl just before Christmas (not a bad timing if you ask me). But what exactly is said release? Overall, the trio has quite a heavy use of the synthesizer (to the point where it has taken up residence within the band where the drums would usually be found), and it is through this instrument that the majority of both the bands Psychedelic (through various sounds, themes and mood raised by said instrument) and Progressive (by the means of not-a-few quite unique solos) prefixes are earned. Looking at Mayhem in Blue as a whole, Hail Spirit Noir has managed to create quite an interesting third album – They do manage to create and, for the most part, maintain a strong psychedelic feel that complements the fundamental Black Metal sound quite nicely. Where the release lacks, in my opinion at least, is during the before-mentioned Synthesizer solos. To me, they greatly disrupt the flow of the music to the point where it almost feels like that the tracks are being put on hold in some cases, instead of combining with the rest in order to create a better, bigger whole. That being said, however, Hail Spirit Noir have mastered to create some whole, well-rounded tracks, which more than aptly manages to incorporate said Progressive initiatives. These tracks, such as ”The Cannibal Tribe Came from the Sea” are somewhat less Progressive than the majority of the album, but instead succesfully maintains and expands upon the strong Psychedelic feel that Mayhem in Blue also contains. Of the six tracks present on this record, about three of them speaks to me in such a manner, which gives me an ambivalent feeling about Hail Spirit Noir’s latest creation; While half the album is quite alien to me, the other half fits in almost perfectly within my very rigid and square box that is my taste in music (as well as life in general, I suppose. But I digress). But returning to the matter at hand, let me round up this statement by commenting that, despite my reluctance towards some of the tracks, said songs still has some merit. Which means that overall, Mayhem in Blue leaves my presence on a positive note.
Recommended for fans of Arcturus and Ihsahn.