Black Metal / Progressive Metal / Non-Metal • Greece
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Hail Spirit Noir is a Greek psychedelic black metal band.

From the website of Aural Music: "Hail Spirit Noir was founded in Thessaloniki, Greece in the dawn of 2010 by Haris and Theoharis, also members of the avant-garde/symphonic combo Transcending Bizarre?.Having already spent a year and a half on composing new material, the two masterminds of the band gathered a troupe of competent musicians in the foothills of legendarymount Olympus, at Lunatech Studios, to record their debut album. After severe experimentation and non-stop recording sessions, the result is an amalgam of psychedelic elements, horror atmosphere and modern day black metal."
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HAIL SPIRIT NOIR albums / top albums

HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Pneuma album cover 4.34 | 17 ratings
Black Metal 2012
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Oi Magoi album cover 4.47 | 19 ratings
Oi Magoi
Black Metal 2014
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Mayhem In Blue album cover 4.43 | 14 ratings
Mayhem In Blue
Black Metal 2016
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Eden in Reverse album cover 4.56 | 14 ratings
Eden in Reverse
Progressive Metal 2020
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Mannequins album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Non-Metal 2021
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Fossil Gardens album cover 4.21 | 3 ratings
Fossil Gardens
Black Metal 2024


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.. Album Cover
4.50 | 2 ratings
The First Ape on New Earth
Progressive Metal 2020

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Album · 2024 · Black Metal
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HAIL SPIRIT NOIR is a band that never fails to surprise you where it’s going next. These Greek avant-gardeners have consistently thrown curve balls with each and every release beginning with their psychedelically infused black metal debut “Pneuma” back in 2012. It’s only been a mere 12 years since the band made its splash on the world of experimental metal and has since released a total of six albums now that the latest FOSSIL GARDENS has emerged in the summer of 2024. Somehow i totally missed the 2021 “Mannequins” but upon exploration it seems to be one of those bonus albums for true fans that actually care about how a metal band can construct a non-metal electronic album. Personally i find these albums to be hit and miss but occasional can offer some insight into the band’s overall thought process..

A divisive band to say the least HAIL SPIRIT NOIR is either one of those bands that clicks with you or on the contrary totally rubs you the wrong way. As with most intrepid musical explorers that break all the rules and introduce strange chimeras to an established genre that many have settled on a comfort zone within, this band fearlessly steers its craft into strange musical worlds that have hitherto never been aurally integrated into the egregore of the greater black metal fanbase. Nevertheless HAIL SPIRIT NOIR sallies forth into the great unknown and delivers another slice of progressive black metal with a heavy emphasis on symphonic touches. While “Eden In Reverse” eccentrically and eclectically delved into the farthest reaches of space rock infused progressive rock that skimped a bit on the metal, FOSSIL GARDENS makes a retrograde into its roots.

On FOSSIL GARDENS the team has once again reinstated the black metal aspects and given the fans what drew them to its unusual style in the first place albeit encased in a psychedelic haze within a proggy framework. Sounding more like the weirdest experiments of Dodheimsgard than Darkthrone, the black metal returns but in a sort of musical truce kinda way. The album surprisingly starts of with clean vocals and spacey synthesizer ambience which suggests HAIL SPIRIT NOIR has totally gone Ulver on us and abandoned all notions of being a metal band but after a sensual baritone tribute to classic Dead Can Dance, HAIL SPIRIT NOIR unleashes its pent up black metal sensibilities and offers a blastbeat driven and tremolo guitar rampage complete with raspy vocal rage however the atmosphere remains thick and frigid and rather dominant but nevertheless, black metal HAIL SPIRIT NOIR has arisen like a phoenix form the ashes.

The rest of the album follows suit however the black metal isn’t as angsty as the typical second waver. This album finds the metal more in chord stomping mode for much of the time along with those jangly dissonant strumming sessions joining in for contrast’s sake. Guitar sweeps place this squarely into the melodic black metal camp with the eerie ambient backdrops never renouncing their presence for a second. Raspy tirades trade off with haunting clean vocal excursions into surreal spacey soundscapes that keeps the band firmly in the black space metal camp. This is progressive metal after all with the black metal a mere ingredient in the larger picture, a bane to black metal purists while avant-garde experimentalists will rejoice at the band’s audacity to meander through labyrinthine passages that include as much dreamy ambient pop motifs as it does adrenaline outbursts of black metal fury.

For many this one will elude them as it is by no means a conventional album. While slightly less abstract and freakishly alienating as “Eden In Reverse,” FOSSIL GARDENS nevertheless is no return to the black’n’roll bouncy grooves of “Oi Magoi” or “Mayhem In Blue” but rather delivers a veritable dip into progressive rock territory that just happens to incorporate black metal as the evil step-sister that keeps it from falling into complete ambient space rock terrain. As far removed though as FOSSIL GARDENS is from classic “normal” black metal, the contrasts make this a dynamic listening experience much like the world of Ihsahn, Enslaved or other formerly black metal dominated acts that now have successfully hybridized their caustic angst with a more pacifying structured layout that offers a true musical majesty behind all the weirdness. While i prefer the previous “Eden In Reverse,” i have to say that FOSSIL GARDENS doesn’t disappoint at all and rubs me in the right way which makes my tail wag in delight. In other words, NOT what i was expecting but in a good way!

HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Eden in Reverse

Album · 2020 · Progressive Metal
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"Eden in Reverse" is the 4th full-length studio album by Greek progressive metal act Hail Spirit Noir. The album was released through Agonia Records in June 2020. It´s the successor to "Mayhem In Blue" from 2016 and features quite a few lineup changes since the predecessor as Hail Spirit Noir have gone from a trio lineup to a sextet.

While the three preceding releases weren´t exactly primitive and simple, the new sextet lineup do create an even more massive and more busy soundscape. Hard (and more mellow) rocking guitars, bass, and drums, loads of vintage synths/keyboards/organ, and well performed clean vocals, harmonies and choirs. This is 60s/70s influenced heavy progressive rock with a strong psychadelic touch. The contemporary artist which comes closest to the sound on "Eden in Reverse" is probably Opeth and their 70s hard rock infused progressive rock sound, but Hail Spirit Noir have a more driving, repetitive rhytmic pulse (Krautrock/space rock influenced). The latter influence is especially heard on the 10:20 minutes long closing track "Automata 1980", but the hard rocking repetitive rhythmic playing is there on most tracks.

Hail Spirit Noir come from a black metal background, but while the three preceding releases did feature black metal elements, they weren´t really black metal. It was just an element of their sound. That element is now almost completely gone from their music, and "Eden in Reverse" does not feature much more than 1 minute of black metal influenced sounds. A raw black metal styled scream at the end of "Alien Lip Reading", and a few sections with tremolo picked distorted guitars and some faster-paced drumming are about it. The clean vocals are performed in a laid-back almost sedated fashion. Very pleasant on the ears, but maybe slightly too one-dimensional in the end. On the other hand the vocals suit the atmosphere of the instrumental part of the music perfectly.

"Eden in Reverse" features an organic and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly, and upon conclusion it´s another strong album release by Hail Spirit Noir. They´ve moved forward and have added new elements to their sound and they´ve removed other elements, but ultimately they still sound unmistakably like themselves. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Eden in Reverse

Album · 2020 · Progressive Metal
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2020 has been an inordinate year, with all sorts of health, economic and political mayhem raging around the planet. The music world, however, has not yet been permeable to such ordeals. After a largely mild 2019, this year has been prolific in great music, in most cases by unexpectedly good comebacks (the return of CIRITH UNGOL being the most spectacular, 29 years after their last studio recording). Among these remarkable 2020 comebacks is EDEN IN REVERSE by HAIL SPIRIT NOIR.

The Greek trio had built a following in the earlier part of the decade with a sweep of three Black Metal albums that always meandered different soundscapes. Loved by Metal fans and respected in the Progressive universe, they largely trailed a path of their own. A long hiatus ensued after 2016, and in 2020 the band finally broke radio silence with EDEN IN REVERSE.

During this interregnum the band completely transfigured their sound, all but abandoning their Black Metal roots. EDEN IN REVERSE is a complete change of course, but in many different directions. Vocals now lean into Gothic territory, synthesisers went back in time and space to 1970s Germany, whereas guitars riffs acquired a psychedelic dimension that further expands the strength of their sound.

This is still pretty much Heavy Metal music, but is also so much more than that. EDEN IN REVERSE revisits important elements of 1970s Space and Electronic, but blends it brilliantly with modern Metal. There are great introspective moments, more than inspired on TANGERINE DREAM, followed by blasts of energy with heavy guitar playing. Aesthetically, each successive track slowly builds a peculiar kind of tension, mysterious, intriguing, almost like a thriller in space. The end result is remarkably refreshing, with a clear element of innovation (especially in the Metal universe). HAIL SPIRIT NOIR have definitely created a space of their own in rock music.

And it all comes packaged in a concise record, delivering a powerful watershed of sound that elegantly avoids tiring the listener. There are no weak moments, just up and downs in a dense plot. Pressing play is opening the gate to a wonderful journey. I hope HAIL SPIRIT NOIR continues exploring this new niche they created, but if history serves as template, they are unlikely to remain in the same place for long.

This is the second record in 2020 I feel to deserve the 5 stars. Be it for Metal or Progressive fans, this is a very special album.

HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Eden in Reverse

Album · 2020 · Progressive Metal
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There have been a slew of bands in the 2010s that have given legitimacy to a new style that has become known as psychedelic metal that exists outside of the usual doom and stoner realms that have been fusing heavy psych and the more bombastic chord heft of Black Sabbath. Bands like Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu and Greece’s HAIL SPIRIT NOIR have perhaps been the most clever in how they have straddled the disparate worlds of progressive rock, black metal and psychedelic rock. HAIL SPIRIT NOIR is a trio from the northern city of Thessaloniki that threw both the prog and metal worlds a curve ball with its 2012 debut “Pneuma” which featured a fresh new twisted take on the fusional possibilities of black metal, prog and heavy psych.

In the beginning the band’s focus was heavy on the metal side of the equation but as each subsequent album that followed: “Oi Magoi” and “Mayhem In Blue,” it became clear that this was a band that could maintain the exact same recipe of ingredients but created a completely new album simply by changing the ratio of the musical elements on board. Celebrating a decade of existence, HAIL SPIRIT NOIR returns four years after its last release with its fourth album EDEN IN REVERSE which sheds much of the black metal of the previous output and shifts into a psychedelic swirling vortex of heavy prog laced with keyboard rich gymnastics that add the most spectacular spaced out trips into the unpredictable band’s antics that finds more influences from synth bands like Kraftwerk rather than Darkthrone.

The album which sounds like a retrofuturisitc jump into the soundtrack of “The Twilight Zone” indeed brings much retro charm to its near 43 minute run with trippy oscillating Moog synthesizers bringing a time bending wobble effect to the majority of the album’s run. Gone are the raspy black metal vocals and the new clean vocals display a mood of nonchalance as if the space portal jumping experience is just too exhausting to get excited about however a blood curdling scream or two pierces the veil every now and again. In many ways EDEN IN REVERSES reminds me of a much more psychedelic version of post-black metal Ulver than anything from HAIL SPIRIT NOIR’s prior repertoire. This album hosts seven exquisitely designed tunes that find the perfect balance between electro-robotic detachment and heavy prog guitar heft. At times reminding of 70s Pink Floyd (especially in the vocals) and at others like a darker version of Japan’s Ghost that discovered the joys of heavy metal.

The album flows incredibly well as do all HAIL SPIRIT NOIR albums with seamless melodies blending with polyrhythmic complexities made all the more engaging by the barrage of synthesized spaciness which make you wonder if Jean-Michel Jarre is involved somewhere behind the scenes. The band states that this album takes the music out of the retro hybridization of the 60s / 70s and pushes it forward to the 70s / 80s era which eschewed the overuse of the black metal bombast and instead sailed off to planet Lysergia for a more mind-bending psychedelic experience. The results are something familiar yet so far away from where the band has visited in the past. Despite the retro drenched motifs, EDEN IN REVERSE is clearly a product of the here and now with a crystal clear production job and ample doses of extreme metal riffing albeit it set back a bit to emphasize the synth attacks.

Despite the clear detour from the metal universe, the energetic bombast still exists well within the confines of the head banging domain that HAIL SPIRIT NOIR has always occupied. The album was produced and mixed by Dimitris Douvras (Rotting Christ) and mastered by Alan Douches (Nile, Aborted, Whitechapel). Add to that a cameo vocal appearance from Borknagar’s Lars Nedland appears on the track “Crossroads.” Despite HAIL SPIRIT NOIR’s dedication to experimentation that insures that each and every album released carries a distinct personality apart from what came before, the true success of this trio is in crafting instantly catchy compositions that favor melody over avant-garde weirdness and only after an accessible foundation has been laid can all the tricks and trinkets find their way into the mix. What can i say? HAIL SPIRIT NOIR never fails to disappoint and 2020’s EDEN IN REVERSE despite a totally new direction is hardly an exception to that. Excellent!

HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Eden in Reverse

Album · 2020 · Progressive Metal
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After three well received albums mixing black metal with retro psychedelic rock, Greek trio Hail Spirit Noir has entered into a period of change. The most noticeable of these before you hear even a note of their fourth album Eden in Reverse (2020) is that the band line-up has been expanded greatly, with seven musicians now credited as full band members. The changes are not just in extension. Primary vocalist Theoharis has given up that role to regular collaborator Dimitris Dimitrakopoulos and newcomer Cons Marg. Although the former has always been with Hail Spirit Noir providing clean vocals to Theoharis' growls Eden in Reverse marks the first release where he is credited as a full band member. Cons Marg also sings cleanly, which is a good indicator that Eden in Reverse is taking the band in a new path. Vocals are not the only thing the band has doubled up on with this release with synth duties now shared between long time member Haris and newcomer Sakis Bandis. For the first time the band also has a drummer in the main line-up with the addition of Foivos Chatzis. The album features an additional guest vocal appearance by Lars 'Lazare' Nedland of Borknagar, who joins the band for the track Crossroads.

Hail Spirit Noir has since 2012 and their debut album Pneuma been one of the more unique acts on the black metal scene. There have been other bands that get described as psychedelic black metal but no one else ever really captured the fusion like that did, not even Oranssi Pazuzu. Hail Spirit Noir delivered three excellent albums in this style, most recently being Mayhem in Blue (2016), which for my money was their best one yet. It was the one that it was going to be really difficult for them to top. So in that respect it makes a lot of sense for them not to mark sure that too much of a good thing didn't become flogging a dead horse and reinvent themselves. Eden in Reverse in the result of this attempt.

Reinventing yourself as a band must be a tricky business. On the one hand change is the point, but you also surely don't want to alienate too much of your fan base in the process. My personal belief is that most music fans are open to change, when done for the right reasons (meaning anything but selling out), but generally we want a new work to still be recognisable as the same artist, especially when that artist is a rather unique and special one like Hail Spirit Noir.

So here we have Eden in a Reverse, a record which features absolutely none of the black metal sound of Hail Spirit Noir's first three albums. How much does this still seem like the same band then? Actually, pretty damn well, because as far as black metal bands go, Hail Spirit Noir was never afraid to use lots of clean vocals and use lighter sections of music that drew on retro progressive rock and psychedelic rock. And although the black metal and the growling vocals with it are now gone, this other side of Hail Spirit Noir remains intact, still integrated with metal, and has been dialled up to the max. The psychedelic element is also notable for sounding a lot more spacey than on previous records. The term 'retro-futuristic' has been used by the band to describe the new sound and that's pretty accurate I think.

The album is very synth driven and that's to be expected with two guys going at them in the band now. The guitars are still pretty metal when they get going, but Hail Spirit Noir has never been a pure metal band even when they were black metal orientated, so variations in more from metal to rock should be expected by listeners. The main thing that's really changed is that they are now perhaps better described as psychedelic progressive metal opposed to psychedelic black metal. One might even call this a legitimate attempt at the creation of a space metal genre. At least it certainly manages to conjure up vibes of future space exploration (albeit space exploration as it may have been envisioned in the 1980s) with both it's sound and sound titles, which include Alien Lip Reading, The First Ape on New Earth and Automata 1980. I dare say that with Eden in Reverse Hail Spirit Noir have gone from performing one unique take on metal straight into another one. I cannot honestly say I have ever heard another album that sounds quite like this.

But is it any good? Well, it might actually be the band's best album yet and that's not a claim I want to make lightly, because I bloody love their prior work, especially Mayhem in Blue and Pneuma is really not far behind. But this one has knocked me for six and that's just from hearing a single song, that being The First Ape on New Earth, the first released track from the album. Let me assure you, it didn't take long to get over the surprise that they'd dropped the black metal! It's been a while since a song really infected me like that one did so that I was helpless but to keep playing it while waiting for the whole album to be released. Then they also released Crossroads ahead of the full release and then that did the same thing. Perhaps a little more of a grower than The First Ape on New Earth, something that's true of a lot of the songs here, but it doesn't take many listens for the album to have really opened up. Then it's repeat plays of the whole thing on the menu. Any expectations of being served up more black metal get quickly forgotten.

I was already confident in my belief that Hail Spirit Noir was one of the most important black metal bands of the 2010s. Now with Eden in Reverse they're one of the most important progressive metal bands for the 2020s. If people are ignoring this album, then they do so at their own loss, because here we have a special band who in some ways might be accused of wearing certain influences on their sleeves, yet makes everything they do their own, finding a balance between respectful homage to the old school and the expectations of the modern era they exist in. The result is a record that is uniquely the sound of Hail Spirit Noir. The extreme side of the band may have been laid to rest, yet the album still manages to feel like a logical progression from what came before, leaving no doubt in my mind that we can answer the earlier question in the affirmative: Eden in Reverse most certainly still feels like the same band. A evolved band, but with the same soul. And I for one will be using the album as the benchmark for others in beat in 2020.


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666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
As far as I'm concerned, the best black metal band to emerge in recent years.


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