HAIL SPIRIT NOIR — Oi Magoi

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HAIL SPIRIT NOIR - Oi Magoi cover
4.47 | 16 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2014

Tracklist

1. Blood Guru (6:18)
2. Demon for a Day (6:01)
3. Satan is Time (7:04)
4. Satyriko Orgio (Satyrs’ Orgy) (6:33)
5. The Mermaid (11:29)
6. Hunters (6:44)
7. Oi Magoi (5:19)

Total Time 49:28

Line-up/Musicians

- Theoharis / Vocals, Guitars
- Dim / Bass, Acoustic Guitars
- Haris / Synths

with

- Ioannis Giahoudis / Drums
- Dimitris Dimitrakopoulos / Additional Vocals

About this release

Released by Code666 Records, January 20th, 2014.

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition

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HAIL SPIRIT NOIR OI MAGOI reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

bartosso
Hellenic wizardry #2

Unlike death metal, black metal has embraced the "post" prefix with open arms as if it were kindling, spawning sub-genres like a freaking rabbit since the late nineties. If black metal were an element, it would be cesium, the most reactive of them all. Successfully combined with post-rock, shoegaze, jazz, electronic, folk and Satan only knows what else, black metal is it when it comes to crossovers. It's all the more admirable when a new act comes around and brings something fresh to the table without the word "post" ever being brought up. And while Hail Spirit Noir do indeed draw from non-metal genres like psychedelic, classic and progressive rock of the 70s, they've managed to carve out a niche of their own.

My very first thought upon my introductory listen to Oi Magoi was "that's what Opeth should have done with their sound". Hail Spirit Noir walk a thin line between the past and the present without ever sounding outright experimental or derivative. That's in part due to the magic of black metal: it helps put stylistic elements out of their context. Black metal is loosely interpreted here, though, and deliberately stripped of its usual ferocity. Oi Magoi is playful and menacing when it needs to be, wrapping its black'n'psy formula in a wicked atmosphere of the 70s dark cabaret and the occult. If you've ever read a horror story by Neil Gaiman, that would be a perfect soundtrack to it. The band provides each song with a catchy main theme but lets each of the in-between sections breathe. Full of left hooks and adventurous trips, Oi Magoi never slips down into pointless experimentation, though. That's how you make things engaging without the usual bloated prog extravaganza. Paradoxically, each seemingly disparate element, from the pleasantly textured clean vocals, raspy growls to carefully chosen synths, contributes to Oi Magoi's consistency.

Slightly longer, punchier and more daring than Pneuma, Oi Magoi founds its glory upon an already excellent concept. Rich in flavors both old and new, Hail Spirit Noir shows a well-founded confidence in their trademark blackened/psychedelic rock sound. What I love most about it, though, is its unwavering devotion to good fun - the album simply oozes cool and it's a hell of a ride each and every time I give it a spin.
UMUR
"Oi Magoi" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Greek progressive extreme metal act Hail Spirit Noir. The album was released through code666 in January 2014. Hail Spirit Noir was originally formed as a side-project by two members of Greek avant garde/post-black metal act Transcending Bizarre?, but the band´s debut album "Pneuma (2012)" turned out to be a major success for the band. Widely praised by critics and fans alike, so it appears that Transcending Bizarre? is put on hold for the moment and all focus is on Hail Spirit Noir.

Stylistically the music on "Oi Magoi" continues the progressive/psychadelic extreme metal style of "Pneuma (2012)". A curious mix of black metal and 70s hard rock/heavy psych and progressive rock with a freakshow atmosphere. The band´s use of vintage keyboards add a warm and organic sound to the music which is further enhanced by the earthy and analogue sounding production. The black metal elements are actually not that dominant on "Oi Magoi" and are pretty much limited to raspy vocals and the occasional harder edged distorted riff section (like the opening section in "Satyriko Orgio (Satyrs’ Orgy)") and progressive rock listeners not accustomed to extreme metal vocals, should still be able to greatly appreciate large portions of the album. Tracks like "Satan is Time" and especially the 11:29 minutes long "The Mermaid", both feature clean vocals and longer passages that are closer in style to 70s progressive rock than they are to extreme metal of any kind.

It´s the darker and more heavy part of the progressive rock from the 70s that´s been the influence on Hail Spirit Noir, so even though there are some tranquil and beautiful sections on "Oi Magoi", there is a dark and almost occult atmosphere to the proceedings that works really well within an extreme metal context. The songwriting was generally on a high level on "Pneuma (2012)", but "Oi Magoi" is more consistent and slightly more sophisticated. As a result of that, it´s a slightly stronger album than it´s predecessor and that actually says a lot since "Pneuma (2012)" was a surprisingly high quality debut album. "Oi Magoi" deserves a 4.5 star (90%) rating.
Kev Rowland
It’s hard to know quite where to begin with the second album from Greek metallers Hail Spirit Noir. The one thing I’m sure of is that it is the same trio of Haris (synths), Theoharis (guitars, vocals) and Dim (bass, acoustic guitars) who performed on their debut ‘Pneuma’, along with the same two guest musicians Ioannis Giahoudis (drums) and Dimitris Dimitrakopoulos (additional vocals), but how to describe it? The press release probably comes closest by saying that it is “a trip into the obscure and all things black, filthy and psychedelic”. There are many references in the music press about these guys coming out of the Greek black metal scene, and given who has been involved with the production (mastered by Jens Bogren, Sweden (Opeth, Katatonia, Amon Amarth) - mixed by Dim Douvras (Rotting Christ)) it is no surprise that they have kept their heaviest, but someone would have to be quite musically naïve to state that this was a true BM album in any sense of the word.

‘Oi Magoi’ (meaning “Seven Musicians” – there are seven songs on the album) has been described as “a psychoprog black metal album of trippy melodies and satyric ecstasy” but even that doesn’t really get close to what it is all about. The production is clean, but also warps the music around the listener like a blanket. Yes, there are times when there are the riffing guitars that one might expect from BM, but they are plenty of others when it feels that the late Sixties are back again, but darker and more threatening than ever. An incredibly complex album, there is more to hear each time it is played. Somehow it is quite accessible, yet very different and challenging all at the same time. This is for those who enjoy the adventurous, combined with a Hammond B3… www.auralmusic.com
Warthur
Hail Spirit Noir's psychedelic black metal on Pneuma was an intriguing experiment; their tripped out psyche-prog blackened rock on Oi Magoi is the explosive result. A somewhat weightier album than Pneuma, running around 10 minutes longer, and it feels like a good judgement call on the band's part because their sound is genuinely richer and stands up to closer and more intense scrutiny here. Transcending Bizarre? is these guys' main musical port of call, but when this purported side project is turning out material of this quality, and of an originality on a level that could define a whole new subgenre of black metal, it's clear that Oi Magoi are worth keeping a close eye on.
adg211288
Oi Magoi (2014), meaning The Magicians, is the second full-length album by Greek Psychedelic Black Metal act Hail Spirit Noir. The group, which consists of the trio of Theoharis (guitars, vocals), Haris (synths) and Dim (bass, acoustic guitars), all also of Transcending Bizarre?, have been joined for a second time by the same guest musicians that appeared on their debut album Pneuma (2012), namely drummer Ioannis Giahoudis and clean vocalist Dimitris Dimitrakopoulos. While the two are considered to be guest performers with the group for me Dimitris Dimitrakopoulos proved to be a key part of the Hail Spirit Noir sound on Pneuma, so I'm glad to hear him performing on Oi Magoi as well.

Musically Hail Spirit Noir often belongs more to the psychedelic rock genre than they do to black metal. Often it is only the growling vocals of Theoharis adding the extreme metal edge to the music, although despite the fact you won't be hearing raw guitars all the time, both Oi Magoi and Pneuma before it never lack for the atmosphere that is associated with black metal music, and the psychedelic elements tend to add a melancholic feel to the proceedings. This is especially heightened during the clean vocal sections that Dimitrakopoulos sings. It's also incredibly beautiful, even though those two things, melancholy and beauty, may contradict themselves.

If there was a complaint to be aimed at Pneuma, it was that it really didn't last for a long enough time, clocking in at under 40 minutes. While such a short running time certainly inspired a lot of repeat listens I for one needed to hear more than the six songs from Pneuma to get my Hail Spirit Noir fix, even though true to the form of an excellent album Pneuma never got old no matter how many times I listened. Oi Magoi is much longer than its predecessor being just shy of 50 minutes, although in terms of the amount of tracks they only went one better this time, with seven. Still what a seven they are! The average run time tends towards at least the six minute mark and like with Pneuma's Into the Gates of Time there is also an epic length track in the form of The Mermaid. The songs flit back and forth between eerie psychedelic rock and harsh black metal passages, usually tending towards one or the other during a track but including elements of both almost all of the time, while some of the tracks include progressive touches, an early example being Demon for a Day which is, like The Mermaid, one of Oi Magoi's best tracks.

Picking best tracks for an album like Oi Magoi (and by extension a band like Hail Spirit Noir) is quite the demanding task though. They'll all excellent in their own ways and while Let Your Devil Come Inside from Pneuma may still stand as my favourite individual song by the band so far, overall the debut had a couple of minor faults that are fixed here. With Oi Magoi it seems that Hail Spirit Noir have learned from past mistakes and produced an even more cohesive effort overall. It is, simply put, a stunning sophomore effort.

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