Yovel – Forthcoming Humanity

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In a time where racism is making an extremely tragic comeback it is refreshing there are artists that don’t hesitate to take a stand on important issues. Social awareness against the –no politica- neutrality that maintained far-right reflexes. I’ve heard about YOVEL due to the censorship to their cover of Manos Hatzidakis’ song “Kemal”, a song that the band had no profit and just dedicated to the women of Middle East. The response of the band to the censorship started with the words of Hatzidakis: «to love as passionate as possible those in need, the unorthodox and the revisers»

In their new work, the Athenian blacksters combine their anti-capitalist rhetoric with the poetry of the Greek poet Tasos Leivaditis (1922-1988) by using lyrics from the poems of the great poet (who joined the Resistance against the German occupation of Greece during WWII and was politically active in the Left after the war). Their tactic is simple but effective, they use lots of  acoustic interludes where we hear the poetic recitation by Antriana Andreovic, something that gives a dramatic tone to the general mood before the classic black metal outbursts (close enough to the typical sound of the second wave of Norwegian black metal) in a never ending alternation of rhythm and atmosphere. Apart from the storming drumming, they let some melodies come through their riffing work achieving a less raw final result this way. The purists of orthodox black metal will frown and won’t get it but it is OK, that’s the way we usually loose some opportunity to enjoy some good works.

I must admit that there is little differentiation from their debut when we focus on the music part, but the final result here is definitely more sturdy, and the reason is simple; they’ve managed to bring together different art forms through a beautiful carousel that houses words, sounds and pictures. The booklet of the CD will make things more clear, as each track is combined with photos from very important moments in history and excerpts from speeches. Past, present and the fight for a brighter future is their main theme through historic moments in Greek history, but also through the resistance in the streets of Barcelona, Salvador Allente’s Chile, the flags of October Revolution in Russia, the Zapatista Movement, Guernica’s bombing, modern day Paris and Portland. It’s a line that connects the revolutionary movements all over the world, and cries out a universal truth, the perpetual struggle for a better future through the only path, the path of solidarity.

And then the great silence emerged. And the sun started its descent in the flames of the west. And the sky became red. Αnd the earth became red. Like blood.