Review Summary: there are still albums with no fillers out there
Hail Spirit Noir is a great band. At the same time they are dangerously addictive. “Oi magoi”, their second album, has some kind of magic in it. You can call it a binding spell. Every composition seems like having two or three different songs in it. I found myself not liking a song in the beginning and in the middle it blew me away. There are so many twists and turns, corners and hidden spots in the album that feels like walking in a labyrinth. The minds of these guys seem overly complicated but they manage to show us one or two flashes of their imagination. You need to give it time.
I like to call it an album –in between. It stands somewhere in between metal genres, though not enough of anything, to be precisely categorized. It carries the tradition of greek black metal in it, melody and atmosphere wise. “Satan is time” is an early standout. The clean vocals add the extra charm I needed to love this song. In the very pit of this album’s existence is progressive rock. And rock and roll. “Mermaid” is an 11 minute jam, where the keyboards take the driver's seat from the relentless avant-gardish riffing. This is a dark -near instrumental- progressive jam that could easily belong to the seventies.
The brutal and clean vocals constantly mix, giving the songs a theatrical edge. I am pretty sure that “Oi magoi” is not a concept album and how could it be with so many moods and layers in it. Should I call it schizophrenic at times, I am not sure, even after all these times I listened to it. And greek lyrics in the closing song? Yeah, why not! It absolutely works, the band sounds exotic, archaic and mysterious. It is repetitive, chanting the same words again and again, like the final scene of an obscure play. I found myself almost lost in my thoughts, mystified and entertained by these guys’ passion play.
Should I state some cons in this album? Yes it can sound retro at times because of its production. If you have a thing about modern production, then the warm, analog sounds of Hail Spirit Noir’s sophomore album wouldn't fit you.
I call this a masterpiece. A masterpiece for its originality and unique mixtures of sounds. A masterpiece because while listening to it, I didn't need to over analyze the reasons why I liked it. I felt it.