Black Sword Thunder Attack


Kalabaka (Thessaly)
Epic Metal, Heavy Metal
Active:
1997-present

Hailing from the Thessalian town of Kalabaka (the site of the ancient and allegedly well-fortified settlement of Aiginion), BLACK SWORD THUNDER ATTACK must count among the most intriguing and unique acts to emerge out of Hellas in the last 25 years. To make an argument for this claim, we will have to reach for some lofty – and perhaps overly pompous – words, but bear with us here, hopefully it will make sense. BLACK SWORD THUNDER ATTACK embodies certain qualities that this writer would like to associate with the esoteric side of Heavy Metal Music – that which exists and operates behind or beyond the veil of common musical sensation.

On the surface, BLACK SWORD THUNDER ATTACK is easily identifiable as a very faithful yet individually distinctive reinvention of the late Bill Tsamis’ works under the LORDIAN GUARD moniker. However, there is certainly more at stake here than a band paying tribute to another great band. Every vocal expression, riff, drum fill, bass-line, etc. somehow carries a deeper implication that together adds up to a grand, often sublime musical experience that like some form of magical incantation sweeps the listener away to some far-off, mythological world, probably located somewhere deep within our own psyche but inaccessible to us in our normal, day-to-day existence. Does this sound like a load of pretentious crap or just mumbo-jumbo? Well, like many good things in life (happiness, numinous encounters or what-not), you can’t really capture such phenomena in words – it needs to be felt and experienced first-hand. Of course, not everyone will agree that this particular bands arouse such sentiments, but judging by remarks made by other writers in the field, these notions doesn’t seem to be totally out-of-the-blue.

With this said, let’s move on to more earthly affairs. BLACK SWORD THUNDER ATTACK emerged from out-of-the-periphery of the Hellenic Metal scene sometime in the late-1990s. Since then, the band has been centered around a core trio of friends: Stelios (originally on vocals, later on bass and backing vocals), Chris (guitars, keyboards) and Marios (drums) and later also joined by their current vocalist Maraijke. Rather than giving a complete run-down of the band’s early history up to their current creative culmination in the monumental “March of the Damned” (2020) EP, we will refer the inquisitive reader the most excellent interview made by the band for the Greek “Steel for an Age” fanzine a couple of years ago, which can be downloaded for free here as well as reading Chris Papadakis in-depth review of the EP over here.

As for recommendations, each BLACK SWORD THUNDER ATTACK is worth exploring on its own merits, even though there is some overlap in terms of compositions included (in different versions, naturally). Personally, this writer is biased towards 2011’s “In Hell’s Reign” demo tape/CDr, partly because of its obscure production values and for the tracks included, but also because it was the first exposure of the band for yours truly. “Promo 2015” brought some changes in the sound, with the recruitment of Maraijke in the vocalist positions as well featuring more flamboyant guitar-work. The latest release to date, 2020’s “March of the Damned”, on the other hand is arguably the band’s most thoroughly composed and “properly” recorded work and is probably a good place to start for newcomers.

According to the band’s official FB-page, a full-length is in the preparations and will most probably see a release in early 2022.

Compilation appearances:

d i s c o g r a p h y :

Promo 2002 - Demo (Cassette) 2002 - Private (-)
(Home studio recording)
Details: Black/white j-card, limited edition, hand-numbered.

Reissues:
TRACKLIST:
Gates of Fire
LINE-UP:
Stelios (vocals)
Chris (guitars)
Marios (drums)
Yet to be reviewed.

In Hell's Reign - Demo (Cassette) 2011 - Private (-)
(Unknown)
Details: Single-sided regular cassette, coloured (light grey) j-card w/ lyrics, limited edition: 50 copies.

Reissues:
Cass, Private, Unknown (dark grey j-card version w/ title in red, limited edition: 100 copies)
Cass, Private, Unknown (white j-card version with title in red and with different font, limited edition: 200-300 copies)
CD, Private, Unknown (includes two additional bonus tracks)
TRACKLIST:
Don't Hear the Sirens
Intro
On the Way to Acheron
Evil Sorcery
LINE-UP:
Stelios (vocals)
Chris (guitars, bass, keyboards)
Marios (drums)
Yet to be reviewed.

Promo 2015 - Demo (CDr) 2015 - Private (-)
(Unknown)
Details: -

Reissues:
TRACKLIST:
Through the Fires of Hell
Don't Hear the Sirens
LINE-UP:
Maraijke (vocals)
Chris (guitars, keyboards)
Stelios (bass)
Marios (drums)
Yet to be reviewed.

March of the Damned - EP (12" Vinyl) 2020 - No Remorse Records (BSTANR 001CD)
(Unknown)
Details: Black 12" vinyl, insert w/ lyrics, limited edition: 400 copies.

Reissues:
TRACKLIST:
Don't Hear the Sirens
Evil Sorcery
The Messenger
March of the Damned/Through the Fires of Hell
LINE-UP:
Maraijke (vocals)
Chris (guitars, keyboards)
Stelios (bass, backing vocals)
Marios (drums)
Yet to be reviewed.




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