What a strange name for a band, what a strange title for their LP and what a funny picture is that on the cover? Let’s try and make some sense: the name Gioumourtzina is an alteration of the name Komotini, a city near the northeastern borders of Greece, but in Turkish (Gümülcine). The title ‘Blakk Metall’ is not a mockery on the metallic genre, but a humorous expression against the music industry and the social establishment, and their denial to categorize themselves under a certain genre. It is all put in the picture of the cover, a nocturnal photo in the forest with a defiled, pink cross in the center that made me smile.

Anestis Neiros on synths and vocals, and John Tselikas on bass are making experimental electronica. ‘Blakk Metall’ was released earlier in spring via the Greek independent label Inner Ear Records, with the track ‘Russian Market’ making an impact on the underground scene. ‘Leviathan’, as a starter, is a smooth intro with its mid-tempo musical narration, and dark. Next one ‘Russian Market’, a track that has a strong new wave-ish bass line, the Peter Hook style, which is a gateway to likeness. The whole LP has a clever mid-tempo, nightshifted structure and most of it becomes groovy and a little dark, arranged with ethereal synths and few vocals (direct or sampled) that are put carefully in. It all sounds to me as music that needs to be listened to at a live performance, to catch the real feeling and the groove of it. And when I had started losing interest, the track ‘Places In The Night Terror’ came that made me pump up the volume; the listener will probably feel the same way about  Gioumourtzina’s first release. The band has a lot of interesting ideas that they can easily perform, so in the future, more versatile music is expected. Being honest, ‘Blakk Metall‘ is actually an honest first release, where 3 or 4 tracks out of 8 can easily be part of your playlists.

Mike Dimitriou