House of Atreus
Orations EP

The universe is a strange thing. Case and point, a few weeks ago I was randomly sitting around and suddenly found myself thinking “I wonder what’s going on with House of Atreus?”.¬† They released two damn fine albums (2015s The Spear and the Ichor That Follows and 2018s From the Madness of Ixion), then sort of went dark.

Well, literally within a day of those thoughts, I get the promo for this EP. 33 minutes, 5 new songs, and a cover of Running Wild‘s “Riding the Storm”, and the Hellenic-inspired melodic death metal lads (with a new guitarist) haven’t lost a step at all, and dare I say might even be even more polished and deadly.

Continuing their Greek history/mythology themes wrapped in a rough and gravelly but tight form of melodic death metal that’s in the same wheelhouse house as Arghoslent (in sound only) and Helcaraxe, but a little tighter and a little sharper.

The band signals their return to the fray with the EP’s opening number, the blistering “Orations/Reascension of Mastery” (a perfect song title here), where at 1:35 seconds in, they deliver one of the year’s early best riffs and most rousing, chord progressions, which contines for the rest of the song’s head banging brilliance.

“Thy Wounded Sovereignty” continues the EP’s killer start with more fervent galloping riffs before the mid-paced march of “Under an Accursed Dynasty” slows things down a bit, before some blackened elements show up.

“Morphos of Degeneration” is a more atonal, angular track that isn’t quite up to par but the 6-minute “Cathedral of Ancestry” delivers more of the band’s rousing mix of tumbling, gruff melodies and stern blasts perfectly.

I’m not super familiar with Running Wild‘s popular Pirate metal from Germany but the track “Riding the Storm” is fun and shows House of Atreus’ classic heavy metal influences are as strong as their death metal ones.

This EP fucking rips and will be tough to beat as the EP of the year when it comes down to it a whole 12 frigging months from now- it’s that good.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 16th, 2024

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