Molon Labe

Sirrush (a dragon from Babylonian Mythology) is a new-ish Italian black/death metal band from Italy, They have been around since 2011, though Molon Labe is their first full-length album, and I had to review it as it tackles one of my favorite historical events of the Classical Age- The Battle of Thermopylae.

No matter your view on the often questioned actual events of 480BC (or Spartan culture) and its cinematic representation in the movie 300, (one of my favorite movies ever, so I’m a bit biased), there is no denying that an epic battle took place where a few (300 Spartans or otherwise ) dudes took on a much larger number of Persians, and while they technically lost, the history and even fate of western Europe was forever changed.

Molon Labe, (meaning “Come and get them”- allegedly said by Spartan King Leonidas after the Persians asked them to lay down their weapons), covers the life of Spartan warriors, then the battle from start to finish, and features plenty of blistering death and black metal riffs and Hellenic atmospherics (three instrumentals and plenty of epic/moody keyboards)  to convey the era and bloody, heroic events of Thermopylae.

If you are a fan of ADE‘s Romanic themes and style of death metal or Ex Deo, England’s Imperivm, this is a release for you. But it’s the ADE comparison where I keep landing with Sirrush. They are black/death metal, with the needle firmly on the death metal side of things, with gruff vocals from Otagron and a burlier guitar tone.

After “The Path of Heroes” sets the mood, “Deimos” delivers 6 + minutes of thunderous, moody death metal lurching and loping, but then “A Son Set His Father Free” unleashes a blistering, more blackened furor. The next track, ” With Your Shield ..or on It” is my favorite on the album, with a stirring main riff that reminds me of “Mars’ Unpredictable Favor” from ADE’s Spartacus album. “Molon Labe” is another excellent track that conveys the battle and Hellenic era with brutal death metal precision.

The Vision of Megistias” and “The Last Glorious Echo” continues the album’s excellent back end as the event’s inevitable treachery and conclusion draw to an end, which is also reflected as the songs shift to a more solemn atmospheres finishing with “Remember Who We Were”, which ends the album with a perfect, somber end note similar to the 300 or Gladiator movies (I’m not crying, you’re crying….).

“‘O Stranger, send the news home to the people of Sparta that here we Are laid to rest: the commands they gave us have been obeyed.” – (Inscription on the Leonidas Statue and the Battle of Thermopylae monument)

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 11th, 2023


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