Sun of Nothing
Maze

Good Lord, it’s been 21 years since I heard this Greek blackened-sludge band’s debut, …and Voices, Words, Faces, Complete the Dream way back in 2003. It was, and still is one of the more caustic, brittle, and downright nasty albums I have ever covered, especially vocally.

I guess the band has dropped 2 other albums since then in 2007s ..in the Weak and the Wounded and 2010s The Guilt of Feeling Alive. Neither of which I have heard, but here they are 14 years after their last effort with a new, 4-song 38-minute affair. Now, I can’t compare Maze to the last 2 albums, but as expected, Maze does not quite hit as hard as their debut all that time ago, which really did illicit a strong reaction from me (and still does as I’ve listed to it again to prep for this review).

It appears the band, which is still a sort of black sludge band, especially vocally with more black metal screeches, also dipped their toes in the post-rock/post-metal sound with a more lumbering, mountainous sound that builds and ebbs in line with bands like Neurosis, Minsk and such, and the production is a little cleaner and palatable than the debut.

Still, at times, especially with Ilias Apostolakis’s gnarly rasps and shrieks (and occasional low crocodilian growl) the band does imbue some of their debut work, with some black metal expulsions buried in the songs which all fall in the 6-8 ish minute range.¬† This makes for a short album, and it sort of feels like an EP.

As I said, Maze isn’t as nausea-inducing as the debut, but moments in all 5 tracks “Liars in Wait”, “After the Fall”, “Ghost”, “Voidhanger” and “Buried Endeavors” deliver some pretty vicious blackened sludge with rusty, bristling tremolo-picked blasts (i.e. “Liars in Wait”) among the more brooding, hacking post metal rumbles (“Ghost”).

A solid return after a 14-year wait, but likely to get overshadowed by the new Iron Monkey album after an eight-year wait.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 20th, 2024

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