Acherontas “Vamachara” (2011)

Vamachara is a term derived from Sanskrit referring to the Left-hand path, and will from now on also refer to the third full-length of Greece’s ACHERONTAS. The band in turn have adopted the name after a river in Greek mythology, Acheron (the river of pain) of Hades. Together with the flaming and occult artwork this adds to the austere and mystic aura of the band, making you expect something grand beyond your average soup of dark metal.

The intro Opening the eye of the storm begins by the use of chilling whispers and demanding invocations of the elements, with an almost monolithic hint within a slight promise of chaos. However, you should not be fooled by the pompous almost-symphonic atmosphere that is looming over the intro, because as soon as Blood current illumination begins we are immediately drawn into a world of melodic guitars in multiple dimension backed up with fiery drumming.

In a way it slightly reminds of GORGOROTH (Pentagram-era), SARKOM, and at parts both MAYHEM and DISSECTION, as the quite treble sound has its roots in the black and occult soil, but it also refers to classic heavy metal and 70’s rock with weeping, bending and melodic guitars coming in, fading out, and complementing each other. The music is quite diverse, at times making you believe this is purely a focus on creating some really stunning black metal, only to change into a more slow and solemn path, almost sad at times, as in Abraxas. The dream-like sound becomes a contrast to the chaotic euphony that is brought upon you by many parts of the album, but both soundscapes are serious and dense, leaving no space for anything or anyone to enter in between the frequencies.

Vocally, ACHERONTAS are shifting between evil screams to lunatic and pompous preachment very much in the league of Attila Csihar. Ohm krim kali stands out from the rest of the songs as a creeping mantra from an aghori that spread like incense over a hindu cemetery, and this will perhaps not please the orthodox black metal listener, but will most likely be amiable to those with a taste for oriental and occult cues.

Beyond the Mazeways to Ophidian Gnosis resembles the previous Blood current illumination with initial forceful guitars played in the same scale and could without differences be placed in the same song, but then it meanders out into a forms of its own and is indeed one of the strongest songs we are offered with some intensive drumming, exquisite guitars and great arrangement. The final Drakonian Womb is ugly yet attractive, and although this type of music is not known for leaving much space for the bass you will be able to hear a melodic bass lurking behind the rest of the massive ACHERONTAS.

Vamachara is an album of both powerful black metal that will be recognized by the ears of the traditional listeners, as well as more personal experiments that may at times be confusing and blunt, or they may be interesting sparks off the dragon’s breath.

– Septikemi


Release:  25.10.2011
Label:  Agonia Records
Avantgenre:  Occult Black Metal
Duration:  45:22
Origin:  Greece
Official site:
Review online since:  01.11.2011 / 20:29:50


01 – Opening The Eye Of The Storm
02 – Blood Current Illumination
03 – Abraxas
04 – Vamachara
05 – Ohm Krim Kali
06 – Beyond The Mazeways To Ophidian Gnosis
07 – Drakonian Womb

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