Review: Ereipia (2007)


artist: Ereipia
release: Ereipia
format: CD-R
year of release: 2007
label: Self-released
dur­a­tion: 39:49

Ereipia is the neo-classical pro­ject of Kos­tas Panagiotou and Andy Koski-Semmens (both of doom metal band Pan­the­ist and exper­i­mental band Crippled Black Phoenix). This self-titled demo CD-R is their first release, and inten­ded to be released by a label in the future. How­ever, no label has been found thus far, and that’s surely a pity, because I think this is a very prom­ising debut album that will hold appeal for a diverse audi­ence.

The music is based on Kos­tas’ com­pos­i­tions and Andy’s clas­sical voice, mak­ing this a pro­ject deserving of the label neo-classical. Influ­ences from clas­sical music, reli­gious music, Medi­ter­ranean folk, min­imal music, and many other styles are blen­ded into a quite ori­ginal new musical style. Listen­ers famil­iar with Pan­the­ist will also recog­nise many of the com­pos­i­tional ele­ments that went into their style of extreme metal.

The album opens with an instru­mental intro, show­ing already many of the influ­ences, and played on piano, key­boards, and cello. Though even more would be pos­sible, the addi­tion of genu­ine acous­tic instru­ments is a wel­come addi­tion to this pro­ject, which does not suf­fer from the overly arti­fi­cial sound that some neo-classical artists have. “Whirl­pool” is a won­der­ful calm song that intro­duces us to Andy’s voice, which is per­haps an acquired taste, but I feel it works bet­ter in this pro­ject than even in Pan­the­ist. “Silent Accept­ance” is another heav­ily piano-based track, a bit more uptempo than the pre­vi­ous one. Sut­ble touches of acous­tic gui­tar add depth to the song, and in the end we are treated to a piece where Andy takes place behind the drum kit, another unex­pec­ted, but nice ele­ment of this album.

This Side of the Look­ing Glass” is a cover of Peter Ham­mill (Van Der Graaf Gen­er­ator). I’m very enthu­si­astic about this ver­sion, which cap­tures the essence of the ori­ginal in an excel­lent new way. Like all the tracks, it has some very mel­an­cholic lyr­ics, here expressed in a great song struc­ture. Another high­light is the middle sec­tion, which will def­in­itely appeal to fans of funeral doom metal and dark organ music. “Descent-Dance” is based on a melody all the way from Pan­the­ist’s demo days in the begin­ning of the dec­ade, and it turned into a nice com­ple­ment to this album, with more excel­lent acous­tic gui­tar and cello back­ing. “Let­ter to a Ghost” is the last proper track, and it per­haps the most nar­rat­ive one, with Andy read­ing and singing aloud said let­ter. “Post Scriptum” picks up the final melody of the pre­vi­ous track, but turns it into a brief outro with drums and accor­dion.

Alto­gether, I am quite con­vinced by this demo, and I do hope some label will have the guts to pick these two men up and give this album a proper release. I really believe this will appeal to a broad range of listen­ers, whether they like neo-classical in gen­eral, funeral doom metal, or cros­sover clas­sical genres. Though it is quite far away music­ally, I think a com­par­ison with Elend would not be totally inap­pro­pri­ate, espe­cially in terms of atmo­sphere. So, while there might be room for mat­ur­a­tion in some aspects of the music, I think this demo is already on a higher level than many actual releases in the dark music scene.

Reviewed by O.S.

[Note: cur­rently also avail­able through the band’s own Band­camp]

Track­list:

1. Dream in C Minor (3:13)
2. Whirl­pool (8:57)
3. Silent Accept­ance (6:44)
4. This Side of the Look­ing Glass (6:27)
5. Descent-Dance (8:05)
6. Let­ter to a Ghost (4:32)
7. Post Scriptum (1:51)

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