Review 1945 : The Magus – Vissodomontas – English

We are witnessing the birth of The Magus.

Created in Greece in 2022 on the still hot ashes of Necromantia by The Magus (bass/vocals, Thou Art Lord, ex-Rotting Christ, ex-Yoth Iria, ex-N.A.O.S. ), El (guitar, Soulskinner, Zaratus, ex-Thou Art Lord) and Maelstrom (drums, Caedes Cruenta, Dephosphorus, Embrace of Thorns, Thou Art Lord, ex-Dødsferd…), the band signed to The Circle Music for the release of Vissodomontas, their debut album.

The band has also surrounded itself with King Dude on vocals, Iraklis Gialatzides (A Band Apart, ex-Swan Christy) on keyboards and Christos Antoniou (Septicflesh, Chaostar) for backing vocals arrangement. The album is produced, mixed and mastered by George Emmanuel (Lucifer’s Child, ex-Necromantia, ex-Rotting Christ live).

This is My Church opens with ominous sounds, followed by Lucifer’s own speech, which becomes increasingly menacing as it meets majestic keyboards before The fall of Man unveils its sharp riffs. The visceral howls and Heavy influences give the track an interesting relief, as do the few choruses that stand out against the piercing leads, but the mix remains coherent, just as on Lux Tenebrarum: The Illuminating Darkness, which lets its orchestrations set its jerky rhythm impressive tones. Dissonant melodies fill the air, effortlessly recreating a kind of unholy ritual in which Old School keyboards appear from time to time, before Vissodomontas adds to the atmosphere with its haunting darkness, supported by a few backing vocals. The rhythm explodes after a long murmur, leaving the musicians to unleash a strange, irregular sound that constantly speeds up and slows down while delivering heady tones, while the vocal parts emerge from this dark mist, finally letting Idolatrous Discord offer more straightforward riffs where screams lead the dance. The guitars remain quite soaring, however, with relatively Old School parts, while keyboards occasionally embellish the melodious mix, before the band attacks again with Ama Lilith, where they welcome Hel Pyre (Afterblood, W.E.B., Nervosa) and IDVex (1/2 Southern North) to create significant vocal diversity on this new occult ceremony in honor of the demoness of the same name, whether in violence or on that long, mystical middle section. Negative Renaissance returns to sharper tones, using complex dissonant guitars to feed the solid basis on which the vocalist pours his hatred out, before The Peacock King slowly envelops us in a heavy but catchy atmosphere of heady sonorities. Of course, the track never forgets to place its majestic parts at the right moment, making lyrics almost prophetic, before moving on to Give the Devil his due: The story, the band’s final track. I thought I was in a Jazz or Blues club for the first two minutes, then the Black Metal roots resurfaced, giving King Dude a perfect base to tell us this adventure with his suave voice, complemented by the vocalist’s more aggressive one, while the instrumental explodes in totally unexpected ways, exploring various styles before offering us a devastating finale.

The Magus has no equal in the Black Metal scene. Whatever your expectations, Vissodomontas can’t fail to surprise you, adding totally improbable elements to its raw basis while remaining coherent and fascinating.


Version Française ?

Few questions to George “The Magus” Zacharopoulos, bassist/vocalist and creator of the project The Magus.

Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band The Magus without using the usual musical labels?
George “The Magus” Zacharopoulos (bass/vocals): I have been involved in the black metal scene since 1988-89. Some of you may know me from my main musical project Necromantia, or my involvement in various other bands like Rotting Christ, Thou Art Lord, Diabolos Rising, Yoth Iria, etc… The Magus is my new music cabal after the dismiss of Necromantia due to Baron Bloood’s unexpected death….. We play Luciferian Black Metal .Heavily atmospheric and nightmarish, utterly dark.

How do you personally link the name The Magus to the band’s music identity?
George “The Magus”: The band may be named after my title and metaphysical footprint but it is still a full band and not a solo project. The name encompasses all my journeys and wanders in the occult world and also the ability of the sorcerer to create. On the physical level we create satanic music.

The band’s debut album, Vissodomontas, will be out soon. How do you feel about releasing your first album under this identity? Do you already have some feedback?
George “The Magus”: Vissodomontas is the ONE perfect word describing the music and lyrics included in the album. It actually means building in the Depths, in the abyss… 

How would you sum Vissodomontas’ identity up in only three words?
George “The Magus”: Conspiring in Darkness, which is the actual metaphor in the way this word is used in the everyday Greek language.

How did the creation process happen for Vissodomontas? Did you notice some changes, compared to your previous experiences?
George “The Magus”: As usual when I create I know no bounds. The only thing that I cared was to maintain a Black Metal identity the way I perceive it and to be able to transmit to the listener a feeling of uncomfortable horror. To burn your spirit and mark it with images of Lucifer’s revenge against mankind and the coming negative renaissance through magical workings.

What about the artwork, what were the guidelines and how do they fit with the music you created?
George “The Magus”: Nothing in this album is left to chance. Nothing! From our logo to the music, lyrics, image, photos, artworks, cover…everything was perceived more or less within my mind beforehand. On the cover we see a hooded Lucifer. Hooded because Lucifer can be a beautiful archangel or a revengeful demon. Until the hood is up, you know not what will be unfold… Yes the cover fits the music perfectly and it was commissioned. 

All songs are an impressive craft of soaring parts, impressive elements as well as a raw basis, how do you achieve to create such a balance between all your influences?
George “The Magus”: When I write music I create art. I experience the creation of my music totally differently than the average Metal band does. We are not a “rock and roll” and we do not make pop-ular or easy music. You have to listen to the album a lot of times in order to understand each and every layer. But this is what makes it interesting. As a listener too, I am looking for this kind of band: to listen to their music a lot of times until I get what they want to tell me. The balance between layers and soundforms is kept when despite the notes you have a certain emotion guiding you. This gives you identity and unification between all the various elements. As I said I considered myself as an artist who creates and evolves and not as an entertainer. I create music in order to complete myself on a physical and metaphysical level. Eventually all my influences pass through there. As a band we give them form and substance.

We have a lot of references to satanism and also occultism in every songs, what is your relationship with those topics?
George “The Magus”: I do walk the left hand path for some decades now… On the practical physical every day level I am an atheist and agnostic BUT on the metaphysical I identify as Luciferian. The magic happens when the physical and metaphysical collide…..

You asked several musicians to participate in the album, like King Dude, Iraklis Gialatzides, Christos Antoniou as well as Hel Pyre and IDVex for the song Ama Lilith. How did you ask each of them to help you?
George “The Magus”: Most of them were friends for years, you see I make music for more than 35 years now and the others gladly joined when I explained them my vision and played them some of our music. They liked it, they joined.

Maybe you have a favorite song on this album? Or maybe the hardest one to achieve for the album?
George “The Magus”: Give the Devil his Due: The story was a definite challenge for us. It is not that easy to write a Black Metal Blues.  And it needed to be very theatrical because it tells a story. And the music is the soundtrack for the story. I am really proud of how it turned out.

Where do you find your inspiration to create music?
George “The Magus”: Everywhere. The world around me. A movie, a book, a painting. A melody. My subconscious. In my dreams, in my visions.

Hellenic Black Metal is known to be kind of unique amongst the Black Metal scene, what do you think of this part of the scene? What about its evolution through time?
George “The Magus”: Our scene was always a unique one. Most of the bands were trying to find their own identity and not just copy the successful ones. This is one of the great qualities of the Greek scene. Today we have some really great bands in the whole Metal spectrum who can easily compete against any foreign band. The scene has evolved and matured.

Do you think you improved yourself as a musician and songwriter with this new record?
George “The Magus”: I surely do, yes. For me, evolution is an ongoing process. If I stop evolving as a songwriter and fall into boring mediocrity I will stop making music. As long as the flame burns I will continue to create and evolve.

Do you plan to play live with The Magus? If yes, what can we expect of your shows?
George “The Magus”: No. 99% no. I think most of Black Metal music is not fit for live shows. Black Metal should be something you experience alone in your soul. But if I ever made a live show I would love to be something grand, reminding of a satanic opera and not just a Metal show.

Are there any musicians or artists you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, or maybe more.
George “The Magus”: There are but I cannot tell because it might happen and I do not want to spoil the surprise…

Last and funny question : which dish would you compare The Magus’ music with?
George “The Magus”: Hmmm that’s a tough one….something complex but very intense, clean but spicy….I cannot identify a dish like that sorry 

That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
George “The Magus”: Thanks for the interview. If you want to dive into a world of darkness, despair, grandeur and luciferian revelation listen to our album. And try to support bands who create and do not copy!

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