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|Naer Mataron is a black metal band from Greece which draws on imagery from Greek mythology. The band was formed in 1994 after splitting from Nar Mataron, and was soon signed to Black Lotus Records, with whom they released four studio albums. Moving through numerous line-ups, the band has seen influences from other genres of music, including a traditional black metal release and songs featuring elements of melodic black metal and industrial music.
In 2007, the band signed with Seasons of Mist, with whom they released their most recent album. The current line-up includes founding member bassist Kaiadas, former DHG vocalist, Vicotnic, and drummer Warhead, said to be the fastest drummer in Europe.
Naer Mataron was formed in 1994 from Nar Mataron. Nar Mataron had formed earlier that year, and after the release of two demos, Tales of the Twelve Gods and The Awakening of Ancient Greece, the band split in two. The vocalist, Lord Alatoth, carried on with Nar Mataron, while guitarist/bassist Morpheas, with fellow Nar Mataron member Kaiadas, formed Naer Mataron, leading to accusations from Lord Alatoth that Naer Mataron had stolen his songs and band name. Naer Mataron refers to this early period in its history by saying there were "line up changes and personal conflicts" before its first release. Morpheas took on vocal duties, and the band's first promo, "The Great God Pan", was released in 1997, leading to a deal with Black Lotus Records. Before the release of the band's first album the following year, Aither joined the band as the vocalist/drummer, and then Aither and Morpheas each left the band. Naer Mataron's first full length album, Up from the Ashes, featured Efialtis on vocals, Kaiadas on bass and Lethe on drums. Aither subsequently rejoined the band as vocalist, appearing on the 2000 release Skotos Aenon, (which translates from Ancient Greek as "endless darkness") and then took on drumming duties (moving Lethe to keyboards) when Morpheas returned to the band. Despite the line-up changes, Naer Mataron remained extremely active in terms of performances, and opened for several major black metal acts, including Mayhem and Rotting Christ.
In 2001, the band produced a 7" vinyl EP named A Holocaust in Front of God's Eyes in a one-off deal with Aphelion Productions. The release was limited to 500 copies,and the band intended it to be "old school black metal", in contrast with their usual style. This was followed by 2003's River at Dash Scalding, recorded at Praxis Studio, featuring faster and heavier drum work from new drummer Warhead, who replaced Lethe. Warhead has been credited as "the fastest drummer on the continent", and has been described by the band as "an inspiration" with "inexhaustible talent".The album was given 2.5 out of 5 by Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic, who said that "Naer Mataron are bound to convert a few additional fans to their cause, but casual metal fans are likely to emerge from this aural lambasting somewhat nonplussed." Following the release, Naer Mataron performed with bands including Rotting Christ and Gorgoroth.
2004 saw several releases. Aghibasiin-Lessons on How To Defeat Death was a collection of demos and unreleased tracks compiled by Shadow Face Records, limited to 1000 copies, while Up from the Ashes and River at Dash Scalding both saw limited edition rereleases. 2004 also saw performances with Dissection, and the headlining of the Winter Storm Festival in Bulgaria. In early 2004, Nordvargr, who had previously written music for River at Dash Scalding, joined the band. The band then recorded Discipline Manifesto, both in Athens, Greece and Oslo, Norway Released by Black Lotus Records, the album was described as "amazing, absolutely amazing" by Vampire Magazine, with the atmosphere, vocals and music all being praised.
In May 2006, Morpheas left the band and moved to Norway, and was replaced by DHG's Vicotnik, who had previously worked with the band on Discipline Manifesto In March 2007, it emerged that that the band had signed with Season of Mist, and Naer Mataron was quote by Blabbermouth.net as saying
The last period was really victorious for Naer Mataron. We composed the harshest and most extreme music we ever had for our new album. So the next big step was taken, as we are now proud to announce our signing to Season of Mist. We are more strong and enthusiastic than ever before and feel that we are also supported henceforth in the same spirit. To this point, we wish to extend our salute to the hordes that supported our black metal war machine throughout the last 13 years and especially thank Michael and Season of Mist for giving us the chance to deliver what will be the most extreme and uncompromising work of Naer Mataron to date.
Naer Mataron's first release with Season of Mist, Praetorians, was released in 2008. The album was received positively, with Roel De Haan of Lords of Metal saying it "is tightly executed, has an icy production, the works", but that the album is lacking punch and truly memorable moments", giving the album a score of seventy out of one hundred.The current line-up is Kaidas on bass, Warhead on drums, Nordvangr as producer, Vicotnic as vocalist and Indra on guitars.
Naer Mataron play extreme black metal with strong lyrical influences from Greek mythology, which has led to their style being referred to as "Hellenic Black Metal". The band's music uses instruments standard to black metal- with guitars, bass guitars, drums and keyboards all used.Unusually, some of the band's vocals are made up of "clean" singing, as well as the more usual death grunts. Certain songs have also shown elements of melodic black metal, and industrial elements reminiscent of singer Vicotnic's previous band, DHG.