Sarissa - Sarissa review
01. Intro - Immortal Souls
03. Macedonian Army
07. King Of All Kings
08. Intro - Strong Wings
Sarissa is the first album by the band, recorded in 1993 and released in 1994, after their demo "Demo 1987". As you realize, the band recorded the album after six years! Due to many line up problems that kept the band in inactiveness, they finally achieved to self release this album, with different members and vocalist this time. It's worth mentioning that after this, the band split up.
From the first look at the album, you'll get the idea of what you are going to be in for. "Sarissa" (or sarisa) was a 3 to 7 meter (13-21 feet) long double pointed pike used in the Macedonian phalanx. Both the front cover and the inner artwork, are dominant with drawings of Alexander The Great. Also, most of the song titles imply a heavy influence to the kingdom of Macedonia in ancient Greece.
Musically, the album starts with a narration by Emilio Nemos, with the song "Intro - Immortal Souls" which I found a bit boring. The sound that dominates the whole album is epic Heavy Metal with some oriental music. Most tracks have riffs and rhythms that remind of the time of ancient Greece. It's the first time I've listened to something like it. I couldn't say that it's actually Folk Metal, but it has some traditional music elements. The vocals may sound strange or weird to some, since the heavy Greek accent is obvious! Most people see that as something "cult" that makes the album even more interesting. I can't really say I like this sound… Apart from that, the band plays its music perfectly. It's the familiar Heavy/Power Metal sound with the characteristics we love. Nice and clever riffs with pleasant music that can be heard by any metal fan. The album ends with the song "Winner" which is quite vivid, as most of the songs are. The thing that annoyed me was the one and a half minute pause somewhere in the middle of that song. I understand the need of it, since the rhythm changes after, but I don't understand why the pause had to be that long…
The only bad thing I noticed on this album is the horrible quality of the sound. The production lacks on many things, as usual at these times. But comparing to other releases of that year, it's clearly one of the worst I've heard. I can understand this, since the band self financed this album and most likely, they couldn't afford better production. The CD was re-issued in 2002 by Unisound Records limited to 2000 copies, hopefully fixing this problem. I haven't heard the new edition, so I can't tell you more about it.
This album is hard to find and it's considered to be very collective especially for the Greek metal scene. It would be something different for every metal fan though, anywhere in the world. So, if you see it somewhere, buy it at once! I was lucky to find it in an e-bay auction.
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