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I need to spend more time with Greek black metal, and I don't think I'm alone. The country's history with the genre is very nearly as old as Norway's but their rich tremolo-picked tradition hasn't made inroads into the United States. This is doubly surprising, because most Americans are much more familiar with Greek mythology than Norse folktales, and probably more than christian demonology - Jeremy Irons never voiced a duke of hell or a frost giant in an animated Disney musical, after all. Things look even grimmer for Greek black metal's prospects in the future - economic austerity measures instituted by the EU keep the country's workforce in turmoil, even though Norway remains mostly insulated from the Great Recession and its after effects. Deep water drilling ist krieg.

All of which means that whenever my ears come across a Greek gem, I tend to treasure it. Yes, Rotting Christ have managed to make an international touring career for themselves, but they're barely the tip of the Aegean iceberg. Records like Nykta by Zemial, or Nocternity's Onyx deserve greater appreciation.

Today, I add Agatus to that list. Their upcoming album, The Eternalist captured my attention with ease. The fraternal duo began recording music in 1992, but haven't released a record in 14 years. Since 1992 much of the overtly black elements of their sounds have been removed, in favor of heavy metal classicism. I hear Amon Amarth and Manilla Road, for example, in "The Invisible (Fifth Portal to Atlantis)".

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The Eternalist will be out on October 9 via Hells Headbangers. Pre-order it here. Follow Agatus on Facebook

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