Kawir – Father Sun Mother Moon (2016)

kawir - father sun, mother moon

Article by David Rosales.

Kawir’s Father Sun Mother Moon strikes one as simple and mediocre pagan pop metal. From the recycled tunes to the standard, swinging rhythms of the genre that make actual metalheads cringe, Kawir has collected and presented them all to us on their new album. Kawir debases their music, pandering in the same way as those worthless politically-correct pop-dressed-as-metal bands like Turisas do. It really does sound like these Greeks could have been hanging out with Congressman Freddy Lim and Jesse ‘Djent-Black’ Liu of Cthonic, or drinking beers with the geeks from Tengger Cavalry. All these accusations are well deserved. The album therefore deserves to be dismissed as third-rate pap. Despite this, it is useful to look at this inconsequential list of boring tunes in terms of their de-evolution from Kawir’s previous album, Isotheos.

The concrete symptoms of banality and mediocrity can be found in the overall decline in richness of melodies and rhythms. Melodies have been shortened: they return much quicker to the root tone and rely more heavily on simple-silly rhythms ‘typical’ of Pagan pop. The variety of the types of melodies (that is the different arrangements of the motifs and their variations) are much less in number. Exactly the same with the rhythm guitars: less variety and where there was minimalism (which by definition, cannot be further simplified without loss of value), we now find a dumbing-down. The strict cyclic structures are far more evident in this album, replacing the quasi-linear Eastern European black metal which was used on their 2012 release. This uncreative disaster reaches unbelievable proportions when we encounter a dull track where after subjecting the audience to an ad nauseam repetition of a melody over a beer metal rhythm, Kawir simply fades out to avoid any shock to casual radio listeners in order to make it easier for the corporate broadcaster to place advertisements right after it.

While Isotheos melded melody and rhythm into a phrasal motific force, Father Sun Mother Moon clearly separates the paradigms of melody and rhythm. This in itself does not mean the end of the world but nothing is done to balance the combined simplicity. In fact, repetition plays an even greater role in filling out the runtime of this album: variations are less frequent, variation distance is smaller or unrelated, and single melodies or rhythms contain less content (movements from the tonic, manner in which they return to the tonic, temporary movements to different tonics, and even number of notes). Some sections on Father Sun Mother Moon reach the heights of the previous record but the overall quality is definitely lost.

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2 thoughts on “Kawir – Father Sun Mother Moon (2016)”

  1. Fagmo says:

    single melodies or rhythms contain less content (movements from the tonic, manner in which they return to the tonic, temporary movements to different tonics, and even number of notes).

    I think this is an extremely important point, as it accurately describes what happened to most of the old school vanguard: a kind of “soft” selling out where the aesthetics and style remained relatively unchanged but the evocative power of the riffs took a nosedive due to the reasons mentioned in the quote. This allowed bands like Dismember, Suffocation, Sinister, Bolt Thrower, Gorgoroth — basically every classic band that didn’t explicitly abandon metal a la Metallica — to keep selling records after their creativity ran out. Why? Because most fans were too clueless to notice the dumbing down going on. It was still “tr00 metuhl” to them since the music still had blastbeats and tremolo picking and all the other riff techniques, even though actual the content of those riffs had been McDonaldized. Sadly most bands seem blissfully unaware of what their music has become.

    1. vOddy says:

      If I had gotten a dollar for every time I had had to say that there is such a thing as bad actual metal…

      then I’d be able to buy some sandwiches.

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