Μπαλάντες Για Φόνους (Ballads For Murders) are a relative new Greek post-punk band that formed in 2015. In June 2019 their debut album "Εκείνη Έρχεται Μέσα Απ'τις Στάχτες" was released on vinyl by B-otherside records, limited to 300 copies. Although they are a new band, its members used to play previously in the bands Grain and Διάφανα Κρίνα. For the front cover they have chosen a still from the movie Ivan's Childhood (1962) by Andrei Tarkovsky.

The album stats with the nine-minute song "Ξόδι", a fine example to introduce us to their sound. This isn’t the typical punk-punk we usually get. The band here blends nicely the melodic touch of bands like and Also The Trees with the dark emotional gravity of early Bad Seeds. Second track is the title track "Εκείνη έρχεται μέσα απ'τις στάχτες" one of the album’s standouts. On "Πώς με κοιτάζει έτσι το φεγγάρι", another long track, the five-piece band showcases how well they have jelled together delivering delicate but powerful at the same time melodic atmospheres. A macabre waltz like "Άρρωστο βαλς" follows. One of the songs that isn’t on the vinyl edition but only on the digital download.

On side B of the vinyl we have "Ορυχείο" another album standout. Their singer Zafiris Maranos has a very expressive voice. A voice passionate, painful and full of melancholy. He delivers his lyrics, which are very poetic, in a persuasive way. On "Τα πλάσματα που ζουν απ'το χαμό μου" that follows, we have the rockier track of the album. Likewise, "Το φάντασμα του αγοριού στο κελάρι" retains the tempo. Another track that’s only on the digital version, "Γαμημένη κόλαση", could be considered of their best tracks. It’s a shame it was left out of the vinyl edition. A double vinyl would have been appropriate but surely this would have been very costly. The album closes with "Ένας κόσμος ανάποδα", a more alternative rock track, with a thumping rhythm section and aggressive guitar riffs. Overall a great debut by a guitar driven band with personality that isn’t easy to find these days.

Review by Nick Drivas

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