Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Label: Stormspell Records
In Greek mythology, Styx (/ˈstɪks/; Ancient Greek: Στύξ [stýks]) is a goddess and a river that forms the boundary between Earth (Gaia) and the Underworld. The rivers Acheron, Cocytus, Lethe, Phlegethon, and Styx all converge at the centre of the underworld on a great marsh, which sometimes is also called the Styx. According to Herodotus, the river Styx originates near Pheneus. (Styx is also a goddess with prehistoric roots in Greek mythology as a daughter of Tethys, after whom the river is named and because of whom it had miraculous powers.)
So the river of the Underworld was called Styx. Like all rivers in ancient Greek mythology, it has as its parents Oceanus and Tethys or, according to others, Night and Erebus. The waters of the river were said to have magical properties, which is why Thetis immersed Achilles in these waters to make him immortal. But the water of Styx was used by the gods for their oaths. When a god had to swear an oath, Iris, the messenger of the gods, ran and brought a hydria of Styx water to witness the oath. If the god broke his oath, then the punishment was dire. He lived for a whole year without breathing, putting neither nectar nor ambrosia (the food of the gods) in his mouth. When this time expired the offending god would have to stay away from the other gods for nine years, not participating in councils or banquets. In the tenth year, he again took his place on Olympus, next to the other gods.
But there’s more about Stygian Oath, the traditonal/power metal band from Thessaloniki, Greece, than just a cool name. This is their sophomore effort (following the brilliant 2018 self-titled EP again via Stormspell) and first full-length album, entitled “Midnight Flames”.
With a second guitarist Alexandros Kyriatzis joining the band, now quintet, which also features guitarist Haris Vavalidis, drummer Apostolos Tzotzis, bassist Panos Tsartsalis, and vocalist Akis Daflis, strikes with an impressive work.
This 80’s worshipping album is guitar driven basing all its glory and putting all its money on riffs. If you are looking for namedropping in order to search their foundations and influences then you won’t go far from the US shores and mid-80’s. Helstar, Lizzy Borden, Riot and Omen inspiration is blended with Judas Priest and Savatage elements creating a felt hung final result.
Another strong card is the voice of Daflis that can support the marvellous guitar work while the rhythm section is tight, solid and totally discreet.
Surprisingly obsessing record with outstanding moments like “Raging Skies,” “Beyond the Grave” and “Finger on the Trigger” making it a must buy for all traditional Heavy Metal/ Power Metal fans worldwide.