Review : Slayerking ­ – Sanatana Dharma

Slayerking is a Greek dark­metal group formed in 2013 by Efthimis Karadimas of “Nightfall” fame.  Efthimis is the bassist/lead vocalist with Kostas Kyriakopoulos on guitar/backing vocals and Anna Eleftherou on drums.*  

The band’s debut,’Sanatana Dharma’ was recorded at Soundflakes studios in Athens ­ Greece, and was mixed by Kaelin Tauxe at Upright Mammal Musicworks in Atlanta, US and is now available for purchase via French label Finisterian Dead End. So is it a worthwhile purchase?

‘Sanatana Dharma’ is a phrase in Sanskrit literature that refers to the cosmic order, the unstoppable rotation, the eternal, the ever-present. With this in mind you get the sense that this album is not a straight forward listen. You will need to listen to it a few times to understand the scope and scale of what The Slayerking are setting out to do. The album opens up with ‘She is my Lazarus’ and with just a simple bass riff we start the journey. We flow into ‘Black Mother of the Lord of Light” which is a very doomy Black Sabbath influence which runs through this track with a Nick Holmes style of singing.

‘My Lai’ is a track that stands out the most for me, with a simple guitar playing and vocals, almost spoken in a rasp, as if the lyrics brings a sense of disgust of the sickness of the human species ability to bring out the worst in itself. The guitar and bass solos are truly the highlights of the song. ‘The Man That Never Was’ tells the story of a famous ruse by the allies in WW2 by placing a pile of secret documents on the body of a dead man and it fooled the Germans into believing an attack was going to take place and they moved all the heavy gunnery to protect their line and the allies hit the island that was no longer defended. This is a complex story for a complex song and the depth of the lyric matches the depth of the playing. The album ends with ‘Southern Gate of the Sun’ which has an apocalyptic feel. You can imagine the four horsemen riding in to reap the souls.

 I really did enjoy this album and it was a pleasure to review it. The only thing I feel is that it will be a bigger success in mainland Europe than here in the UK. The reason for that is quite simple, there are many talented bands in the UK that never seem to get the recognition that they deserve as the mainstream media tends to champion the already established international bands. For the genre that The Slayerking belong there isn’t a ready made fan base. Only an exceptional few have truly managed to generate a following and that is bands like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema..before their dip into the progressive scene. In mainland Europe, there seems to be more of an acceptance of their European counterparts within the genre. Just look at the festivals throughout Europe, bands that we haven’t even heard of in the UK but massive in Europe and compare it to Download. Thankfully Bloodstock bucks the trend to a certain extent.

If The Slayerking ever come to the UK for a full tour, I certainly would be there as they are talented enough to make an impact here in the UK and I for one certainly hope that they do. Sanatana Dharma is a very good debut and it’s certainly has the feel of Paradise Lost and Black Sabbath. Highly recommended!

Reviewer ­ Craig Travers

*Editors note :- At the time of publishing, Anna has been replaced on drums by Eki Tsol and furthermore, there are no plans to disband “Nightfall”. Craig spoke with Efthimis and he confirmed this by saying, “Nightfall remain intact and in their own time ‘n’ space.”


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