It’s not surprising that Hekátē chose their name after the ancient Greek goddess Hekate, the deity of the underworld, witchcraft, nighttime and crossroads. Hekátē are four women coming from different paths, all of which converged in the Spring of 2018, and met at the great crossroad of Athens’ eternal night. Their music is multi-referential, an explosive mix of their magic potions. The heavy, melodic bass establishes the base of their post-punk sound. The drums derail it where necessary. The synths, more electric than electronic, can be heard distinctly, at times leaning towards a smarter New Wave but also giving a wink at garage rock. The vocals sound like an enraged, rhythmic recital tightroping along the melody. As a result, their eight tracks move along a scale, starting with melancholic, urban hymns and ending in anxious, frenzied chases, all tied together with a ceremonial atmosphere.
The record title, Days of Wrath, is a translation of the Medieval hymn “Dies Irae,” which warns of God’s wrath, which will come down on the people during the Second Coming. Through their lyrics, Hekátē turn their wrath towards God, the people who created Him and the constricting world those people sustain. It starts out like a cry for help and climaxes into a war cry.
Hekátē’s war cry is the voice of a generation of emancipated women in motion. With few similar examples across the Greek scene, it comes as the result of their own liberation and of the many who came before them, paving the way. As political beings, Hekátē cannot but reflect their own gender identity in their music. An identity that—whether on stage or on record, or out there in the high-speed jungle of Greek society—expresses emotions from discomfort to aggression, as it is by definition obstructed by outdated and invisible privileges. For those who don’t wish to understand, they explain it, cut and dry, with their track-manifesto “Soapbox,” reminding them: “You think you see me? Well, you see shit!”
However, do not be disheartened. Days of Wrath is not some wooden, incomprehensible declaration of ideas. It is a deeply poetic, atmospheric record, doused in cloudy melodies that know when to hit the gas to carry the listener to the other side.
Our take: Μέρες Οργής is the debut 12” from this band from Greece. While the keyboards and dark vibes will put them in the post-punk category for many people, to me they have more in common with the Damned or TSOL. In other words, Hekátē writes high-energy punk songs with a strong sense of melody and a dramatic flair, and as you might expect given that this is on La Vida Es Un Mus, they’re great at it. Hekátē bookends Μέρες Οργής with two atmospheric tracks without vocals, placing the more conventional songs in the middle. “Soapbox” has an anarcho brood, but its shouted vocals and early Fall-esque keyboards keep it well away from being on the nose. “Ψυχαναγκασμός,” the fastest and punkiest song on the record, is my hot track. While the core is a solid three-chord rock song that could have gone in many directions, the bright, new-wave synth line makes it a total earworm. Μέρες Οργής is compact but full of variety, a record you play repeatedly because you can’t get enough.