Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014

2013 was a pretty bad year for me and most people around me, so I'm happy it's finally over, and can only hope that the next year would be better. I also turned 27 y.o. a week ago; of course you can congratulate me with that too, if you want. As for this blog, I actually don't have much interest in continuing it, but I see I have some regular readers, so I'll try to post new reviews at least from time to time. Happy 2014 for everyone!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Képzelt Város - "Anatolij" [2013]

Artist: Képzelt Város
Title: Anatolij
Genre: Post-Rock, Post-Metal
Country: Hungary
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Kepler
  2. Orion
  3. Vörös óriás
  4. Albireo B
  5. Epszilon
  6. Libra
  7. Nóva
  8. Theodor
  9. Ég veled, Anatolij!
Képzelt Város (which means "Imaginary Town", if my knowledge of Hungarian doesn't deceive me) is a band started in 2005 by 4 architecture students from Budapest (but expanded to 6 members since then). Maybe "Anatolij" isn't an extraordinary release, but it has everything I love in Hungarian rock: "cosmic" atmosphere and the dominant role of the keyboards (+ cello):

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Uran Bator - "Butsalgah" [2013]

Artist: Uran Bator
Title: Butsalgah
Genre: EBM, Ethno-Industrial, Breakbeat
Country: Russia
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Maadai Kara
  2. Kargyraa
  3. Khookhoo Namjil
  4. Jelmeigen Sagal
  5. Ooskus Uul
  6. Valambay
  7. Barbannadyr
  8. Bool
  9. Chokyr At
One more Asian-themed album, but this time it's not metal. Uran Bator is a new side project of IVAN[Ъ]MAN (also known for Стройбат), influenced by both industrial/EBM and Mongolian/Tuvan/Folk music. If I'm not mistaken, all the lyrics on "Butsalgah" are in Tuvan, and they tell a story set in the alternative universe where the ancient Mongol Empire is armed by nuclear weapons. The idea is very interesting, but "Butsalgah" isn't without its flaws: the cover art looks cheap, and I didn't particularly like the "industrial" component of Uran Bator's music. However, I still think it's one of the most original and innovative releases of 2013.

Darkestrah - "Manas" [2013]

Artist: Darkestrah
Title: Manas
Genre: Black/Pagan Metal
Country: Germany/Kyrgyzstan
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Манас-мститель
  2. Память (Старик)
  3. Победа
  4. Кыргызстан
  5. Манас-батыр
Darkestrah are probably the one and only well-known Kyrgyz metal band, and here's their most recent release, titled "Manas". Personally I prefer their early stuff which they recorded before relocation to Germany - because as of now, their music seems to be more influenced by bands like Drudkh, and therefore lost much of its "exoticism". All the lyrics on "Manas" are in Russian (unlike their earlier albums with lyrics in English). Anyway, if you're interested in Asian black/pagan metal, this album is worth checking out - although Darkestrah aren't as "unorthodox" as Tengger Cavalry, for example.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cold Divide - "Weaponized" [2012]

Artist: Cold Divide
Title: Weaponized
Genre: Industrial Rock
Country: Australia
Year: 2012

Track List:
  1. Weaponized
  2. Citizen Replaced
  3. Cold War Skies
From last.fm:

"Cold Divide combine genres to create an uncompromising, original sound. Apocalyptic, menacing and memorable.

From the beginning, Cold Divide have worked hard to ensure that they are a live act to be reckoned with, incorporating live synths, loops and glitched out mayhem from sources both hardware and software alongside heavy rock drums and guitars. This intense and continually evolving process of combining genres and sounds is a vital part of the bands identity, since the production and sound design of their recordings are as equally important as their live performances.

To date the band have supported international acts such as: Combichrist (Norway/USA), Grendel (Netherlands), Nachtmahr (Austria) and Lab4 (UK).

Cold divide have also remixed artists such as Frontline assembly (Canada) and Distaudio (Australia). They have also had the track “Plagueworthy” from their debut ep Grand manipulations used in the in-game soundtrack for the online multiplayer game “APB”, which was developed by the same team as grand theft auto and features other artists such as Pendulum.

Heavy slabs of guitar. Vocals that can soar, snarl and penetrate. Synths and bass that sound like the very fabric of space and time being ripped apart. Drums that make you want to dance but kick you in the chest. Cold Divide aspire to create their own sound. That unique combination that only they can make, so as soon as you hear it, you know. Cold Divide want to make sounds you’ve never heard before, but will want to hear again and again and again"


Friday, August 30, 2013

Flash Terrorist - "Body Fusion Limit" [1997]

Artist: Flash Terrorist
Title: Body Fusion Limit
Genre: Industrial Death Metal
Country: Italy
Year: 1997

Track List:
  1. Virtual Programmer
  2. Body Fusion Limit
  3. Blood For God
  4. Scar
  5. Shothead
  6. Victim
  7. Narcos
  8. Life's To Stake
  9. Extortion
  10. Infected Molestor
Yesterday, Fear Factory had a live performance in my city (for the first time ever), but unfortunately I couldn't go. Maybe my list of "seen live" bands isn't empty, but it mostly consists of local bands; moreover, I had to go to Moscow to see Ayria and L'ame Immortelle live. So it was a big pity to miss FF coming here, even though I don't like their newer albums that much.

Why do I write all this? Here's a very obscure and underrated band whose one and only full-length, "Body Fusion Limit", sounds very simular to the FF's mid-90s releases (something in between of "Demanufacture" and "Soul of a New Machine"). Flash Terrorist were formed in Italy in 1991 under the name "Alice In Hell" (inspired by Annihilator's debut album?). There's not much futher information about them, except they've released only one album and then disappeared - even though they had a lot of potential and the right understanding of how industrial death metal should sound...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gorduw - "Dialectics Tar Diokihtis" [2001]

Artist: Gorduw
Title: (Vosmaya Chastt Istorii Feitnathorotha) Dialectics Tar Diokihtis
Label: Folvork Prods.
Genre: Industrial / Black Ambient / Noise / Power Electronics
Country: Russia
Release date: 2001

Track List:
  1. …Torna Endorhii
  2. Stevaden Torna Edaktee Wchern Aiyansar
  3. Sha-maan Codes Tar Gultu Hadge 2
  4. Tu 'aavard Tar Armo-piercing Teenkiiav
  5. Paranormal Kamla Gorduw
  6. Enddor
  7. Harg Stinnikkyt Tar Rationalism
  8. Pantu Merg Tiginei Vurduhai
  9. Malar Ree Eco-tii Torna Kaytan…
  10. Wahhou, Kumkelga Sti Tar Meeyo
  11. Kumkelga Umi Nagg-tii Liznin Ertoku

All Music & Lyrics By dr.Feitnathoroth.
Recorded & Mixed At Bledniy Drozd Studio In October - December 2000.
Produced By dr.Feitnathoroth.
Alhora: Some Vocal Samples.
Cover & All Art By dr.Feitnathoroth/Diversion Industry.
(P)&(C)2001 Folvork’prod. Kfeytzez 041 - 042.


Maybe this album was posted elsewhere before, but a quick search in google yields only dead links, so I'll post the only mp3 rip of this album I have (128kbps only) which I obtained in 2006 (if I remember correctly). Out of all Gorduw albums I've heard so far it's definitely my favourite one. It starts with a lengthy harsh noise intro (…Torna Endorhii) and continues with repetitive electronic (industrial/dub/ambient) soundspaces. I'm not saying "repetitive" as if it's something bad, because it only helps Gorduw's music to create a very dark and hypnotic atmosphere. "Dialectics Tar Diokihtis" is a quite lengthy release, but personally I can easily sit down through its while playing time (while I can't say the same about many dark ambient albums, even very renowned ones...)

The album is entirely instrumental, but there's a lot of voice samples which are mostly unintelligible (except for "4... 3... 2... 1..." samples of female voice, probably by Alhora). According to the release notes, all the music was wriiten by dr. Feitnathoroth during his shamanic practices which involved being intoxicated on Amanita Muscaria ("Gultu" in Folvork language) and other hallucinogenic mushrooms. Just like in case with all the other Gorduw releases, all the track names are in made-up "Folvork" language.

The whole Folvork Prods. label ceased its existence circa ~2006 (according to the rumours - due to the imprisonment of dr. Feitnathoroth), but since 2011, other undersround labels started to release new albums of Gorduw. I haven't heard any of them yet, but something tells me I shouldn't expect much from them. As for "Dialectics Tar Diokihtis", it's an excellent album in my opinion, despite its simplicity - that's an example of a really dark and impressive industrial/electronic album with raw DIY production. If only the creator of music wasn't trying to be so badly kvlt (which, unfortunately, is the case not only with Gorduw, but with a lot of black metal and PE projects)...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Winter Soul - "Reactor" [2007]

Artist: Winter Soul
Title: Reactor
Genre: Dark Electro
Country: South Africa
Year: 2007

Track List:
  1. Reactor
  2. Black Widow
  3. Stargazer
  4. Legacy Of Violence
  5. KGB
  6. Ritual Abuse
  7. Ghosts Of Time
  8. Battery
  9. The Bokor
The industrial scene in South Africa is unsurprisingly small, but it does exist, and Winter Soul are probably its best representatives. "Reactor" is just a decent dark electro album, nothing groundbreaking here, but it's worth attention as a very good release from a region that's not rich in industrial music.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Oblivion Machine - "Starfield" [2012]

Artist: Oblivion Machine
Title: Starfield
Genre: Industrial Death Metal
Country: Russia
Year: 2012

Track List:
  1. Starfield
  2. Тёмные времена
  3. Призраки
  4. Suite for Alice
  5. Луна в Cкорпионе (acoustic)
  6. Surfacing (rmx)
The newest album from this relatively well-known (in the underground circles, of course) Russian industrial metal band. Of course "it isn't Fear Factory" (c), and the release in general is so-so by the world standards, but for our local scene it isn't bad at all, and if you're into futuristic metal and have nothing against female vocals in such kind of music, you'll probably like "Starfield". While it's mostly melodic death/industrial metal, there's also a lot of acoustic parts (especially in the second half of the album), and the closing track is entirely electronic. The cover art is beautiful, but I think it'd be for suitable for a progressive metal or a purely melodic death metal album.



Red Harvest - "There's Beauty In The Purity Of Sadness" [1994]

Artist: Red Harvest
Title: There's Beauty In The Purity Of Sadness
Genre: Industrial Metal / Gothic Rock
Country: Norway
Year: 1994

Track List:
  1. Wounds
  2. Naked
  3. Resist
  4. Mindblazt
  5. Mastodome
  6. Shivers
  7. [-]
  8. Mother Of All
  9. α.β.γ.l.e.a.k
  10. Sadness
  11. The Art Of Radiation
If you're reading my blog, then there are good chances that you know about this band (one of the best in industrial metal, in my opinion), and have listened to at least some of their albums from the 2000's. However, this album (2nd full-length one in their discography) is significantly different from all their other releases. It's nowhere near as heavy as their later works, it's rather a mix of depressive rock and Ministry-like early industrial metal. The atmosphere is great, a perfect combination of industrial/dystopian/post-apocalyptic aesthetics and the melancholy of gothic/depressive rock. The two closing tracks are especially remarkable.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cyberya - "Mindcontrol" [2001]

Artist: Cyberya
Title: Mindcontrol
Genre: Industrial Power Metal
Country: Germany
Year: 2001

Track List:
  1. Ministry of T.E.C.H.
  2. One Hundred Ways
  3. Since I Loved You
  4. Digital Heroes
  5. Invisible
  6. Addicted to Warfare
  7. 2000 Years
  8. Mindcontrol
  9. Born
  10. Rumours
  11. Bloodbrothers
This album is a rare example of industrial electronics and power metal mixed together in a really good way. Don't expect to hear something like Amaranthe - Cyberya is both a truly power metal band and an industrial metal band with sci-fi/dystopian image and aesthetics. As you probably already know, I highly value power metal that's influenced by science fiction (especially "hard" sci-fi) and not the usual fantasy stuff about knights and dragons - but it's very, very hard to find. Pulsar, Scanner, Cannon... maybe Gamma Ray at times, and what else? Anyway, if you share my taste, then "Mindcontrol" probably won't leave you disappointed (at least tracks like "Ministry of Tech" and "Digital Heroes" are great). Too bad it's their only album and they aren't going to release anythis else like that, nor there are any similar bands around (well, maybe Xe-None somewhat resemble them, but not too much...)

Depressive Age - "Electric Scum" [1996]

Artist: Depressive Age
Title: Electric Scum
Genre: Technical Thrash Metal
Country: Germany
Year: 1996

Track List:
  1. Electric Scum
  2. Cairo Crabat
  3. Remember
  4. Teenage Temples
  5. Small Town Boy (Bronski Beat cover)
  6. Featherflute
  7. Toyland Hills
  8. Companero Song
  9. New Machine Wisdom
  10. Polar Athletic Son
  11. Weird Boy
  12. Sports Yells
Depressive Age started in 1988 in Berlin under the name "Blackout". Since the release of their 3rd full-length album ("Symbols for the Blue Times") in 1994, their sound became more experimental and "industrial-esque", moving farther away from the standard 80's thrash metal sound. It's most evident on "Electric Scum", which features science fiction-influenced progressive rock/metal with industrial elements and the thrash metal "nucleus" (if I may say so). Some of the tracks on "Electric Scum" are really catchy, for example "Remember" or "Cairo Crabat". Despite that, Depressive Age (later just D-Age) never became a well-known band and cease their musical activities around 2001. Anyway, their legacy (especially later stuff like "Electric Scum") definitely doesn't deserve to be forgotten.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reido - "-11" [2011]

Artist: Reido
Title: -11
Genre: Industrial Sludge/Doom Metal
Country: Belarus
Year: 2011

Track List:
  1. Violence & Destruction
  2. Degeneration Cycle
  3. Arhat
  4. I Saw His Mask Fall
  5. The Six-Day War
  6. Human Dysfunction
  7. Flows & Eruptions
bonus: "Detect Memory" (2006 unreleased track)

The second album by Reido, released on 11.11.11 @ 11.11 MSK.According to its description by Faceless: "This work consists no doom death (unlike the 1st album) but groovy sludge doom with some math metal rhythms". Just like the debut album, this work may seem to be not very accessible even for some diehard fans of doom metal, but it doesn't make this album less remarkable. Don't know what the band is doing now, perhaps I should get in contact with Faceless once again (if memory serves, he had plans of emigrating to Northern Europe ~2 years ago).

Reido - "F:\all" [2006]

Artist: Reido
Title: F:\all
Genre: Industrial Sludge/Doom Metal
Country: Belarus
Year: 2006

Track List:
  1. Zero Level Activity
  2. Frozen Terror
  3. I Am the Absolute Truth
  4. Exhausted
  5. Logical Collapse
Following the discography of Pagan Lorn, here's some even more avant-garde doom metal stuff from Reido, a band of my old friend Alexander "Faceless" Kachar. First I met him 10 years on a Belarusian metal forum of the "M" magazine (now it's defunct, but it was the first forum dedicated to underground music I've stumbled upon), where I helped him to confront a lot of various idiots. He already was playing in Reido back then, but initially they were a quartet playing a different (much lighter) kind of music.

By 2006, Reido became a duo (Faceless - guitars, vocals, programming; A.Matveev - bass) and have released their debut album "F:\all". On many websites it was labelled as "funeral doom", but I think their music is much more complex, greatly influenced by sludge, progressive metal, and djent. It's worth mentioning that Faceless if a big fan of bands like Meshuggah or Ion Dissonance, as well as doom metal and stoner rock of all kinds (from Black Sabbath to Candlemass, Electric Wizard, Krux, and Isole). After the release of "F:\all", I helped with making an interview with Faceless for Solitude Prods. website, for which I was awarded a free "F:\all" CD.

Fortunately, Belarus already had a sizable community of doom metal fans by then (thanks to one of my other acquaintances from that forum), so Reido's efforts were appreciated. Of course it's definitely not music for everyday listening, but if you're looking for some really avant-garde doom metal inspired by industrial/post-apocalyptics imagery/aesthetics, check out this album. P.S. Faceless is also into Japanese culture (and no, "Japanese culture" doesn't equal "anime" or "J-rock"), which is evident from his band's name (it has several meanings in Japanese, with "degree zero" preferred by Faceless himself).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pagan Lorn - "Nihillenium" [1998]

Artist: Pagan Lorn
Title: Nihillenium
Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Country: Luxembourg
Year: 1998

Track List:
  1. Outrage
  2. Silence For A Day
  3. Prone
  4. Freezing Lust
  5. Collapsed
  6. You Vs. You
  7. Impose
  8. Gone
  9. ...And Forgotten
  10. Unborn (hidden track)
The second and the last album by Pagan Lorn, which is a masterpiece (or at least close to it) in my opinion. It's much heavier than "Black Wedding", and features more complex song structures. I'd call it "avant-garde doom/death metal". Even though it has a lot of death metal elements, the roots of "Nihillenium" stem from classical doom metal; it applies both to music and the atmosphere on this album. My favourite track (both musically and lyrically) is "Freezing Lust". "...And Forgotten" is also worth mentioning, although it's more of a melancholic ballad, and definitely much less heavy than any other track on this album. In general, "Nihillenium" is strongly recommended to those who's into really powerful, gloomy, cold doom metal with an avant-garde tinge. Such a shame that it's so unknown...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pagan Lorn - "Black Wedding" [1996]

Artist: Pagan Lorn
Title: Black Wedding
Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Country: Luxembourg
Year: 1996

Track List:
  1. Absent Minded
  2. Unleash
  3. Artless Treatment
  4. The Eternal
  5. Confidence in the Executioner (Share Nothing)
  6. Production
  7. Epitome
Pagan Lorn were a doom metal sextet from Luxembourg, active during 1994-2000. Despite being a well-known band in their home country (which is unsurprising, as there are very few metal bands in Luxembourg), they never made it to the international level. It's a pity, since they're one of the best 90's doom/deah metal bands I know of. "Black Wedding" is their debut LP, which is better produced than their first demo, but not as impressive as their subsequent release, "Nihillenium". Despite being somewhat boring and repetitive at times, "Black Wedding" is very good, and creates precisely the atmosphere that I would expect from a solid death/doom metal release. My personal favourite is "Confidence in the Executioner". And just in case: all the music of Pagan lorn is freely available off their official website, including this album.

Naakhum - "Backward in the Times: Part II" [2012]

Artist: Naakhum
Title: Backward in the Times: Part II
Genre: Atmospheric Black/Pagan Metal, Tribal Industrial/Ambient
Country:Spain (Catalonia)
Year: 2012

Track List:
  1. Starčevo Fanfare
  2. Винчанска Култура (Vinča)
  3. Vímanas
  4. Ancient Astronauts
  5. Spiral of Time
  6. Tassili n'Ajjer
  7. Cranial Deformation
  8. Cattle Mutilation
  9. Genetic Harvest
  10. Nimrod
  11. Code of Hammurabi
  12. The Ezekiel's Sightings
  13. Ðavolja Varoš (Goran Bregovic's Bubamara)
  14. Zep Tepi
  15. Tiahuanaco
  16. Stone of the Five Eras
  17. Surya Mantra
  18. Thermopylae (Θερμοπυλών)
  19. Molon Labe (Μολὼν λαβέ)
  20. Montserrat (A l'Antiguitat)
  21. Terrenys Verges
A quite lengthy release from Naakhum, which is currently his latest album. Even though the quality of production is still far from perfect, it has improved significantly since the release of "2012: Dawn of Fate Frequency" and the 1st part of "Backward in the Times", and of course, Naakhum deserves to be respected for being able to create rich and insteresting music while his technical abilities apparently are limited. The lyrical themes remain the same: mysterious facts and incidents, ancient civilizations and pagan myths. One can argue that Naakhum is just a clone of Senmuth (both musically and conceptually), but even it's close to truth, there aren't many projects like this, that really stand out from thousands of generic metal bands.

Monday, July 1, 2013

GGFH - "Disease" [1993]

Artist: GGFH
Title: Disease
Genre: Industrial
Country: USA
Year: 1993

Track List:
  1. Flesh
  2. Room 213
  3. Hands
  4. DMDR
  5. Disease
  6. Real
  7. Dark Powers
  8. Plasterchrist
It's always very hard to review the albums that have reached a cult status (even among the limited audience), but I'll try. GGFH (Global Genocide Forget Heaven) was formed in Oakland (CA) as early as in 1986. It started as an one-man project (during 1992-1993 - a duo) which released 3 albums during 1992-1994, and one more LP in 2005. "Disease" is the second and the best work of GGFH, featuring such amazing tracks as "Room 213", "DMDR", "Real", and "Plasterchrist". Despite being an electronic/noise project, GGFH always was associated with the metal scene, touring with such bands as Fear Factory and My Dying Bride. Even though the misanthropic and nihilistic views espoused by GGFH indeed remind me of "true" black metal scene, the "shock tactics" and lyrical themes of GGFH actually aren't that far from early industrial projects like Throbbing Gristle, and "monolithic industrial" such as Dead World. Musically, it's very dark (yet catchy and melodic at times) electronic stuff with recitative-like vocals. Unlike the subsequent GGFH albums like "Serrated Smile", "Disease" isn't very "noisy", but it doesn't make it more accessible for the average listener. The closing track, "Plasterchrist" stands out as the most minimalistic yet melodic one on the album: repetitive voice samples over a simplistic keyboard melody, creating a very hypnotic atmosphere... As far as I know,  the speech in the beginning of the track is a funeral oration in old Hungarian language:

"Látjátok feleim szümtükkel, mik vogymuk.
Is a pur és homu vogymuk.
Es mend paradisumben mundá néki élnie.
Heon tilutoá őt egy fa gyimilsétől. Gye mundoá
neki meret nüm eneyc. Is a kis napon emdül az gyimilstől halálnek halálával holsz. Hallá holtát, terümtevé istentül gye feledévé.
Engede ürdüng intetüinek es evék az tilvutt gyimilstül.
És az gyimilsben halálut evék..."

Saturday, June 29, 2013

At The Lake - s/t EP [2006]

Artist: At The Lake
Title: At The Lake
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Poland
Year: 2006

Track List:
  1. Wolf's Heart
  2. Silvae
  3. Last Drop of the Waterfall
  4. Decision
  5. White Angels
  6. Arrow of Oblivion
 This EP features pretty much the same tracks that appeared on the first demo by At The Lake (with addition of two new ones), but the quality of production is completely different. Of course this EP is much more "professional" than the demo, but, like in case with Deafknife, I find the "rough" demo versions of these songs more appealing to me. The EP is still remarkable and definitely recommended to any fan of female-fronted metal (and for those who are searching for metal songs with lyrics in Latin language - the track "Silvae" is for you!). Unfortunately, At The Lake never released anything else like this (they have a full-length album called "Māÿā", released in 2012, but it turned out to be a big disappointment for me)...

    Thursday, June 27, 2013

    At The Lake - "Silvae" [2005]

    Artist: At The Lake
    Title: Silvae
    Genre: Symphonic Metal
    Country: Poland
    Year: 2005

    Track List:
    1. Decision
    2. Wolf's Heart
    3. White Angels
    4. Silvae
    Very interesting demo from an young Polish band, released in 2005. Their sound isn't typical for gothic/female fronted metal, with a lot of folk elements and active use of violin. The 4 tracks on this demo are among the catchiest melodic metal songs I've ever heard, and even the vocalist's heavy accent makes them only better. Highly recommended, especially for those who are looking for good but lesser known bands in this genre!

    Emerald Mind - "Tales of Soveena" [2009]

    Artist: Emerald Mind
    Title: Tales of Soveena
    Genre: Symphonic Metal
    Country: Russia
    Year: 2009

    Track List:
    1. The Ripper
    2. The Flying Dutchman
    3. Winter
    4. Gothmog
    5. This Dying World
    6. Sweet Poison
    7. Breathless Kiss
    8. Revenge of Princess Olga
    9. Lyric of My Soul
    "Emerald Mind was formed in Vladivostok, Far East of Russia, in 2003 by a couple of friends (guitarist Alexey Vaulin and bassist Andrey Berezov). First show took place in the small underground club named “In Rock”. It was not only the birth of the band but a stage debut of beautiful and talented singer Svetlana Vysotskaya. After a few gigs, in early 2004, Andrey left the bad and start his own carrier.

    The next five years Emerald Mind continued working on new songs and trying to record a quality demo. In those days it was not an easy task because Vladivostok city was too far away from any metal music industry. Finally, in november 2009, band released their first album “Tales Of Soveena” and moved to St. Petersburg to discover new horizons"


    Initially I suspected them to be yet another young female fronted metal band suffering from the "Nightwish syndrome", but after listening to "Tales of Soveena", I found their music not bad at all, and even the vocals style wasn't that over the top for me. Of course the can't be compared to the leading European bands of this genre, but this is only the first album, and it's quite good by the standards of the Far East metal scene.


    Monday, June 24, 2013

    IN[TOXIN] - "Total Overdose" [2007]

    Artist: IN[TOXIN]
    Title: Total Overdose
    Genre: Rhythmic Noise / Harsh EBM
    Country: Russia
    Year: 2007

    Track List:
    1. Don't Forget About The Goggles
    2. Post Nuclear Evolution
    3. Lunar Transient Phenomena 1969
    4. From Human To Cyber
    5. Noise - Your Healing Light
    6. Disconnection [everything is far away]
    7. Distortion Torture Chamber
    IN[TOXIN] was started in 2006 by DJ ToxicRain in Rostov-on-Don. Initially, the project has a harsh EBM / power noise sound, but since the release of the first LP "UFO Rave" he switched to a more danceable, trance/techno-like kind of sound, which I don't really like. This 2007 demo is really worth checking, though, it's very "true" post-industrial in terms of both sound and aesthetics. All the IN[TOXIN] releases are available for free, including this one.

    Sunday, June 23, 2013

    Nothing Nada - "Nicht Nichego" [2007]

    Artist: Nothing Nada
    Title: Nicht Nichego
    Genre: Futurepop
    Country: Hungary
    Year: 2007

    Track List:
    1. Red Armageddon
    2. Irresistible
    3. Shortcut To Dignity
    4. I Woke Up
    5. Silent Heroes
    6. Joy
    7. One, Two, Free
    8. Embrace
    9. Bring Me
    10. Suffergotten
    11. Red Armageddon (Polipropilen rmx)
    Futurepop from Hungary with female vocals, side project of the members of a relatively well-known EBM project Impact Pulse. Yes, Hungarian underground electronic music can be no worse than Hungarian metal and progressive rock! Unfortunately I didn't like their second album ("Violence Nada") that much, but this one is an example of very good female-fronted futurepop (which is a rare thing in general). I don't know if their label would have a problem with their music freely available on the net (they probably would), but this link seems to be working (as of now). To get an idea of what they sound like, watch the video for the best track on this album, "Red Armageddon":

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

    Xatar - "Архивация, кластеризация, трансгуманизация" [2010]

    Artist: Xatar
    Title: Архивация, кластеризация, трансгуманизация
    Genre: Noise
    Country: Russia
    Year: 2010

    Track List:
    1. Асимметричная демодуляция (Dissymetric Demodulation)
    2. Плетёные тропы оптоволоконной прогредиентности (Wattled Tracks Of Fibre-Optical Progression)
    3. Пересекая бесконечность информационных магистралей (Intersecting Infinity Of Information Superhighways)
    4. Трансгуманизация (Transhumanization)
    5. Забыться...и видеть сны (To Be Forgotten... and To Have Dreams - bonus track)
    One-man noise project from Balabanovo (Russia). I found out about Xatar because of Wikipedia, where he's an active contributor. This release is mostly minimalistic noise - not too great, but would be interesing to you if you're into both noise/industrial music and cyberpunk stuff. I must say the translation of the track titles to English is rather poor, but nevertheless it'll give you an idea of what Xatar's music is about.

    "Крепость // The Fortress" (amateur 3D short movie)


    This movie was made by a CG instructor at render.ru, using 3DsMax, ZBrush, Unfold3D, Photoshop, V-Ray, Eyeon Fusion and Dimension. The process of making took roughly 2 years, and I think it's a very good 3D animation work even by world standards. Unfortunately there's no one who can afford making a full-length movie like this at home...

    The main theme of this movie is similar to R.Bradbury's story "There Will Come Soft Rains" - in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by war, where's nothing left alive (except for the grass seen in the end of the movie), the automated machines still continue the fight. The explosions and some other details were made intentionally unrealistic, in order to fit into the overall retro-futuristic atmosphere of the movie.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Mirrors Of Mind - "По тонкой грани" [2011]

    Artist: Mirrors Of Mind
    Title: По тонкой грани
    Genre: Gothic Synth, Electro
    Country: Lithuania/Russia
    Year: 2011

    Track List:
    1. Сиддхартха (пролог)
    2. Дети оптимизма
    3. Под покрывалом век
    4. Стена
    5. Искусственный отбор
    6. В небо
    7. По тонкой грани
    Russian/Lithuanian electro-gothic trio with female vocals, formed in winter 2011. In my opinion, tracks #2 & #3 (especially the latter) are the best on the whole album. It actually strongly reminds me of some early 90's Russian pop music - mostly because of heavily reverberated vocals and danceable rhythms combined with depressive lyrics. (Contrary to popular belief, not all Russian pop music is equally disgusting - this one, for example, borders stylistically on industrial rock). Complex Numbers have used this kind of sound in some of their songs too.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    Azida - "Jettison the Past" [2010]

    Artist: Azida
    Title: Jettison the Past
    Genre: Gothic Electro
    Country: Belarus
    Year: 2010

    Track List:
    1. Intro
    2. From the Sky
    3. Frustrations
    4. Solitude
    5. Everything
    6. Mr. Die
    Darkwave/trip-hop project with female vocals formed in Gomel (Belarus) in 2006, that has earned a lot of critical acclaim since the release of their first EP on Industrial Madness records. As far as I know, their early stuff was mostly energetic, danceable music, but this EP is much more melancholic, reminding me of Chiasm. The quality of production is (unsurprisingly) not perfect, but the material itself isn't bad at all. Yes, there are some rough moments, but it's expected from a debut low-budget release. My personal favourite is "Everything".



    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Wish - "Monochrome" [1995]

    Artist: Wish
    Title: Monochrome
    Genre: Gothic/Doom Metal
    Country: Netherlands
    Year: 1995

    Track List:
    1. Balance
    2. Ten Bridges Burning
    3. Rain
    4. Thelena
    5. Elsewhen
    6. Judas Kiss
    7. Gentle Nova
    8. Monument
    Albeit not very well-known nowadays, Wish are considered one of the forefathers of moderngothic metal. Formed in 1993 by an ex-member of The Gathering, Wish released only one full-length album in 1995. After listening to it first time, I was like: "WTF?!" (like in case with Magma's "MDK"), mostly due to, hmm... unusual vocal style. However, after listening to it several times, I understood why this ablum has reached a cult status. Too bad there seems to be nothing else quite like it around... unless I'm wrong?

    Satyrian - "Eternitas" [2006]

    Artist: Satyrian
    Title: Eternitas
    Genre: Gothic Metal
    Country: Netherlands
    Year: 2006

    Track List:
    1. Eternitas
    2. Invictus
    3. Feel the Rush
    4. My Legacy
    5. The Dark Gift
    6. Sacred Lies
    7. Bridge of Death
    8. Fall from Grace
    9. No Tears, No Embrace
    10. The Haunted Lovers
    11. This Dream
    12. Ewigkeit
    Satyrian are a self-proclaimed "international gothic rock band combining dark atmospheric lyrics with wave, rock, classical orchestration, piano, and heavy guitars" (the band members are originally from different countries, but all of them currently reside in the Netherlands). "Eternitas" is their first and currently the only full-length release. I'd recommend it to those who's searching for some "unorthodox" gothic metal, with influences ranging from dark electro and industrial to classic rock ballads. Although it's definitely not an excellent album (hardly above 7.5/10, but it isn't bad for a debut release), and some people may be uncomfortable with the vocals, I'd agree with one of the reviewers on metal-archives.com: "Fans of the genre can add one point to the rating as they most likely will like the album. For us others it is an album quite pleasant to listen to, but not for a long time". BTW, if you liked the electro/industrial aspect of this album, I'd suggest listening to another release by Satyrian - "The Dark Gift" EP, which features several remixes of the songs off this full-length, in more "electronic"/danceable manner. Download link for "Eternitas", found in a random blog:

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    Silentium - "Altum" [2001]

    Artist: Silentium
    Title: Altum
    Genre: Gothic/Doom Metal
    Country: Finland
    Year: 2001

    Track List:
    1. Revangelis
    2. Blasphemer
    3. To My Beloved One
    4. Painless
    5. Repent
    6. Into the Arms of the Night
    7. The Lusticon
    8. The Sinful
    9. The Propheter of the Unenthroned
    Like in case with Octavia Sperati, thisband is an example of a "transitional form" between doom/death metal of the 90's and more modern symphonic/gothic metal. Although I don't quite like what they started to play in mid-2000's, "Altum" is the best example of their classic style (some people consider their debut album, "Infinita Plango Vulnera", to be their best, but "Altum" is my favourite). First I heard this album circa 2004 on a cassette along with some other doom/death metal albums, and i'm still listening to it from time to time. Beautiful and sad melodies, male and female vocals... maybe it isn't music for everyday listening, but it's certainly a good addition to any gothic metal collection. Search for "Altum" in MP3 or FLAC >>>

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Octavia Sperati - "Grace Submerged" [2007]

    Artist: Octavia Sperati
    Title: Grace Submerged
    Genre: Gothic/Doom Metal
    Country: Norway
    Year: 2007

    Track List:
    1. Guilty Am I
    2. Moonlit
    3. Going North
    4. Don't Believe a Word (Thin Lizzy cover)
    5. ...And Then the World Froze
    6. The Final Rest
    7. Deprivation
    8. Provenance of Hate
    9. Dead End Poem
    10. Submerged
    Norwegian girls from Bergen, playing a heavier (doom-influenced) but still very beautiful kind of gothic metal. Their debut album "Winter Enclosure" (2005) is good too, but this one is my favourite. As I've said, they aren't like the other female fronted goth metal bands (and definitely don't suffer from the "Nightwish syndrome"), but on the other hand, their music is as close as it gets to my definition of "gothic metal". The atmosphere on "Grace Submerged" is great, apparently influenced by the nature and the winters in Norway. If you need a download link, you can search for it on filestube, as always.

    On metal-archives.com "Grace Submerged" received 95 points out of 100, with a comment: "Not bad... for girls". I'd give this album no less than 9 out of 10 too - and not only because it was recorded by an (almost)all-female band, which is still not very common on metal scene. Right now the band is on hiatus, the guitarist (Gyri) plays in Tristania, and the lead singer (Silje) now sings in The Gathering, replacing Anneke van Giersbergen.

    Riverain - "Overstepping The Verge" [2010]

    Artist: Riverain
    Title: Overstepping The Verge
    Genre: Progressive Metal, Technical Death Metal
    Country: Russia
    Year: 2010

    Track List:
    1. Falling Asleep (Intro)
    2. The Dream
    3. Breaking Test
    4. Heart of Steel
    5. Wizard
    6. Tears Shed in the Sand
    7. Madman
    8. K-129
    9. Look Me in the Eyes
    10. Spirits of the Forest
    11. The Dream Ends (Outro)
    A rare example of a successful metal band coming from a relatively small Russian town, that isn't yet another Iron Maiden / Aria clone. Riverain were formed in 2003 in Anapa, a resort town in southern Russia, initially as a progressive/power metal band, but then shifted to a more extreme kind of sound. Their debut full-length album "Overstepping The Verge" is very well produced; however, the music would seem not very accessible or catchy for an average melodic death metal listener. It's also worth noting that Anastasia Ligotskaya's vocals DOESN'T remind me of Angela Gossow, even though Riverain are frequently compared to Arch Enemy (as for me - both are female-fronted death metal bands, but the similarities end there).


    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    Fatal Aim - "Winter Saga" [2007]

    Artist: Fatal Aim
    Title: Winter Saga
    Genre: Darkwave, Synth-Gothic
    Country: Russia
    Year: 2007

    Track List:
    1. Antique Rain
    2. Black Angel
    3. Red Snow
    4. What We Die For?
    5. Fear
    6. Nevermore
    7. Valium
    8. Breath
    9. Lilith
    10. Winter Saga
    11. Loneliness
    Fatal Aim are a relatively well-known female-fronted trio formed in June 2003 in Tula. Their debut album "Winter Saga" was released in 2007, and left a significant impression on me at that time. Now I see all the flaws of this release (cheap samples, weak vocals, heavy accent), but it doesn't stops me from enjoying some tracks off this album (i.e. "Red Snow"). As far as I know, after releasing "Winter Saga" they realized a need for a better vocalist, but they still haven't released anything new after changing the vocalist yet. Their official site wasn't updated since May 2011, but I still hope it isn't the end.


    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Moonlit Wake - demo [2010]

    Artist: Moonlit Wake
    Title: demo
    Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
    Country: USA
    Year: 2010

    Track List:
    1. Enduring Faith
    2. Twilight
    3. Nocturnal Comfort
    4. Moonlit Wake
    I know very little about this band, except they're were formed in 2008 in Virginia under the initial name "Winter Without End". However, their first and only (so far) demo is really amazing. The quality of recording and songwriting is excellent, especially for a first demo release, and the atmosphere is great too, even though the music may be a bit unoriginal and simplistic (but that's not a big flaw for an young band). The US black metal scene has recently put out a lot of very good atmospheric/"blackgaze" albums, but this demo look remarkable even in face of this quite tough competition. Some people may find it too "soft" or slow, but if you're looking for some good instrumental atmospheric black metal / blackgaze, you won't be disappointed. Looking forward for their full-length release!

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Ewigkeit - "Conspiritus" [2005]

    Artist: Ewigkeit
    Title: Conspiritus
    Genre: Industrial Metal
    Country: United Kingdom
    Year: 2005

    Track List:
    1. Intro - The Hypothesis
    2. It's Not Reality
    3. Square Sunrise
    4. The Nightmare Institution
    5. Far Away from Heaven
    6. Transcend the Senses
    7. The Thought Police
    8. How to Conquer the World (Live at the Bohemian Grove)
    9. Theoreality
    10. Conspiritus
    The last full-length album by Ewigkeit, often considered to be the best work of Mr.Fog. Lyrically and conceptually, it reminds me of Agent Steel, Veratu, and Senmuth. As for the download link, I think it wouldn't be hard to find using filestube...

    Ewigkeit - "Radio Ixtlan" [2004]

    Artist: Ewigkeit
    Title: Radio Ixtlan
    Genre: Industrial Metal
    Country: United Kingdom
    Year: 2004

    Track List:
    1. About Time
    2. esc.
    3. PowerPlant
    4. Journey to Ixtlan
    5. Live at Palenque 2012
    6. Conquer the Fear
    7. Platonic Verses
    8. Strange Volk
    9. The New Way
    This album shows how much the sound of Ewigkeit has evolved during the project's 10 years of existence - from typical 2nd wave melodic black metal to much more experimental stuff with almost no black metal overtones. EM has a pretty good review of "Radio Ixtlan", and if you need a download link, you can get it here (narod.ru).


    Sunday, June 2, 2013

    Ewigkeit - "Starscape" [1999]

    Artist: Ewigkeit
    Title: Starscape
    Genre: Industrial Metal, Post-Black Metal
    Country: United Kingdom
    Year: 1999

    Track List:
    1. Point of Origin
    2. Unveiling the Mystery
    3. The Legend of Keshara
    4. The Return of Planet 'X'
    5. Deviant
    6. Lightspeed Evolution
    7. Starscape
    8. Capsule
    9. Birth of Horus
    10. Space Symphony
    11. Dragons Burning
    Ewigkeit was founded in 1994 as an one-man project by James Fogarty. While the first album, "Battle Furies" (1997), featured more or less standard melodic black metal, the next full-length, "Starscape" (1999), turned out to be much more experimental and sci-fi themed. While the consequent albums of Ewigkeit are more interesting and "mature" in terms of sound, "Starscape" is still worth checking out as one of the early examples of industrial/electronic black metal. As far as I know, J.Fogarty is against copyrights, so I think it's OK to post the download link here:

    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    Shanz 3

    While a lot of Chinese neofolk and metal bands (such as Tengger Cavalry or Yn Gizarm) are inspired by Tengrianism and the culture of ethnic minorities in China (Mongols, Uyghurs etc.) in general, there also are such bands outside China, even if all of them can be counted by hands. The best known example is probably Darkestrah, a Kyrgyz black/folk metal band that now resides in Germany. There also are some folk rock nads in Mongolia, like the well-known Hurd, or this one:
    Of course it was a big surprise for me to see an all-female rock band from Mongolia, but the music is actually quite interesting (even though the video would rather be suitable for a much more heavier metal band). And the combination of their short dresses and beautiful legs is very pleasant too - but that's beside the point :)

    Friday, May 31, 2013

    Vergissmeinnicht - "Whispering Solitude" [2008]

    Artist: Vergissmeinnicht
    Title: Whispering Solitude
    Genre: Neofolk/Neoclassical
    Country: China
    Year: 2008

    Track List:
    1. Left Forgotten
    2. Wither
    3. A Poem For The Shadow
    4. Dimension Of Souls
    5. Innocent
    6. Whispering Solitude
    7. My Colourless Reflection
    8. Dust
    9. Buried By Time
    10. Depression (Abyssic Hate cover)
    Very good Chinese neofolk that was already mentioned on my blog a couple of times before. The album doesn't sound particularly "Chinese", though; the same kind of music could very well be played by a band from any European country...

    Finnugor - "Death Before Dawn" [2003]

    Artist: Finnugor
    Title: Death Before Dawn
    Genre: Sympho-Black Metal
    Country: Finland/Hungary
    Year: 2003

    Track List:
    1. Princess of Eternity
    2. Death Before Dawn
    3. Solar Eclipse
    4. Astral Fornication
    5. Cosmic Nest of Decay
    6. Battle at the Heart of Dreamland
    7. From Hell I Still Remember
    8. Korg Polaris
    9. Ghosts Around the Bonethrone
    10. Supernova
    Finnugor is one of the most interesting Hungarian black metal projects, whose music I can compare only to Arcturus, and maybe also to Covenant (of "Nexus Polaris"-era). The band was founded in 2001 by Gabriel Wolf, also a member of Infra Black (TBM/industrial metal) and Ywolf (avant-garde gothic metal/darkwave). All the 6 albums by Finnugor are worth listening to (except maybe for "My Sick Files" - a kind of experiment with more "industrial"-esque kind of sound, that apparently went wrong), but I personally would recommend to start from "Death Before Dawn" - that's the kind of "cosmic" black metal I really like.

    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Uranium 235 - "Total Extermination" [1995]

    Artist: Uranium 235
    Title: Total Extermination
    Genre: Black Metal
    Country: Monaco
    Year: 1995

    Track List:
    1. Nuclear Satan
    2. A New Order, a New World
    3. Sodom 1999
    4. The Third World War
    Very few "true black metal" projects can be taken seriously with their "ideology" and aesthetics. However, there still are "true" BM releases that really carry the seeds of insanity, such as Mayhem's "De Mysteriis...", or "Blood Must Be Shed" by Zyklon-B. This very obscure demo cassette may be not as impressive as "Blood Must Be Shed", but Uranium 235 and Zyklon-B certainly have a lot in common, both musically and aesthetically (not to mention they both started in 1995). The only member of Uranium 235 also has a much more prolific industrial black metal project called "Godkiller", which I haven't checked out yet. Uranium 235 is also a title of a NY-based industrial rock/metal band which has nothing to do with the black metal Uranium 235 from Monaco.

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    Fleurety - "Min Tid Skal Komme" [1995]

    Artist: Fleurety
    Title: Min Tid Skal Komme
    Genre: Post-Black Metal
    Country: Norway
    Year: 1995

    Track List:
    1. Fragmenter Av En Fortid
    2. En Skikkelse I Horisonten
    3. Hvileløs?
    4. Englers Piler Har Ingen Brodd
    5. Fragmenter Av En Fremtid
    Fleurety started in 1991 as a standard Norwegian black metal band, but quickly evolved into something more sophisticated. Their first full-length album, "Min Tid Skal Komme", is widely regarded as one of the pioneering albums in avant-garde black metal, and one of the first attempts to mix metal with post-rock (only an year after the very term "post-rock" was coined by Simon Reynolds). I personally view this album as one of the masterpieces of the 90's Norwegian avant-garde metal scene - along with "Omnio" by In The Woods (1997), "Written In Waters" by Ved Buens Ende (1995), and "666 International" by Dødheimsgard (1999). The second and the latest full length by Fleurety, "Department of Apocalyptic Affairs", was even more experimental (bordering on avant-prog), and wasn't welcomed both by critics and fans. I personally like both their albums a lot, but I definitely would recommend to start listening to Fleurety from "Min Tid Skal Komme":