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 :)