Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New 2017 Year!

An year has passed since I wrote this, and not much has changed. I'll try to keep this blog alive in the coming year (in particular, I plan to post several albums from the local metal scene in the next few days); however, I don't think it's worth putting too much effort into something that very few people are interested in.

Either way, I wish all the best in the next year to everyone who reads and appreciates my blog (even if there aren't many).

Thursday, December 22, 2016

V/A - "Heliophagia 06" [2006]

Artist: (various)
Title: Heliophagia 06
Genre: Dark Ambient, Drone/Doom Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2006

Track List:
  1. Nojda - Lyšt Pudt Olmevudt
  2. Panacea Enterpainment - Hymnus Hibernus
  3. System Morgue - Reactor #4 / Fenrir Awakening
This 3-way split, released 10 years ago on the day of winter solstice, eventually became the first one in a long series of annual compilations. Initially there was an idea to release 6 compilations named "Heliophagia" dedicated to the winter solstice, numbered in a descending order (from 06 to 01). However, there already are 10 such compilations released so far, and several other similar seriers (Isorropia, Xypnima, Heliolatria etc.) were established later. All of them are released on a net label named after the Heliophagia series (it was initially named Anthropocide Productions, but this name has gone to a recording studio in 2008).

The concept of the Heliophagia series was conceived by Najnas, the founding member of Nojda and a collaborator in several other projects (a lyricist in Panacea Enterpainment, and a founder of a joke oi! band which I won't name here). If memory serves me right - he, being partially of Eastern Sami ancestry, has named himself "Najnas" after a god of northern lights from the Sami mythology. Nojda is his ritual ambient / "shamanic metal" project inspired by Skepticism, Ajattara, Gods Tower, Lycia, Troum, northern nature and Sami folklore. Unfortunately, Nojda has never released a proper album, only 4 or 5 track in total which appeared on various compilations in the Heliophagia series. That's a shame, because Nojda was undoubtedly one of the best projects to appear on these compilations.

The rest of "Heliophagia 06" isn't as interesting as the opening track by Nojda. "Hymnus Hibernus" by Panacea Enterpainment is rather mediocre doom metal/ambient, and the ambient/PE track by System Morgue is good but nothing special. Those who followed my blog through the last 5 years (if there are such people at all) should already be familiar with this project and its mastermind, who goes under the name "Peter LX". Back in the days when this split was just released, I kept a regular contact with him, Najnas and some other artists that appeared on their compilations (Paracore, Reido etc.). Now, 10 years later, I'm sitting at home alone waiting for my next birthday (which will come in just 3 days) and thinking what to make of all that useless knowledge of underground bands which next to no one listens to...

Staruha Mha - "Rusali" [2003]

Artist: Staruha Mha
Title: Rusali
Genre: Dark Ambient, Drone
Country: Russia
Release date: 2003

Track List:
  1. Wheel Of The Year / Колесо Года
  2. Grasses / Травы
  3. On Branches / На Ветвях
  4. Blue Rivers Of The Sky / Синие Реки Небес
  5. Deformation / Kруг Железного Предначертания
  6. ...And The Trees Woke Up / Iikkooorrr
  7. Over Quiet Water / Над Тихой Водой
  8. Bark / Кора
  9. Bonfires On A Hill / Костры На Холме
  10. Ear Of The Night / Ухо Ночи
  11. Through The Woods / Через Леса
  12. Paporotnik / Папоротник
Staruha Mha was started by Roman Sidorov, a member of several post-punk and industrial projects (Der Golem, Sedativ, Fatal), in 2000. The project has released two demo albums on CD-R before Sidorov hanged himself on 20th September 2003. After his suicide, both albums were released on CD with the tracks names crudely translated to English. While the author was intending to keep his music strictly underground, his works have reached a cult status on the post-Soviet industrial scene nevertheless. I personally wouldn't call myself a #1 fan of his music, but this album is definitely a classic without which my blog won't be complete.

"Rusali" is nearly 80 minutes long, featuring 12 tracks of drone ambient, field recordings, and some elements of industrial noise (although it's inspired by nature, not industrial landscapes). Main sources of influence: Rapoon, Coil, Apoptose ("Nordland", 2000), Troum, Bad Sector, Iszoloscope, Lustmord.

Псы Байаная - "Муус" [2016]

Artist: Псы Байаная
Title: Муус
Genre: Folk Metal, Melodic Death Metal
Country: Russia (Yakutia a/k/a Sakha Republic)
Release date: 2016

Track List:
  1. Хоту хайалара (Mountains of the North)
  2. Дьол кута (Lost Happiness)
  3. Тымныы оҕуһа (The Great Bull of Cold)
The only Yakut folk metal band I know of, Hounds of Bayanay were formed in Yakutsk a couple of years ago. The material presented on their debut EP, which was released just a couple of months ago, is fairly good, although the mix could be better (the vocals frequently get "buried" by the music). It's folk metal, but with significant MDM influences which I'm not a big fan of, but the uniqueness of its "folk" side is the reason enough to check out this EP. As for it's cover, it's quite beautiful, but that pseudo-runic font is a bit too overused by now. Overall, if you liked the debut album of Aq Bure (HoB's friends from Tatarstan) and want to hear more ethno-metal in the same vein, with predominately femal vocals, check out this.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Чолбон - "Проклятый камень" [1992]

Artist: Чолбон
Title: Проклятый камень
Genre: Folk-Rock, Progressive Rock
Country: Russia (Yakutia a/k/a Sakha Republic)
Release date: 1992

Track List:
  1. Когда-нибудь [Sometimes]
  2. Скажи Мне [Tell Me]
  3. Растоптанный Цветок [The Crushed Flower]
  4. Неспетая Песня [The Unsung Song]
  5. Услышать Бы [If I Could Hear]
  6. Проклятый Камень [The Damned Stone]
  7. Поле Боя [Battlefield]
  8. Закат [Sunset]
  9. Под Моим Небом [Under My Sky]
  10. Другу [To A Friend]
  11. Разве Я Виноват [Am I To Blame?]
The first known Yakut folk-rock band, Cholbon (which means "Morning Star") was formed in a small Eastern Siberian village in 1986 (according to some sources, the band was already around in some form as early as in 1982). Their early style could be described as a mix of Pink Floyd-inspired progressive rock and Yakut folk music. The earliest recordings were made in 1987. This 1992 LP is their best known release, containing mostly the material they've recorded during the 1980s. The quality of recording is varied from track to track, but generally it's good or at least listenable. The album's name, "The Damned Stone", is a reference to diamonds (the diamond mining industry has severely damaged the ecosystem of the band's home region). As of now, the band still exists (although two of its original members have died in 2000s) and gives concerts occasionally, but doesn't record any new albums.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Yat-Kha - "Yenisei-Punk" [1995]

Artist: Yat-Kha
Title: Yenisei-Punk
Genre: Folk-Rock
Country: Russia
Release date: 1995

Track List:
  1. Solun Chaagai Sovet Churtum
  2. Karangailyg Kara Hovaa (Dyngyldai)
  3. Kaa-Khem
  4. Kuu-La Khashtyn Baaryndan
  5. Kamgalanyr Kuzhu-Daa Bar
  6. Irik Chuduk
  7. Chashpy-Khem
  8. Kadarchy
  9. Chok-La Kizhi Yry
  10. Een Kurug Kagban-Na Men
  11. Toorugtug Taiga
  12. Kargyram
  13. Kozhamyk (1996 re-issue bonus)
  14. Doshpuluurum (1996 re-issue bonus)
Yat-Kha is one of the earliest attempts to mix rock music with the Tuvan throat singing, formed in 1992 in Moscow by Ivan Sokolovsky (Ночной Проспект) and Albert Kuvezin. Their early works featured an electronic sound reminiscent of such early EBM bands as Front 242, while the later ones (without Sokolovsky in the line-up) are more traditional folk-rock. This particular album, despite its name, is quite far from punk (and from electro-industrial as well), being more similar to their later albums in terms of sound. However, I liked this one better than their more "industrial" releases of the same time (to be honest, Uran Bator did it better). I also have seen Albert Kuvezin performing live this summer (solo), and his throat singing style was really impressive (although some fans of this style say that his skills are far from being the best; I personally am not knowledgeable enough to make a judgement).

S.N.Bibikov - a lecture on the Paleolithic era music [1980]

Here's a rather unusual recording that isn't easily comparable with anything I've posted on here before, even if I've posted a lot of quite weird noise and ethno stuff. This is an attempt to reconstruct the sound of the prehistoric percussion musical instruments made of mammoth bone, found at a roughly 20,000 years old Upper Paleolithic site in Mezin. There are two tracks, the first one demonstrating the sound of each instrument separately, and the second containing the musical reconstruction itself. Of course, it's an educated guess at the very best, and we obviosly would never know how the Paleolithic music exactly sounded like, unless a time machine eventually would be invented - but as an experiment, it's fairly unique and interesting.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Kurgan - "Caucasian" [2006]

Artist: ყორღანი (Kurgan)
Title: კავკასიონი (Caucasian)
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Georgia
Release date: 2006

Track List: 
  1. Fortress in the Fog
  2. Lykos
  3. Ghost
  4. Fearless
  5. Crystal
There's next to no information about this band, except they are (were?) a duo from Georgia which released a 5-track CD-R in 2006 and nothing else. The music on this CD-R is objectively average in terms of composition and the quality of production (could certainly be worse, though), yet they've got the right atmosphere - and that's what makes this album worth listening to:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

V/A - "Georgian Post-Punk Compilation" [2010]

Artist: V/A
Title: Georgian Post-Punk Compilation
Genre: Post-Punk
Country: Georgia
Release date: 2010 (recorded during 90s)

Track List: 
  1. Afternoon Version - Champagne Gold
  2. Cerili (Amorali) - Shishveli Xeebi (Naked Trees)
  3. Children's Medicine - Shedikhar Tkheshi (Entering the Forest)
  4. Genetic Code - Artificial Love
  5. Kumle - Televizori
  6. Mother on Mondays - House Of Love
  7. PLAKQSA - Sonia
  8. Qisho Da Inteligencia - Cheshmariteba (Truth)
  9. Spandera Da Kompratia - Datom Ramtove Zemze
  10. Taqsi - Chemi Saxli Jojoxets Hgavs (My House Looks Like Hell)
  11. Vietnam Radio - Ann's Room
  12. Marlene Dietrich - Do Vstrechi
Not many people know that Georgia (of course I'm talking not about the US state, but a country in the Caucasus) had a thriving post-punk / new wave scene during the late 80s and early 90s. However, this community has recently ran a great series of posts that helped to unearth quite a few forgotten gems from that era. That's where I found this compilation as well. Unfortunately, it looks like its author has deceased, but I don't know for sure what has happened to him. Either way, his blog was great, certainly recommended to everyone who's interested in discovering Georgian underground electronic music.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hateful Abandon - "Liars/Bastards" [2014]

Artist: Hateful Abandon
Title: Liars/Bastards
Genre: Post-Punk, Coldwave
Country: UK
Release date: 2014

Track List: 
  1. Maze of Bastards
  2. Culprit
  3. High Rise
  4. The Test
  5. The Walker
  6. There Will Never Be Peace
  7. December
"Hateful Abandon is a band playing a unique blend of music ranging from Post-Punk, the Industrial pioneers, Black Metal & Anarcho Punk with a wide variety of other influences. The band was formed in Bristol, UK in 2004" (

While their previous album "Move" (2011) featured a quite impressive mix of black metal and post-punk, they got rid of almost all their metal influences on this one (although it didn't make their music any less dark and scary). My personal favourite of theirs is still "Move", but all their works are great, including this one, and anyone who's seeking for a more modern interpretation of the classic 80s' British post-punk and the late 80s-early 90s' darkwave should definitely check it out.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Khonsu - "The Xun Protectorate" [2016]

Artist: Khonsu
Title: The Xun Protectorate
Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Country: Norway
Year: 2016

Track List:
  1. Desolation City (prologue)
  2. A Jhator Ascension
  3. The Observatory
  4. Liberator
  5. Death of the Timekeeper
  6. The Tragedy of the Awakened One
  7. Visions of Nehaya
  8. A Dream of Earth
  9. Toward the Devouring Light
  10. The Unremembered (epilogue) 
The "unorthodox" black metal scene of Norway seems to be alive and well nowadays, and that's definitely great. Just a couple of days ago I've posted a new full-length album of Black Hole Generator, and here's another Bergen-based band which has released a new album this November. While I wasn't as impressed by this one as by BHG's "A Requiem For Terra", it's definitely very good (what else to expect from a band that has been compared to Thy Catafalque and Progenie Terrestre Pura) and apparently tells a sci-fi story of some sort in its lyrics. Recommended to everyone who loves electronic, sci-fi themed black metal (which is, admittedly, a not so common thing) as much as I do.