Friday, January 27, 2017

Omnimar - "Start" [2015]

Artist: Omnimar
Title: Start
Genre: Synthpop
Country: Russia
Release date: 2015

Track List:
  1. Intro
  2. Fault
  3. Ego Love
  4. Reason
  5. Wrong Direction
  6. Start
  7. Be My Friend
  8. My Little World
  9. Sadizm
  10. Tell Me Your Name
  11. You Save Me
"OMNIMAR is a band based in Moscow which was founded in 2012 by two good friends – Maria Mar and Yaroslav (Hal) . Before starting this project, they had already had a chance to work with each other in some other Moscow rock and metal bands. Working in a big "live" band is not the easiest thing, so they decided to move towards electronic music and together created a band which comrises of just vocalist and synth programmer. OMNIMAR specializes in such genres as synth-pop, dark-wave, dark-electro, industrial etc." (last.fm)

Along with Kryonik Moon, Omnimar are among the bands that could receive a lot of attention and recognition if they were formed in 2006-2009, during the heyday of the "Schwarze Scene" in many post-Soviet countries. Unfortunately for them, they have released their debut album in 2015, when all that "dark scene" thing was already out of style. I've seen a dialogue on their Facebook page some time ago, where someone from southern France was complaining about how small is the dark scene where he lives. What could Omnimar answer to that? "Sadly, in Moscow it's also not very big nowadays", which is true (and I'm not even talking about smaller cities). However, they should be given credit for making a very professional release (even if there isn't much audience for it). They're also known for making lots of music videos, some of which I'd like to post here:


This video features rather stereotypical costumes (and general aesthetics) by today standards, but it could be a bomb if it was released 10 years ago:


Maybe this particular song is just plain pop music, yet it's still a quality kind of pop:


On a more "dark" side of their music, they have one track with lyrics in German. Maybe they actually have chances for recognition in Germany, where the "Schwarze Scene" still seems to be alive and well...

 
 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

MagnetiC – "One Step to the Sun" [2014]

Artist: MagnetiC
Title: One Step to the Sun
Genre: Melodic Metal, Alternative Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2014

Track List:
  1. One Step to the Sun 
  2. My Time to Shine 
  3. Break the Silence 
  4. On the Waves 
  5. Kindheitstraum 
  6. Signs of Happiness 
  7. Don't call me 
  8. Lone Wolf 
  9. Desire
This band,formed in Moscow in late 2009, is frequently tagged as "nu-metal", but I'd rather avoid such a label, which no doubt could turn off quite a lot of potential listeners. Alternative metal? Well, maybe. Even this is "nu-metal" (which I think it isn't), I'm not ashamed to say I love such kind of nu-metal :) Even if not all songs on this album are as catchy as the title track, it's still a very good release (for instance, I liked it better than anything released by Lacuna Coil after 2004). The best part of their sound is undoubtely the voice of Marina Poberezhnyuk, which is very powerful and low-pitched (reminds me of another Moscow-based band with a similar sound - Moray Eel - which unfortunately doesn't exist anymore).



And, as a bonus, a couple of Marina's beach photos from 2015. As you can see, she has a quite nice figure! I especially liked Marina's legs, and her smile is beautiful too:

Irina Duskulova / Ирина Дускулова

Ethno-pop with lyrics in Yukaghir? Now I truly have heard everything. Only a month ago I wouldn't even think that one day I'll post anything like this here, even if I've posted quite a lot of Mari and Komi ethno-pop before. However, these two languages, albeit endangered, are still spoken by hundreds of thousands native speakers, while both varieties of Yukaghir are spoken only by a couple of hundred people (mostly elderly). Yet there is modern music in this language, even if I managed to find only a couple of songs.

Yukaghir languages once were spoken all over the vast expanses of Eastern Siberia, but they were replaced by Yakut and Tungusic languages almost everywhere over the last millenium. The culture of Yukaghirs has some remarkably archaic traits (i.e. some remnants of matriarchy), which are thought to be the legacy of very ancient inhabitants of Siberia. Yukaghir languages have no apparent affinity to any other language family, although they do have some similarities to Uralic, Tungusic, and other Paleo-Siberian languages. A distant relationship to Uralic (Finno-Ugric & Samoyedic) languages had been proposed by several linguists, but it's far from proven. Out of the linguists whose works I've read, Vladimir Napolskikh is a supporter, and Ante Aikio is a critic. I'm not competent enough to judge on this matter, but from what I know about Uralic and Yukaghir languages, it isn't hard to believe that they're connected in some way. In particular, these Yukaghir songs remind me Mari ethno-pop for some reason, and the singer herself reminds me of Marina Sadova :)

Now, a few words about her. Irina Duskulova was born on 17 June 1992 in Nelemnoye, a small settlement in Northeastern Siberia which is one of the few places where the Yukaghir culture and language are still alive to some extent. She's a niece of a well-known Yukaghir writer and poet Gennady Dyachkov, and apparently has inherited some literary talent from him, since she writes most of the lyrics for her songs by herself. She's also a winner of numerous local beauty contests, and has appeared in a music video filmed in Nelemnoye - the very first MV for an Yukaghir song:

These two songs are the only ones in Yukaghir I know. I could find another two songs of her in Yakut, and one more song that's standard Russian pop. By the way, she was happy to know that I'm going to post her songs on here (even if my blog isn't about such kind of music in general).


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Aftermoon - "Phase One" [2016]

Artist: Aftermoon
Title: Phase One
Genre: Symphonic Metal, Alternative Metal
Country: Ukraine
Release date: 2016

Track List:
  1. In Loving Memory
  2. Lumia
  3. Deadborn Revolution
  4. Cold
  5. Losing Me
  6. Runaway
  7. Somewhere
  8. Duality
  9. Daemons
  10. Time Crisis
  11. To You (Bonus Track)
Aftermoon are a new band from Kiev who describe their music as just "melodic metal", and I can't come up with a more precise description either. It's indeed quite melodic, with a lot of electronic elements which are more on the "pop" side of things - yet it's still more "metal" than any release from Amaranthe, or any of the later works of Aftermoon's countrymen Semargl. Either way, "Phase One" is fairly pleasant to the ears (even if the second half of the album is, unfortunately, much less interesting than its first one), and their vocalist Valeri Lahtinen has a quite nice voice.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sanctorium - "The Depths Inside" [2014]

Artist: Sanctorium
Title: The Depths Inside
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2014

Track List:
  1. Intro
  2. 1000 Years
  3. Dragonqueen (feat. Max Morton)
  4. Alive
  5. Spirit
  6. Maid Of Lake (feat. Anastasia Simanskaya)
  7. Cancer Of Earth
  8. Initiation Of Al'Hazred
  9. Silent Cry
  10. Rub Al'Khali
  11. Prayer
As it was described on metal-archives.com: it is "symphonic metal that's still metal". Surely it's far from being unique or innovative, but if you're looking for well-played and produced symphonic metal with dual (male and female vocals) heavily influenced by Epica, this album is for you. (Strangely enough for a metal album, it was released on Gravitator Records, a rather well-known label specialized in synthpop, gothic electro and industrial of all kinds).


By the way, their lead vocalist - Daria Zhukova a/k/a Eirene - was born on the same day as me (December 25). Here are some photos of her:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Erg Noor - "Kosmos" [2006]

Artist: Erg Noor
Title: Kosmos
Genre: Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal
Country: Germany
Release date: 2006

Track List:
  1. Ad Astra
  2. Lost Future
  3. The Awakening
  4. The Wings and the Chains
  5. Evening
  6. Suffering
  7. Night
This project is named after a character in a Soviet sci-fi classic "Andromeda" by Ivan Yefremov, therefore it just have no right to be bad :) In all seriousness, it's a very unique kind of "cosmic" instrumental doom metal, not too heavy but very atmospheric. A kind of music I can listen to for hours non-stop without getting tired of it.

Erg Noor is (was? unfortunately, there are no news from EG since 2009...) a self-defined "misanthropic doom metal" one-man band started in 2004 by someone who was apparently born in our post-Soviet space but relocated to Germany during the 1990s (or maybe early 2000s) along with many other Spätaussiedler. There was an official site (ergnoor.de) with all his music being available for free download, but it isn't working anymore, and the current status of the project seems uncertain. I managed to find some photos of this guy which appear to be from 2011 (maybe a bit earlier), but that's pretty much all:


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Doom Architect - "Sententia Prima" [2016]

Artist: Doom Architect
Title: Sententia Prima
Genre: Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2016

Track List:
  1. At The Bound Of Death
  2. Leaving The Shadows
  3. Detachment
  4. Embracing The Void
  5. Astral Wind
  6. Light Of Inner Flame
Some 10 years ago, I used to like a lot of death/doom metal from the 1990s. Now it's a much smaller part of my musical diet, but I still have a lot of love for this kind of music, and it's good to see this genre still being alive in the mid-2010s.

Doom Architect are a male/female duo originally from Izhevsk (later relocated to Moscow). Both of them are former members of a band named Волновой Фронт / Wavefront (sort of an original name for a heavy/power metal band, but the lyrical themes doesn't seem to be too original - "Fantasy, Epic Battles, Warriors..."). Now they seem to be focused on their other project Sky Crypt (melodeath), yet they already have released two albums under the name Doom Architect, one of which is presented here. It doesn't have to be too original or innovative - it's just death/doom metal played the way I like it. My personal highlight on this album: the track "Astral Wind" (specifically the keyboard work on there). In general, the release notes from Narcoleptica Prods. provide a pretty good description:

"The music on "Sententia Prima" is a special alloy of slow melodies framed by heavy guitar riffs and keyboards atmosphere. Vocals also connects it all together with texts narrating about the thoughts that come to mind to anyone who travels inward, who are periodically is beyond the categories of space and time, the person is continuously separated from the conventional world".