Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Majdanek Waltz / Denis Tretyakov / The Noktulians - "Pentagram" [2017]

Artist: Majdanek Waltz / Denis Tretyakov / The Noktulians
Title: Pentagram
Genre: Neofolk, Sludge, Noise Rock, Dark Jazz
Country: Russia
Release date: 2017

Track List: 

Side A: Majdanek Waltz & The Noktulians
  1. Pentagram
  2. Sombre Splendour
  3. Under the Waning Moon
  4. The Palace of the World
  5. Corona Astralis
  6. Ut
Side B: Denis Tretyakov & The Noktulians
  1. Hell Hath No Queen
  2. To Suffer So, and So Rejoice
  3. Augur XI
  4. Initiation IX
  5. Black Mass
  6. Initiation X 
This rather lengthy release (over 70 minutes long) with a wonderfully minimalistic cover art was produced by the veterans of the Russian (post-)industrial, neofolk and post-punk scene: Majdanek Waltz, Denis Tretyakov, Myrrman of Reutoff and Otzepentevshiye, and some others, including Raymond Krumgold, whose cultural and political activites had a lot of influence on me about a decade ago. He also wrote a very detailed review of this album and its concept here (unfortunately, no English version is available so far).

In short: "Pentagram" was released 70 years after the death of Aleister Crowley, and is primarily based on his literary works. For the most part, it's an instrumental album, with some spoken word declamation of Crowley's poetry (by the way, another band who used Crowley's verses as lyrics was Romowe Rikoito). While Majdanek Waltz are known mostly as a neofolk band, this release is rather far from neofolk, being quite heavy, noisy, and "sludge-y" at times (much like "Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain" by Current 93). Overall, the result is quite impressive. As R. Krumgold correctly pointed out, such and idea could easily result in a failure, but fortunately it didn't.


Pavel Blyumkin, Denis Tretyakov, Dasha Popova, Larisa Arkhipetskaya, Oleg Karavaychuk, Vasiliy & Alexandra – voices
Ilya Matzevich – guitars
Pyotr Starov – bass guitar, synthesizer
Mariam Khatlamadzhiyan – viola
Igor Kuzmenko – cello
Sergey Vostrov – flute, clarinet, saxophone
Ivan Tsiporkov – flute, saxophone
Roman Kazakov – trumpet

The Noktulians are:
Fr I Am – guitar
Fr Dis – guitar
Fr Pest – bass
Fr Hans – drums
Fr Ephes – programming
Fr IV – saxophone
Fr A.T. – saxophone 

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