Sunday, March 17, 2019

Marja Üldine - "Own My Fears" [2019]

Artist: Marja Üldine
Title: Own My Fears
Genre: Gothic Rock/Metal, Doom Metal
Country: Russia
Release date: 2019

Track List:
  1. My own fears
  2. Dontcryever
  3. Live under the bridge
  4. Waking up
  5. Remember this day
  6. Knock-knock
  7. Sirens
  8. Cosmic weed (bonus track)
Marja Üldine is a Vepsian folk singer, but if you expect her debut album "Own My Fears" to be a typical Finno-Ugric folk album, you're in for a big surprise (if not disappointment). All the lyrics on "Own My Fears" are in English, and the music has little to do with traditional folk or even folk metal. The singer herself described it as "hard rock", but it isn't telling much (because, at least here, "hard rock" is pretty much an old-fashioned term for anything heavier than The Beatles).

As for me, "Own My Fears" sounds more like mid-90s The Gathering and other gothic/doom metal bands of the same era, rather than anything else. The whole album leaves an impression as it was recorded some time during early-mid 2000s, with the appropriate cover artwork (a very stereotypical one for an early 2000s gothic metal album) and quality of production. It certainly evokes a lot of nostalgia for these times, so I wasn't disappointed by this album, but as for future releases from Marja Üldine -I'd like to hear more Vepsian folk (a much rarer thing than gothic/doom metal, that's for sure) with lyrics in her native language.

Friday, March 8, 2019

La Torture des Ténèbres - "IV - Memoirs of a Machine Girl" [2017]

Artist: La Torture des Ténèbres
Title: IV - Memoirs of a Machine Girl
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal, Noise
Country: Canada
Release date: 2017

Track List:
  1. Staring at the Stars to the Sound of Trucks Revving in the Distance
  2. Enigma of the Intergalactic Canyon
  3. Somewhere in Brockville, in a Restroom Stall
  4. Love Pumps Through My Veins as Quickly as You Kiss Me Goodbye
  5. Thank You for Holding My Hand Through Every Haunted House
  6. Lysol, Scrub Away Your Sanity
I discovered this one-woman project from Ottawa in a blog that specializes in martial industrial, which surprised me because the style was claimed as 'black metal". This album indeed turned out to be based in atmospheric black metal, but heavily mixed with dark ambient, noise, and martial industrial elements, creating a very oppressive post-apocalyptic horror atmosphere. Compared to other one-female black metal projects I've posted on here before, like Sylvaine or Lonely Star, this one is definitely much harder to get into. "IV - Memoirs of a Machine Girl" is easily one of the most "inhuman" releases I've listened to in the last couple of years (and I listen to a lot of black metal and noise). You may love or hate this album at the first listen, but it's unlikely to leave you indifferent. And, of course, it has a great retrofuturistic cover art (which is a painting by Hugh Ferriss, if I'm not mistaken), one look at which would be enough to understand what to expect from this album: the music from a dystopian world of gigantic structures and mechanisms.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Tidfall - "Nucleus" [2003]

Artist: Tidfall
Title: Nucleus
Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 2003

Track List:
  1. Future Doom
  2. Nucleus
  3. Neo-Torment
  4. Mercury Mesh
  5. Soil of Tomorrow
  6. Psychotronica
  7. Zounds
  8. Exo-Skeleton
  9. Tech
On the two albums following Tidfall's debut "Circular Supremacy", Tidfall took a more industrial metal direction. In fact, they were one of the first (if not the very first) industrial black metal bands I've discovered during the times when I was just starting to get into metal. Surely, they aren't as well-known as their compatriots Thorns or Mysticum, and this album doesn't contain any particularly big hits, yet I think this album is highly overlooked. It's industrial black metal the way I expect it to be, and the appropriate lyrical themes along with the "mechanical"/futuristic atmosphere are in place: