Thursday, December 17, 2015

Вой - "Кругами Вечности" [1991]

Artist: Вой
Title: Кругами Вечности
Genre: Funeral Doom Metal
Country: USSR
Release date: 1991

Track List:
  1. Симфония “Black”
  2. Мой мир
  3. Третий круг Ада
  4. Формула воззвания
  5. Магический круг
Release notes:

"Originally recorded in December 1990, in Moscow. Mediocre sound quality versions were circulating on tapes since early 1991, copied from tape to tape to tape to tape until it was hardly recognizable. Circles of Eternity was NEVER officially released until April 2nd, 2012. Official CD edition is not remastered and keeps this historical recording authentic in the best possible sound quality."

This obscure trio got together in 1988 with an intention of playing more gloomy and experimental kind of metal than the traditional heavy metal bands that dominated the USSR scene at that time, taking inspiration mainly from Venom and Celtic Frost. In a way, their story resembles the story of Bathory: both bands were heavily inspired by Venom at first, and both became one of the pioneering bands in their respective genres by simply playing what they could. The only differences are that Bathory were pioneers of black metal and became an internationally renowned act, while Вой were one of the first funeral doom metal bands and remained almost completely unknown to the general public until recently, when their former frontman Alexey Lapshin gave an interview to the Assault Crew webzine. Shortly after that, their only full-length album was released on CD by Sublimity Records.

There was at least one more release from them, titled "Дети чумы", which was recorded at a bakery in 1989. It was roughly 40 minutes long, and all its copies seem to be lost by now (or maybe the former Вой's members don't want to release it to the public due to the low quality of production, but nobody knows for sure). If it had the same kind of sound as on this album, then it means Вой were unquestionably the first funeral doom metal band in the world. Even this album was released in 1991, same year as Thergothon's first demo "Fhtagn-nagh Yog-Sothoth" which is widely regarded as one of seminal releases in funeral doom scene. Samael, whose early demos (1988-89) are also considered to be proto-funeral doom by some people, have visited Moscow around the same time "Кругами Вечности" was recorded, so it's entirely possible that Вой were inspired by Samael too, along with their better known countrymen Celtic Frost. Another Swiss band, Mordor, is also often mentioned as one of the pioneering acts in funeral doom metal, but I doubt the members of Вой have heard their 1991 demo.

"Кругами Вечности" wasn't well received by the public at the time it was released, which is completely not suprising. The band did only 5 or so live performances and then split up. Alexey Lapshin later (in May 1992) went on forming an industrial band called "Crunch". The existence of Вой went almost completely unnoticed back in these times when the whole experimental music scene in former USSR was in decline due to sever economical and societal problems - they were mentioned only a couple of times in metal press in 1992. While the quality of production on "Кругами Вечности" is obviously far from perfect, and the lyrics are mostly centered around the standard occult bullshit, it's still a very interesting artefact of its time, much more interesting that the majority of modern funeral doom albums.

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