Ukrainian Metal

Schizogen – Spawn of Almighty Essence Review

Schizogen – Spawn of Almighty Essence Review

“I try to keep an open mind when it comes to music, seeking out new forms of our favorite genre in hopes of unearthing a new, unpolished gem that, with some sanding down, can shine radiantly on the eyes in the ears of those who will listen. So when a promising new death metal band from a land not known for promising new death metal gets hyped up, I’m going to fixate my ears upon it and give it a listen. Hence, Ukraine’s Schizogen.” Hype and tripe.

Raventale – Morphine Dead Gardens Review

Raventale – Morphine Dead Gardens Review

“Back in the early days of my tenure at AMG, I found myself reviewing a fair amount of black metal. As it was only AMG and myself writing reviews back then, it was all hands on deck regardless of genre, and that was how I came to cover a relatively obscure one-man Ukrainian black metal act named Raventale. The project of a mystery man named Astaroth (Balfor, Chapter V: F10, et al), Raventale‘s awfully titled 2011 opus Bringer of Heartsore had me enjoying of deep atmosphere on long, meandering compositions that somehow held my attention and transported me to melancholy worlds at discount prices.” Dead gardens, newborn sound.

Ezkaton – Sheen and Misery Review

Ezkaton – Sheen and Misery Review

“From the opening seconds of “Altars of the Flame,” I knew Ezkaton’s Sheen and Misery was going to be a special record. The mournful, melancholy guitar melody rises and threatens to overwhelm before a voice breaks through the tension. The cold narrator quotes from the 1984 film Children of the Corn, where Issac commands the children to kill Joseph at the behest of He Who Walks Behind The Rows, and I got lost in the story.” From husk til dawn.

Mettadone – Rotten Flattery Review

Mettadone – Rotten Flattery Review

“Back in 2015, Ukranian act Mettadone emerged from wherever they’d been previously to unleash their debut, Invisible Disease, upon the world. The album was an intriguing offering of gothic-tinged doom/death and had good potential behind it. In 2017, while touring, the band’s singer apparently left the band right before a show. What’s a band to do? I should think that would be obvious: the drummer sang the show, discovered he enjoyed the role, and so the band subsequently went full death metal.” Should you ever go full death metal?

The EP, Demo, and Oddity Post [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

The EP, Demo, and Oddity Post [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“As a younger man I had no concept of the “EP,” nor the “demo,” nor the “split.” When was the last time Iron Maiden had to curb their excesses by squashing ideas into half an hour? When were Judas Priest not able to afford a professional recording studio and production job? And when’s that Metallica/Megadeth split due again? Such formats are reserved for the underdogs of the metal world, those bubbling beneath the surface of popularity who write music for the sheer creative expression and who will never see monetary reward for their time and effort.” Short is sweet.

1914 – The Blind Leading the Blind Review

1914 – The Blind Leading the Blind Review

“Let’s get this part out of the way. 1914 is a Ukrainian metal band that plays songs about German stormtroopers. What could go wrong? It didn’t take much effort to find an interview with founder and vocalist Ditmar Kumar in which he mentions that he’s often asked if 1914 is a Nazi band and drops this quote: “Fuck Nazis and all kind of totalitarian shitheads.” Subtle, but I think we can move on.” Remember the fallen.

Kroda – Selbstwelt Review

Kroda – Selbstwelt Review

“According to the dictionary, to ‘underrate’ is to underestimate the extent, value, or importance of someone or something. What a way to start a review from a writer like me. A writer that, according to most readers, underrates reviews on a weekly basis. Talk about your ultimate clickbait. But, that’s not what I mean by ‘underrate.’ I’m not talking about album scores or year-end lists. I’m talking about bands. The ‘underrated’ kind. And there are lots of them.” Underrated and unsung.

Drudkh – They Often See Dreams About the Spring Review

Drudkh – They Often See Dreams About the Spring Review

“I don’t know how it happened, but there is no denying that atmospheric black metal has become relatively fucking huge. Stemming from a genre once staunchly rooted in its own obscurity, the freak mutation of black metal has far surpassed existing as a niche within a niche as more bands strive to be the next Agalloch. Even against an infinite wall of ebony imitation, Drudkh have managed to distinguish themselves as forerunners of the genre and, like any successful band, divide their fan base along the way.” Divide, conquer, repeat.

X.Kernel – Face the Truth Review

X.Kernel – Face the Truth Review

“How do you feel about keyboards? Do you like ’em gloomy and atmospheric? Synthy and cheesy? Perhaps the classic piano flavor does it for you. Whatever your tastes, X.Kernel have got you covered. Their debut Face the Truth follows eight long years of melodic rumination and, if the album art can be believed, enough Phoenix Wright to cause nightmares.” Keys to the kingdom.