Russian Metal

Vspolokh – Помре Review

Vspolokh – Помре Review

““In mainstream literature, the anti-hero dies. In Ural literature, everyone dies.” This cheery adage is not only the plot of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, but also the philosophical basis for the music of Russian black metal group, Vspolokh. The band makes no bones about its admiration for its Ural heritage, playing a form of music it describes as “Ural Chthonic Black Metal.” Color me intrigued.” Blackness and death in a Russian winter.

Theosophy – Towers of Dark Pantheon Review

Theosophy – Towers of Dark Pantheon Review

“I was going to take this week off. Contrary to what you might expect, being unable to go to a physical office (as I am) actually lowers the amount of music I consume on a regular basis. I’ve scarcely listened to anything that I’m not writing a review for in weeks, and it’s been starting to get to me. So I decided to take a break. No review-writing, just for a little bit. I came really close to pulling it off too, but a late addition to the promo pit piqued my interest, and all was lost. Theosophy had come, and the next thing I knew I was sampling the Russian quartet’s take on thunderous black metal via their fifth full-length, Towers of Dark Pantheon.” Time heist.

Thy Despair – The Song of Desolation Review

Thy Despair – The Song of Desolation Review

“I’m a sucker for epic-sounding music. From Two Steps from Hell‘s “Heart of Courage” (the main opening theme song of the hilarious TV show Nathan for You) to Yanni‘s scintillating “Nostalgia,” I have a sweet spot for shimmering synths and bombastic orchestral swells. So naturally, when I saw that Thy Despair included a Game of Thrones metal lyrics cover video in their promo materials, I took the bait.” It’s a trap.

Gloosh – Timewheel Review

Gloosh – Timewheel Review

“One man atmospheric black metal projects. You know ’em. You love ’em (or you love to hate ’em). They’re everywhere. Precious few manage to make it into the annals of great acts, but there are notable ones such as Mare Cognitum and Aquilus whose output have made diehard fans out of me. Newcomers have it pretty rough now that those two, among several others, have set the bar as high as they have. Russian multi-instrumentalist George “Foltath” Gabrielyan stands bravely in front of that bar with his atmoblack project Gloosh (a transliteration of the Russian word for “wilderness,” “Ãëóøü”), determined to bring the genre to the next level with debut album Timewheel.” Put on yer Glooshes.

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

“Metalcore. Deathcore. The ever nebulous ‘melodic metal.’ These are tags that discomfit discerning metalheads like myself. In those rare moments where I experience the excitement for a new release in these genres, as I did with Russia’s Quiescency, the worst case is that my anticipation overinflates. Since the band announced Message for Lamb roughly forever ago, my expectations for their debut record swiftly reached an unreasonable altitude. Alas, what goes up must come down.” Lamb stewed.

Dominia – The Withering of the Rose Review

Dominia – The Withering of the Rose Review

The Withering is the follow-up to 2017’s Stabat Mater, which represented another slab of heavy gothic metal in Dominia’s catalog, as violins and keys did battle with harsh vocals and doomy riffs. Does the latest offering from Dominia see further growth or, well, a withering on the vine?” Roses are dead.

Tardigrade Inferno – Mastermind [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Tardigrade Inferno – Mastermind [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Mastermind is one odd duck. Put one way, this album is literally my personality written into a metal record. Put another way, it’s a circus-tent nightmare from clown hell, and Frontierer happened to play there once and left their chunky guitar tone there by accident.” What the hell did you miss??

Bewailer – Where My Demise Dwells Review

Bewailer – Where My Demise Dwells Review

“Do you remember the first time you heard Swallow the Sun‘s The Morning Never Came? How those crushing tones and shattering gutturals hit you like the saddest ton of cement ever and you thought that, indeed, the light would never grace your world again? How the subtle, folky elements added a sense of longing, while the sound of waves crashing made you feel lost in a sea of hopelessness and never being found? And above all, how fucking evocative that feeling was? And how you had to go bask in the sunlight to recover from it? That’s the feeling I had when I popped in Bewailer‘s debut album Where My Demise Dwells.” Swallowing more sadness.

Second to Sun – Legacy Review

Second to Sun – Legacy Review

“The 25th of July was a day of air conditioning, Danish Christmas cookies, and Christmas Vacation. Those days may be gone forever, as the family no longer exists as it once did, but a new tradition exists for old Grier. One that sees a year-end release that has, for two straight years, made my heart race in anticipation. A year later, almost to-the-date, comes another Second to Sun release. Lo and behold, the greatest annual tradition of them all. My present to you: Legacy.” Season’s beatings.