Russian Metal

Without God – Siberian Tunes: Purple Clouds Review

Without God – Siberian Tunes: Purple Clouds Review

“Hailing from Russia, Without God formed back in 2008 and have released a pair of full-lengths, the last coming out in 2014. Reemerging in 2021, the band have already released a nice little EP entitled Siberian Tunes: The Green Light and have made the interesting choice to immediately follow it with related LP Siberian Tunes: Purple Clouds. Without God play a big, burly style of doom metal that manages to include a pretty large range of influences.” From Russian with RIFFS!

TRNA – Istok Review

TRNA – Istok Review

TRNA first came to my attention not long ago, when I volunteered to review Istok, their fourth full-length release, without knowing anything about it. I learned that the band describes their own music as “celestial blackgaze” and thought, what could go wrong? Obviously, that answer to that is “everything,” but I was optimistic. As I read about the band’s story, one that drifts away from their Russian homeland to try and capture the spirit of an altogether dreamier, darker, and more abstract place, I grew increasingly intrigued.” Space gaze.

Blacksword – Alive Again Review

Blacksword – Alive Again Review

“With a tagline of “heavy metal from Siberia” and an eye-catchingly awful cover, Blacksword caught this primate’s primal attention. This is the sophomore outing by a group that last released something way back in 2010, so I wasn’t expecting a whole heck of a lot from these cold weather warriors. What you get on Alive Again however is a surprisingly spry and enjoyable dose of epic flavored traditional metal borrowing from the American power metal sound of the 80s as well as modern acts like Iced Earth and Diviner.” From Russia with iron glove.

Moanhand – Present Serpent Review

Moanhand – Present Serpent Review

“Try as I might, it’s hard to break out of patterns that take months, if not years, to craft and make a template out of. I still put actual milk in my coffee and not that oily Coffeemate bullshit. My breakfast omelets will always have cheddar cheese, bacon, and enough garlic to anger vampires. Above all, I like my doom metal to be… doom metal. Heavy. Oppressive. Mournful. That said, sometimes a little deviation can work wonders, and Roman Filatov, chief songwriter and solo proprietor of Moanhand, is seeking to woo the masses over with his creative take on a classic sound using a wide swath of influences.” Snake’s take.

Passéisme – Eminence Review

Passéisme – Eminence Review

“We here at AMG are fans of all things French. We like croissants with our espressos in the morning. Ratatouille, souffles, bisques, and of course — when budget allows — French wine, all tickle our collective fancy. While nibbling and slurping delicately on these delights, we also like the odd spot of French black metal to help with digestion. Those of us of the particularly cultivated variety enjoy ov French medieval black metal, admittedly a niche-within-a-niche, but wacky enough to scratch a particular itch when it arises. So imagine my delight when the very French-sounding Passéisme crossed my desk with their debut album, the French-sounding-when-you-say-it-with-a-French-accent-in-your-head, Eminence. Then imagine my surprise when I discovered these guys are actually Russian, formed in 2019, from Nivhny Novgorod.” Rasputin Ratatouille?

Abysskvlt – Phur G. Yang Review

Abysskvlt – Phur G. Yang Review

“More than any other sub-genre of metal, funeral doom lends itself to introspection. Focused, as it is, on weighty and ponderous themes of death and suffering, it’s just not suited to breezy listens between dips in the sea while sipping a drink with an umbrella in it (or to AMG deadlines, for that matter). In fact, funeral doom is one of the few sub-genres that I can only really listen to at a specific time of day, when I’m in an appropriate frame of mind. What folk who don’t listen to this brand of music are missing out on, of course, is the payoff. Nothing hits quite like funeral doom. But sometimes, you have to work to get there. In the case of Russia’s Abysskvlt, you have to work extra hard because they’re serious about drawing their craft out.” Gang’s out, Yang’s out.

Malist – Karst Relict Review

Malist – Karst Relict Review

“Like distant thunder, the world of atmospheric black metal is simultaneously a comfort and a terror. I’ve been craving new atmospheric music lately. Thinking back, my two most recent forays into its claws have been the most recent offerings by Old Growth and Winterfylleth. Good enough albums, but neither really grabbed me the way I’ve been hoping for. Whether because of too much atmosphere, not enough variety, or just an altogether lack of menace or edge, atmospheric black metal of this particular vein was not all that good to me in 2020. So when I encountered Karst Relict, the third full-length in as many years from Malist, the solo project of one Ovfrost (Bewailer), I was cautiously optimistic.” Malist in Hell.

Insect Inside – The First Shining of New Genus Review

Insect Inside – The First Shining of New Genus Review

“Slam is a style I’ve never understood. Often layered with gory shock novelty and the variety of deathcore, bands like Abominable Putridity and Epicardiectomy have only gotten a head-scratch from me with endless “djunz” and br00tal “eeeeees”. Insect Inside is a young Russian trio from Zlatoust, a demo and single released since their 2017 inception. Debut LP The First Shining of New Genus creates the soundtrack of being eaten alive by the swarm in its beatdown of groovy, thick riffs, and hell-scraping gutturals.” Slam beetles.

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

“Atmospheric black metal. We all like to pretend we’ve had our fill. I fully expect to scroll down on this review to comments bemoaning lupine throne room infestations and the Snowy Forest Industrial Complex. I get it. Few things have worn out their welcome in the new millennium more than atmoblack and Bernie Sanders memes. But the fact remains that the sharp harshness of black metal and the soothing beauty of ambient passages go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and there are still plenty of artists treading the well worn wooded paths of this sound. Siberian Federal District denizens Grima play it better than most.” Morbid gardeners.