Russian Metal

Second to Sun – Leviathan Review

Second to Sun – Leviathan Review

“As I said in last year’s Legacy review, it’s always Christmas with the annual Second to Sun release. But unlike a yearly Vous Autres release, Second to Sun doesn’t send me spiraling down a black hole of despair. The Walk was the last one of their releases to come close to putting me over the edge. Since then, the band has ditched some of the mindfuckery to focus on heft and melody. Twenty-nineteen found Legacy to be the band’s heaviest creation. But, with a name like Leviathan, one can only expect something mammoth in this year’s release.” Big monster.

Aborted Fetus – Pyramids of Damnation Review

Aborted Fetus – Pyramids of Damnation Review

“A look at the tactless, tasteless, and obnoxious band name of Aborted Fetus should trigger in the reader a gut instinct that says “yep, this is death metal.” A look at the title of their latest full-length record – Pyramids of Damnation – reveals very little except that Aborted Fetus knows what a “pyramid of damnation” is, and that there’s more than one of said pyramid. Then again, titles that look cool and make no sense like Pyramids of Damnation are as much a staple of death metal as adding “-ectomy” or “-otomy” as a suffix to any given word is to brutal death metal. What’s not a staple of death metal, however, is a sixty-seven-minute record, which is what Aborted Fetus have presented us on Pyramids of Damnation.” Pyramid scheme.

Dunwich – Tail-Tied Hearts Review

Dunwich – Tail-Tied Hearts Review

“Considering its size and influence on the world, Russia has provided the scene with precious few successful metal bands. Strange for a country that shares a border with Finland and is known for the biggest frostbitten tundra on the planet. From the top of my head came Second to Sun, Arkona and Tardigrade Inferno, and that’s about it (though I’m sure there’s more). Maybe Dunwich can muscle their way onto the stage. Hailing from Moscow, the trio has constructed this debut of theirs in a very independent spirit before being picked up by Caligari Records, who are calling it ‘one of the most unique and exciting bands [they]’ve come across in years.’” Hearts and horrors.

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

“Seeing the almighty “power metal” banner waving boldly above a Pile of Intrigue in the Promo Pit is a fascinating experience, because it never fails to bring out my optimism and cynicism in roughly equal amounts. On the one hand, I love power metal. On the other hand, it’s such a straightforward genre that even established acts occasionally have trouble with a potentially generic sound. As per usual, optimism won out, so today I will tell you about my experience with Selenseas, a Russian group dabbling in symphonic power metal.” Power outage.

Katalepsy – Terra Mortus Est Review

Katalepsy – Terra Mortus Est Review

“Ah, death metal, my old nemesis. This style and I have never quite seen eye to eye on things, which I think comes down to me not having an especially high tolerance for prolonged brutality. I like rhyme and reason, order, and all things calm and sane. So given that, you might wonder why I would read the words “Russian brutal death metal masters Katalepsy return with their devastating new record Terra Mortus Est” and think “sounds good to me!” Honestly, I would too.” Insanity and Terra.

Drops of Heart – Stargazers Review

Drops of Heart – Stargazers Review

“Although “melodeath/metalcore” is rarely a good thing around here, the greatest strength of Stargazers is how very well Drops of Heart are able to merge these styles together. Stargazers boasts a unified, cohesive sound in the rough style of Soilwork (whose vocalist guests on “Starlight,” so that’s probably not a coincidence), preferring their metalcore influences over their melodeath ones.” Stargazing into the past.

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.