Russian Metal

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.

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.