Ukrainian Metal

Hell:on – Scythian Stamm Review

Hell:on – Scythian Stamm Review

“I was initially unimpressed by the band’s name — specifically that tricksy colon — and subsequently passed over the promo during my perusal of the bin. But when I saw this simultaneously exciting and terrifying art while scoping out the competition at another blog, my interest was renewed. After conducting some research, I learned that Hell:on is a stylized — and search engine optimized — version of “Hellion,” and that Hell:on have been peddling their wares since 2005. Their base sound has always been a heavily thrash-infused style of death metal, but over time they’ve incorporated more and more traditional folk instruments, ritualistic textures, and symphonic arrangements to evolve into what feels like a different beast entirely.” Hell: on Earth.

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale is a strange one-man act. Founder and multi-instrumentalist Astaroth Merc started the project in 2006 as a vehicle for his atmospheric, droning black metal, but over time the sound underwent massive mutations. Death/doom influences began creeping in and the musicianship grew by leaps and bounds. By the time of 2017s Planetarium, the project was starting to sound like a heavier SIG:AR:TYR, riffy and full of beautiful guitar-work while retaining a powerful black metal core. That album was based around a space theme and the long-form compositions did it justice with expansive vibes and deep, rich moods. For whatever reason, Merc opted to follow that up with a full-on funeral doom approach on 2019s Morphine Dead Gardens, which I loved muchly. Now barely a year later he’s clicked back into blackened mode with a conceptual sequel to Planetarium.” Astronomy domine.

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.

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.