Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

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Pagan metallers Pereplut hail from Russia, where some of the finest European pagan and folk metal around is hailing from these days. Their new record, ‘At the Ancient TRimes’, is a beautifully constructed collection of songs that yearn for simpler times, that ache of a certain traditionalist je ne sais quoi that is both heart pumping and heartrending in equal measure. It is out now through Stygian Crypt.

After the melancholic and folky intro track, we begin to delve into ancient Slavic forests, hunting for spirits and places where the touch of modernity has not reached. Pereplut have more than a little Korpiklaani about them, but without the drunken piss taking. Imagine the windswept majesty of Metsatoll but with a little more forest magic. ‘At the Ancient Times’ isn’t all whimsy, flutes and ‘plastic pagan’ moments though; there is a defiant metal heart beating in here that mixes some almost Bay Area thrash moments (‘Тропою волколака’) and some melodeath crunch.

By the time the pastoral shades of the last track fades out, you’ve experienced a journey through lost cultures and folk magic. Pereplut may never become the most famous of this genre, but to miss out on an album of this quality would be a crime. Pereplut deserve your attention, so go support them!


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Russian death metallers Aborted Fetus (combining two iconic names in brutal death metal) return with their fifth full length record of crushing brutality, ridiciously heavy music that is guaranteed to leave you breathless and broken. If you like bands like Devourment, Cephalotripsy and those ilk, I think that Comatose Music is going to be getting some orders in April from you.

Focusing their hellish devastation on medieval torture methods, these thirteen tracks contain such delights as ‘Breaking Wheel’, ‘Pouring Molten Lead into a Throat’ and ‘Hanged on the Hook by the Rib’, and each track is laced with poisonous riffing and a relentless battering low end. While the wheel is never going to be reinvented with brutal death, you can feel it when bands do it well, and Aborted Fetus manage to keep things memorable and fresh while sticking to genre tropes closely. The startling ‘Awaiting..’ in the middle shakes things up a bit with melancholic clean guitar (which also makes a reappearance in ‘Buried Alive), before ‘Burning At Stake’ drags us back into the fire.

There’s a surprisingly clarity to the vokills, as deep and menacing as they are. Plus you aren’t just subjected to monotonous beatdown after monotonous beatdown; Aborted Fetus give you a bit of waspish Hate Eternal stuff, a good chunk of Cannibal Corpse-esque groove as well. These 17 year veterans have got their sound down to a tee, and ‘The Art of Violent Torture’ sounds tough, savage and threatening. As all good death metal should.

This awesome release has slipped me by entirely until now, and when I have to be reminded to check it out by a friend, I feel bad. The bands of Russia seem to have a talent for epic and intensely miserable death/doom, and Revelations of Rain are no exception. ‘Akrasia’ is the fifth record from these folks, and it is an hour of crushing melancholy.

Opener ‘Altar of Whores’ is a grey, foggy monstrous piece of doom, laced with dashes of My Dying Bride-esque drama and melancholy. Like all good death/doom, ‘Akrasia’ aches with a stunning mix of the slow, grinding riffs and a lonely roar permeates the gloom. Subtle melodies gloss the insides of a track like ‘Scaffold’, and a mournful lurch in the gloriously miserable ‘Root of All Evil’ is a grey, sobering highlight. Revelations of Rain suck all of the best parts of Winter, and Swallow the Sun to create an album that looms in the dark, mysterious and cyclopean in stature.

It’ll be sad if this record disappears under the radar; for fans of crushing doom that positions monstrous roars over vast riffs, ‘Akrasia’ will tick all those boxes. Russia has brought us some great metal recently, and Revelations of Rain is another addition to that. As vast and as cold and bleak as the Siberian forest.

Underworld of Khorrendus cover art

Mohraang is a one man Russian funeral doom set up, with a new record out at the start of September. It’s a self released effort, and like a lot of Russian metal at the moment, shows some potential to be as miserable as you would hope…

Divided into six parts, you can feel ‘Underworld of Khorrendus’ build slowly over that time, from the rumbling ominous ‘Part 1’ straight into the waves of oppressive misery of ‘Part 2’. Gloomy clean notes appear and fade again into the shroud that lurks upon this album. Dripping water is a sound that returns again and again, enhancing a feeling of damp, of mist and gloom. The morbid growl is infinite in its depth, the brutality of the tone is great. The churning crawl of ‘Part 3’ lurches into the gloom of ‘Part 4’, and then the titanic mourning ritual of ‘Part 5’ destroys any chance of light breaking through.

‘Underworld of Khorrendus’ is a monolithic slab of murky misery; a black coating of decay oozes over each crawling riff and each abyssal roar. When you’re burying any hopes you had of a good day under miserable weather or anything else in your pathetic lives, this darkness will be the soundtrack. Awe-inspiringly miserable stuff!

SODP037: Fimbulvinter - Начертаны резы древних заклятий (2015) cover art

Russian pagans Fimbulvinter dropped their debut full length last December, the incomprehensibly titled ‘Начертаны резы древних заклятий’ (for me since I know no Russian at all). It’s been out on Symbol of Domination, who are a label whose releases I am picking up more and more these days, and the quality is generally high, so I’m looking forward to it.

‘The Shining of North’ (I decided to translate the names) throws open this gate of frozen riffs that flow like a river in the forest; cold but melodic is the key. Too often black metal bands rely on mere ferocity and blasting without incorporating memorable riffs or melodies. Very rarely are the one dimensional bands ever remembered. Fimbulvinter don’t fall into that trap, by mixing in dark melodies into their assault, and a particular Dark Funeral vibe clings to each riff. Insidious pagan melodies lurk under the icy ‘Winter Millenia’, and vicious vocals pierce ‘Swarms of Raven’s with aplomb.

‘Начертаны резы древних заклятий’ is a record that doesn’t stray too far from your traditional black metal dynamics, but instead takes the path of improving and enhancing the genre. Not every band can reimagine genres, but not every band needs to. Fimbulvinter are a band who have crafted an album with great songs, good atmosphere and most importantly, a replayability factor. You barely need to get past the visceral ‘Broken, Torn…’ to know that the following half hour is going to be a good experience.

Closing with a double hit of viciousness in the scathing ‘To Father North’ and the gloomy ‘The World Will End’, Fimbulvinter have nailed it with this record, and I hope to hear a lot more from them! Hail ice and fire!

Russian progressive death metallers Grace Disgraced are keeping the spirit of classic Death alive, and Chuck would be proud to listen to their latest effort, ‘Lasting Afterdeaths’, out now on Razed Soul Productions. If you are into classic Florida death with adventurous fretwork and brutal vocals, then Grace Disgraced might just be for you.

Opener ‘Grave Among the Stars’ emerges with urgent, jagged riffs and a lengthy, angry sample in what I presume is Russian, before the growls kick in. Musically, you’re getting classic tropes of progressive death; spiralling melodies accompanying a selection of great riffs and a progressive streak a mile wide. While always twisting and changing, Grace Disgraced never come across as overly ‘muso’ or impenetrably complex. Tracks like ‘Childhood of the Dead’ or the rampant ‘Part of the History’ display a keen awareness that headbang inducement is as important as technicality.

Grace Disgraced have put together an album full of interesting, complex songs wih equal parts fret wizardry and headbanging death groove. ‘Lasting Afterdeaths’ keeps the spirit of early 90s prog death alive, from latter Death through Atheist and Pestilence. This is a band who can pay homage to those greats, yet keep their own music interesting and energising enough to warrant repeated listens. Just feel the intensity of ‘Captured in Snow’ or the epic closer ‘What Hide the Woods of Gevaudan’ to see what Grace Disgraced bring to the table. Excellent.

Russian death lords Bestial Deform have returned after almost eleven years since their previous record, ‘Stop the Christianity’ in 2005. As with a lot of releases from the great motherland of the east, you find that Russian bands tend to have a more pissed off out look on life, and this appears to translate well into the thunderous chug of death metal. …ad Leones is out now on Satanath Records.

After a suitably moody intro, interspersed with screams and distorted growls, first track proper ‘In Maxillis Bestia’ is a rabid slab of guttural death metal rage. The vocals are particularly good, with a thick gargling growl backing up the chunky riffs. You can tell that the influences of Floridian death metal have definitely made it as far as Russia, with tracks like ‘Sever to Pieces’ and the arse tearing ‘Chariots’ worshipping at the mad altars of Morbid Angel and Deicide. The riffs are superb, and the pure tectonic rumble of ‘Spirit.Rage.Flash’ is a joy to behold.

Bestial Deform combine the blasting power of the likes of Hate Eternal with the uneasy riffing and violence incarnate of Immolation to create something pretty damn good. Their anti-Christianity rhetoric stirs up some genuinely savage parts, and the closing title track is a beauty. Yeah ok, some of the English song titles seem a bit confusing, but it’s a small complaint in a record that is perfectly happy to bludgeon you in the back of the head and drag your corpse off into the void. Blast this loud.