Talsur / Doomcult – Nameless (2019)

Talsur / DoomcultNameless (self-released, 05 April 2019)

 

Good afternoon! Taking a break from our recent excursion into the wide world of sports, to bring you this recommendation of some music for you to check out!

Released back in April of this year — and brought to my attention by one of the bands involved right around that same time — Nameless is a six-track split album. There are two new compositions apiece by Talsur (a single-member doom band from Penza, sort of near the Russian-Kazakh border) and Doomcult (a single-member doom band from southern Netherlands); and then the remaining two tracks feature each band covering a previously-released song by the other. Dig it!

 

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Sila Slona – Self-Titled; Montezuma’s Revenge – Them (2017)

Sila SlonaSila Slona (Zero Hero Recordings, 27 January 2017)

 

Montezuma’s RevengeThem (Zero Hero Recordings, 03 March 2017)

 

Anyone who has read or watched any sort of news in the United States over the past few months may have noticed that Russia is being mentioned in connection with nearly every story that’s being reported these days. That country is currently discussed more often in this country, than any other time in the past several decades — at least since August 1991. Not even during the Sochi Olympics do I recall having heard about Russia nearly this often.

But I’m not here to talk about political matters, and you certainly aren’t here to read about such nonsense either. So it seemed like a much more fitting idea would be to discuss some Russian music. Specifically, here are albums by two different bands from Moscow, which were both released earlier this year by Moscow-based Zero Hero Recordings. Enjoy!

 

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Aethyr – Corpus (2015)

AETHYR - Corpus cover art 425w

AethyrCorpus (Cimmerian Shade Recordings, 19 February 2015)

 

Hello, Readers, and welcome to yet another paradisiac Monday. I could bore you all with another long intro filled with whining about being stuck back at work again after another too-short weekend, but today I’m choosing not to. Instead, I would like to pass along with you some interesting food for thought — something that was published last week, but I came across this morning on the bus when I saw that our fellow metal journalists at Broken Amp had shared it on Facebook. This article on Last Rites entitled “Heavy Metal in the Modern Age” discusses the role of the Internet in terms of the music industry — not just as the instrument that killed most of the previous infrastructure and completely transformed the existing business models, but as a tool that has leveled the playing field and removed many of the obstacles that were in place for bands, while offering far greater access and connectivity to fans. Much of the article, though, also relates to the changing role of the media outlets in this new superconnected world. Too often, says the author, websites are so busy clambering over each other to be the first to jump onto the bandwagon of the Next Big Thing that they forget to take the time to enjoy the music.

I can relate to a lot of what is said here: this new “level playing field” environment certainly lends itself to an overwhelming amount of materials available out there, and the absence of some of the former obstacles does result in a much wider range in terms of the quality of what ends up getting disseminated out there. But as I’ve stated in the past, I don’t mind wading through all the junk that exists, because the feeling of unexpectedly coming across something truly amazing more than makes up for it. Out of necessity — since this website is mostly a single-person operation with some rare exceptions — it takes a lot of time to go through everything that comes my way, so I hardly ever find myself playing the get-it-written-as-far-as-possible-before-the-release-date game. Rather, (as I’ve occasionally noted when writing about various albums) I sometimes will spend months (or longer!) enjoying something before I actually get the opportunity to write about it. But I don’t look at this as being negative; just because something has already passed its release date doesn’t mean it no longer needs to be promoted, or that it can no longer find its way to an appreciative audience’s ears. So this article has made me feel like my approach is somewhat vindicated. In any case, I will continue to share with you Readers as I come across things I feel are worth sharing.

For example, I’ve got something for you today from a Russian doom metal band called Aethyr. Here again is the link to that Last Rites article; you can bookmark it for later or you can check it out now and come back when you’ve finished. Either way, you won’t want to miss this….

 

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Now Available for Free: Svartby – Elemental Tales


 

SvartbyElemental Tales (17 February 2012, Trollzorn Records)

 
Svartby are an extreme folk metal band from Saint Petersburg, Russia, which was formed back in 2003 by a keyboardist/composer/lyricist named Giftsvamp. Actually, “extreme folk metal” is a phrase they sometimes use to describe themselves, but they actually prefer the term “Svartcore” because the unique sound they create just doesn’t quite fit with what you’d normally consider “folk” music, or “extreme metal” or even “metal” music. They blend elements of all of these, but essentially “Svartcore” is centered around the band leader’s orchestral creations, which are then augmented by heavy metal guitars, drums, and death-metal-style vocals.

“Svartby” itself is the name of a fictional “black village” which is inhabited by mythical creatures — mostly either mischevious or malevolent ones (such as witches, gnomes, and imps) — and these form the main basis for the band’s lyrical content. Despite the band’s Russian origin, at first their lyrics were written entirely in Swedish, although over time, they began adding many songs in English as well.

The latest of these releases, Elemental Tales, first saw the light of day in February of this year, on CD via German label Trollzorn Records. However, the band is of the opinion that music ought to be freely available to all listeners: they have been quietly encouraging the album to be shared on the internet since the time of its release, and now they have established a Bandcamp page for themselves, where all their albums can officially and legitimately be downloaded for free. Bear in mind, though, you also have the opportunity to pay any price you choose — which would be highly appreciated by the musicians, who say they had never earned any money from their own music before now (explaining that, instead, everything has always gone to the record labels to offset expenses). (Read more about the band’s decision to give their music away for free here.)

So without any further ado, let’s discuss this recent album, and then I’ll give you the opportunity to listen to it and grab a copy of it…

 

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