In Tenebriz is one of Russia’s more adventurous extreme metal bands. Rather than just settle for plain old black or death metal, their previous releases have fused black metal elements with bits of drone rock and post-metal, lending an almost cinematic feel to their work. Their 2018 release ‘Winternight Poetry’ is arguably their most adventurous, presenting a seven chapter half hour suite telling the story of Kai, whom upon visiting the kingdom of the Snow Queen, is taken prisoner and forever trapped in a world of permafrost. You wouldn’t know that unless you were told, since – as always with things from a black/extreme metal perspective – the lyrics are hard to grasp without the aid of the written word. For most listeners, it’ll be down to the music to do the talking…and luckily, this release features some great sounds and arrangements, befitting of such a brave piece of conceptual and progressive metal.
Formed in 2010, it was less than a year before Russian metallers Ram-Page found themselves in the studio with enough money and support to record their debut album. The resultant LP, ‘The Keeper of Time’ gained enough attention for the band to actually shoot a couple of promotional videos before heading back into the studio to record a second album, eventually released in April 2012. With a similar whirlwind approach, a third release appeared the following year. In metal terms, it seemed these guys were following a similar breakneck approach to working as their 80s thrash and NWOBHM heroes.
Russia’s Always Sick are another band joining the onslaught of punkers either channelling classic Ramones or ‘39/Smooth’ era Green Day for their primary influences. Ranging from the almost piss-takingly good (Riverdales, Tough) to the flat out awful, there’s a world’s worth of acts channelling the same four chords to make their punky mark. So many, in fact, there are now too many to even count, so it’s unsurprising when many slip by unnoticed.
Female fronted death metal bands are an interesting phenomenon. For years, the extreme metal subgenre was pretty much exclusively a male domain, but after Angela Gossow joined Arch Enemy and gained worldwide renown for growls that could match the very best, it appeared to shift the tide, with many other bands set to follow suit. From Landmine Marathon featuring the amazing Grace Perry, to Sweden’s 6th Awakening, through Poland’s Enter Chaos and beyond, the rising profile of women within death metal became worldwide and, obviously, is something to be applauded. On their 2016 long player ‘Don’t Stop When You Walk Through The Hell’, Russian death practitioners Ascent prove more than capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the genre’s finest.
A release delayed several times due to label problems, this split EP eventually appeared at the end of 2015. Featuring previously unreleased material from Russia’s Drama and Finland’s Perdition Winds, the three tracks showcase two very different slants upon a black metal theme.