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More Russian Weirdness - 91%

Nargodath, January 24th, 2006

Anyone interested in this band who hasn't heard Rakoth should go and do so right now, given that this is a Rakoth side project. For those few who have heard (and enjoy) Rakoth, I'm glad to endorse this very interesting demo.

In particular, Et Germinet Chaos resembles Planeshift. The spastic drum machine is there, and so is the piano. The music shifts from intricate melodies that are hardly metal at all to complete blastbeat insanity.

However, there are some key differences here. For one, Rustam cuts down on the "invoking demons" type of spoken/whispered vocals, and we get a lot of semi-harsh singing that sounds like the harsh vocals on Bathory's viking albums. The keyboards also play a more prominent role than in Planeshift, with a lot of long keyboard solos that are clearly influenced by later Burzum and maybe the ambient Ildjarn albums, as well as a more integral part in the background of the music. While the production here is excellent for a demo, the keyboards are often used to provide what seems like fuzz in the background, but said fuzz eventually changes tone and becomes an important part of the melody.

My criticisms of this demo are the same ones I have of many songs on Planeshift--the drum machine isn't always quite in time with the singing, and the swirling melodies have too many dead ends. There are times when Rustam approaches the technical mastery of Nokturnal Mortum, but the problem is not in technique but theory and understanding.

All that said, this is probably the best and most serious attempt that I've heard at combining classical music and black metal, and it really ought to be more widely heard.