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Льдина > Демо > Reviews
Льдина - Демо

Starting small if not quietly with demo modestly called ... "демо" - 70%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, January 14th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2022, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

A (hopefully) long and illustrious career in raw BM would be expected to start small if not with a bang but debuting such a career with a short demo, the opening track of which starts with the Titanic slowly disappearing into its murky watery grave among the icebergs while its horn is mournfully serenading would-be fans amid fog, a watery melody and deranged dungeon synth ambience, likely wouldn't be most people's idea of starting small (and sinking). Thus begins the path of new Russian horde Льдина (in Latin alphabet transliteration, "Ldina"), whose members Demonaire (all instruments) and Lord Morgentuuum (vocals) assure us they know where they're steering their ship – right into a vicious, biting racket of venomous hateful spider voices, tight rolling-thunder blast-beat percussion, no-nonsense guitar playing and an ominous background orchestral synth presence. The guitars seem a bit thin and underpowered in the mix compared to the bone-shaking drumming and that could be due to the acidic trashy nature of the production which makes the cymbals sound bristly and the drums very bellowing.

Yes, that was a big surprise, being lulled into a false sense of (non) security and thinking we're going into some murky underwater atmospheric depressive BM channelling all the way into Hell's labyrinths. The two tracks on offer feature very good song-writing and musicianship skills with Demonaire living up to his name thumping his heart and soul out on the drums, lashing out on the cymbals on critical moments of "Тверской Вой" and adding an ominous melody of glittering tone, deep synth ambience and the darkening mood. The second track "Твердь" especially jumps out at listeners with a jaunty folk-like melody and a percussion rhythm that becomes quite hypnotic while the wallpaper-stripping vocals scream and groan across the darkness. The cold synth wash goes on its own strange meandering journey behind the yowling and the screeches and the thumping music while the drums pound your head into submission. This is a really strange combination in a track lasting just over five minutes though at least the steely guitars start coming into their own late in the song and reveal their fuzz-noise toughness and tension.

Admittedly the two songs and the short ambient introduction don't tell us much about the depth and range of what Льдина are capable of achieving and we should hope that the duo are already beavering away on a full-length to come out some time in 2022. There is a fair amount of experimentation going on with sound, style, genre and mood in all three tracks, with flashes of symphonic BM and piano in the second song and the use of folk melodies in the third. The percussion is the outstanding element in both songs, keeping all the music and sounds together. The thin production hampers the band's sound with some of the more subtle layers within all but swallowed up by the drumming and the searing voices.

The combination of raw BM, dungeon synth atmosphere and hints that the music might be much more than what is offered here on this modestly titled "демо" could bring quite a few folks back when Льдина next put out a recording.