Vyachoslav Ruhklov (git), Alessander
Larionov (git), German Smirnov (bs), Alexei Saveliev (keys), Musical
leader: Alexander Bobrov
- We Exist Without Feeling Our Land Underneath
- Introduction And Aria After B. Marcello
- Keep The Fire
C90 28449 003
red label 6500, black 6500, white
fairly known and highly regarded album, this one, but I've yet to see anyone
do a proper review of it, so here we go.
Even before putting on this record you can tell this is going to be quite
a different experience. The sparse yet gloomy layout, with Josef Stalin
gazing through an hourglass full of skulls, tells you this isn't exactly
going to be a trip down happy happy Helloween-lane. True, they do construct
many of their songs in a similar way, like the opener "Work!" for instance.
Fast double bass-drums, wailing harmony solos and what not, but thankfully
without the contrived smiley-face so often found on a western band. After
almost 8 minutes of very disciplined, highbrow Power Metal comes the descent
into Hades! The incredibly titled "We Exist Without Feeling Our Land Underneath"
is yet another example of the kind of pitch-black dementia you'll only
ever find on an old Soviet-Metal record. At first I thought of "Nothingface"-era
VOIVOD, but then I realized it was actually their PINK FLOYD-covers that
echoed in my head. Yes, this extremely dark and twisted piece merges perfectly
the sounds of Epic Doom Metal and V D G GENERATOR/early PINK FLOYD-style
dark 70's prog. A very special piece that must be heard by all.
.And from there they then cover this classical piece (*cough* filler!
*cough*.) that may interest the most degenerate fringe of the guitar-fondler's
guild, but personally I'll just pretend the song isn't there at all and
turn the album over. Side B isn't as schizophrenic as side A, which feels
like quite a relief and consequently saves the album from becoming too
much of a crossover-mish-mash affair. "Eleonora" is another exercise in
Russian gloom by way of double bass drums and guitar harmonies with a
superb, very melancholic chorus. Perhaps the best song on the album together
with "We Exist..". "Memorandum" is Power Metal meets RnR - once again
with classical music influences. A refreshing cocktail which works out
quite well, really! Semi-ballad "Nostalgia" barely deserves a mention,
but on "Keep The Fire" MAGNIT are back at their finest: Epic, hymn-like,
melancholic Power/Speed Metal with tons of classical leads. Despite their
ambitions to make grandiose, epic music they never really get too catchy.
It's like their pretentious attitude prevents them from getting too friendly
with the listener and in some weird way this ultimately works to their
advantage. They may not be overly accessible, but at least they're not
Although not the most common of the 'Russian Classics', I wouldn't call
"Dies Irae" a particularly hard-to-find record. Traders/dealers who deal
with East-euro Metal usually has copies in stock and I wouldn't recommend
paying more than 15-25 Euro for it. Like most Melodiya-releases this album
came in several different pressings. I've seen black, white and red vinyl
labels, each with some very minor differences in the credits layout on
the back. The red label pressing comes in a glossy sleeve, the black and
white ones in matt sleeves. Their exceptional follow-up album under the
name CREDO is a whole lot rarer though. More on that gem soon...