This band was founded in 1994 in Moscow by a poet and musician named Ash. At that time the band played hard industrial music (which they characterised as industrial-metal), in 1995 the band ceased to be in its old form, but later in the year it was re-animated as a duo with Ash and Ilya Lipkin, this duo became the base of the band and so it had been up to the present moment. In 1996 the band recorded its second demo (the first was created during the industrial period) "The Dream That Destroys The Dreamer". Then the band began moving in the direction of dark folk, it turned to acoustic instruments, new musicians appeared (they played violins and cellos). In 1998 the bands recorded the "Playroom" single, which contained three songs and was supposed to be the promo single for the "...of Shadow and Its Dream" album, but the album in question is still being recorded and nobody knows when it will be accomplished. Russian Gothic Compilation presents "Playroom".
"When Angels are Neutral" - 1994 (demo tape)
"The Dream that Destroys the Dreamer" - 1996 (self released album)
"Playroom" - 1998 (self released CDR-single)
Russian Gothic Compilation - "Playroom" - 2000 (CD)
NEUTRAL "The Dream That Destroys The Dreamer" - 1996
This demo was recorded by the new line-up: only ASH represented the former, and even his tastes in music have changed. The style had experienced a large injection of melodic dark-wave with plenty of samples: "The head of the victim evidences thirty wounds..." The music is eventually very gloomy, not structurally, but judging by the lyrics, sample text and ideas. Ilya Lipkin is a real professional: his guitar was always to the point, the drive created the atmosphere, and when the guitar was leading, it gave the very mood to the songs. A very revealing episode was in " A Small Piece of Reality", featuring samples of speech of people talking near the hospital in Budenovsk, occupied by Chechen terrorists. The mixture appears shocking: the frightening reality of war and the magic of almost-pink-floyd harmony. This song is strongly recommended as a lullaby for our president, Boris Eltsin, but due to these non at all magical realities in the samples, he isn't likely to fall asleep.
NEUTRAL "Playroom" - 1998
ASH is an interesting person. Hardly have I liked the second psychedelic-industrial demo of Neutral, and in "Playroom" I already hear dark-wave, moreover, not the happiest one. And then it turns out that, though the single was released in autumn 1998, at present Neutral play dark-folk! But let's return to the single. It consists of three songs. The first is probably the best: ASH (vocals, keyboards) and Ilya Lipkin (guitar) show all their power. The second song is 100% pure dark - wave. I was surprised to see the guitar used less frequently, which was much to the point. And there are female vocals. The third thing features Wolfsblood reciting his own poem. The arrangement seems to consist of samples only, but nevertheless the atmosphere is depressive.
NEUTRAL "Playroom" - 1998
This is a wonderful "gothic music" debut of a band that is already well-known in Moscow as a more cruel and possessing an angry album "When Angel Are Neutral" (the review was published in the second issue of the "Naproch" fanzine). "Playroom" is the result of three-year-long work of the musicians with mysterious and lyrical sound, 100% gothic, done very eagerly, and after all, exquisitely beautiful. The bleeding girl on the cover is very nice (there's the classical combination of red and black), the sound is perfect and the lyrics in russian on "Chambers Of The Past" appears much more impressive than singing and reciting in english on other songs. An ideal soundtrack for a horror-movie. The only disadvantage is that this gothic is too "concrete", not like anything else and not very new, either. This can easily be explained by the length of the MCD, but nevertheless I strongly recommend it. I'm looking forward to listening to the full-length album, and besides, it's Russian Gothic Project that supports the band, and this is the only organisation in Russia that really helps our gothic sub-culture. The vast website of RGP is full of useful information concerning gothic music, lifestyle, poetry, graphics, etc. For a more deep understanding of NEUTRAL I suggest you visited this site and read some of Wolfsblood's poems that are available there. I hope "Playroom" will not become an LP for the private use of the musicians.
ASH - vocals
I.Lipkin - guitar, mandolin
Shelley - guitar
E.Voronovski - violin
(c) 1999 Russian Gothic Project
Design by Chthon (c) 1999