Andrey ('Coroner') of the RGP takes the project very seriously. Although most people outside Russia may not appreciate it, the land of Dostoevsky has a strong gothic tradition.
Having been isolated from the rest of Europe until relatively recently, the Russian music scene can be a little unpredictable when claims to genre are made. In the case of this well-produced and nicely packaged album, however, the only surprises are pleasant ones. There is a wealth of talent here, and we can expect to hear a great deal more of Russian gothic in the future.
I myself never really thought of Russia being Gothic. And in listening to
this wonderful compilation I am proven that there is indeed a Gothic
sub-culture all across the globe. All the songs sound great, bringing
different aspects of 'Gothic' from Celtic, to modern Gothic to 80's Gothic.
I myself think that these songs should be played in a Club if they have not
been already. I also think that people in the states should get a taste of
other music out there besides the usual Nosferatu, Bauhaus, The Cure..etc..
There is music out there like this great compilation that adds to the Gothic
scene a nice touch of everything that can be found in all other Gothic
bands... Very much enjoyable music..
A band coming from Russia is something rare, and, to my knowledge, this is the first time that a compilation featuring only russian artists gets distributed outside their homeland. The initiative of "The edge of the night" comes from the "Gothic Russian Page", a resource site about dark music in Russia.
The 16 bands featured here present a really wide range of styles. Staying in the boundaries of gothic rock, we get the bizarre batcave of Dvar, some classic goth rock with Canonis and Caprice, the medieval music of Djembe, a trip-hoppy song from Damsel's Dream (their "Elegy for rhythm-box" being probably my favorite song on the sampler) or the beautfiul progression of Cisfinitum. Except for Moon Far Away, none of these bands has ever released anything outside Russia, and, paradoxically, the production of the tracks is quite good. Overall, the sound is far better than what we could expect from demos.
Generally speaking "The edge of the night" has a very fresh and enthusiastic atmosphere. Even though the band some of the bands are playing is nothing really new, and some are slightly cheesy (the new-wave-influenced Lunophobia), none of the tracks have this unpleasant heaviness and repetition of some old and unoriginal european gothic bands. This is what had secuced me with the CD the polish band Artrosis released last year on Hall of Serman, and the same feeling is present here (some of the band, by the way, may remind of Artrosis's music).
"The edge of the night" is one of those CD you like and you keep listening to without really knowing why. Fresh sounding, enthusiastic, well produced, good initiative, curisoty: there are plenty of reason to check out and appreciate this sampler for the cold lands.
There are a lot of hot-spots for music today. Cross into Germany or
head towards Texas for industrial. Stop by Detroit for electronica.
Seattle has a strong EBM/electronica scene. NYC for its underground
trance/goa parties. UK has the goth-rock scene locked up pretty good.
But Russia? Do they even have music? A resounding "Yes!" comes from
the Russian Gothic Project - a loosely collected group of journalists,
organizers and musicians from the big red country up north. RGP just
released their first CD - a compilation upon which one can find a very
diverse and broad collection of music from some of Russia's contenders
in the dark music arena. I admit I haven't heard of a single band
listed here on this 16 track compilation - but frankly, that's what
compilations are all about. Introductions.
For the past three years the RGP have been working on the Russian Gothic
Page (http://www.gothic.ru) with an impressive layout, great design and
boundless collection of information on their scene. I urge you to check
it out if even for a second you think there is no gothic or related
scene up their way. They beg to differ - after perusing it a bit, I'd
have to agree. There is a strong scene there so it seems.
Also be sure to check out the Russian Gothic Project's compilation area
of their web site. On it can be found in-depth information on the bands
that contributed to the compilation, their music, contact information -
it's really an excellently done site. If there's any band here that you
like that you want to know more about, just swing by
http://music.gothic.ru/compilation_e.htm and you'll have everything you need.
A well put together, professional and informative CD and supporting
Now onward to the music of Edge of the Night. There are a lot of
musical genres shown here. From ethereal to experimental, rock to
electronic. This CD surely runs the gamut of musical make-up. But it's
a good representation of what Russia does have to offer to the scene.
Some good, some not so... but all trying their damnedest to put Russia on
the Gothic Map. Some advice on the CD jacket - use a stronger text. I
found myself having to retype web addresses as the text and
white-on-blue style used makes c's look like e's, etc. Onward to the
Canonis - Snow River
An ethereal, folky sound permeates Snow River. Canonis is a powerful
band with strong arrangement skills. The guitar leads off the track and
when other instruments step up they all come in at once. Vocals are
female fronted with a diva-like approach. Quite a good track, though
the large assortment of instruments can tend to mask the otherwise
Caprice - Princess Mee
Beautifully ethereal with medieval strumming, Caprice's "Music Of The
Elves" is bright and soothing. The vocals are female again, and very
well done, traipsing along a high-road path. Light and high, the wind
instrument (flute) and string instrument (violin I'm guessing) is superb
during the breakdown. You can almost see the faye in the woodlands on
this one. Princess Mee is good, albeit an acquired taste I'm sure. But
being a Ren-Faire type guy, I was right at home.
Romowe Rikoito - Elegy
Another ethereal style piece with heavy strings, Elegy differs in that
it is slower and moodier. It has a more morose sound and the vocals are
male this time - harmonic and slow. Might be a little too slow and the
instruments are extremely minimal, made up of a string chord progression
that remains throughout the track that doesn't change much at all - just
kind of sits there. There are other instruments that help out, but this
chord hold steals attention as it is set quite loud in the track and,
again, defies the other instruments by just sitting there.
No Man's Land - Falling Into the Night
Picking up the pace now with a goth-rock ensemble, No Man's Land's
Falling Into the Night is a well-arranged piece of music. Harking back
to the older-skool days with a more Curelike/Bauhausian arrangement,
Falling Into the Night has an impressive male vocalist and the
instruments are well represented with separate music scores that work
well together. Lyrics are in Russian, too. The mood of the song is not
lost to those who don't speak the language, however - the chorale
sections are very well done. A good male vocalist, as I said.
Neutral - Playroom
Back a little to the ethereal side of things where we began, Neutral
however add a stronger rock style to their strumming style. The
keyboard melody is cool and metal-tinged, the strumming guitars well
played, but maybe set a little too high on the pick-up. Male vocals are
low and bassy and forces the song to drag a bit. Could have used more
mix-up of the instrument scores I think. Pick up the pace a bit and add
a little shine to the vocals. Playroom gets so moody and angsty your
depression will implode you.
Dvar - Taai Liira
What the fuck is this? Industrial/experimental noise with an otherwise
nice beat, but what the hell is with the vocals? They scrape, whine,
tear into your ears and I SWARE TO GOTH it sounds like the dude is
saying "Arriba arriba ondele!" How the hell did a Looney Tunes mouse
get in the studio? Probably some of the most annoying vocals
since... well, hell, I don't even know.
Damsel's Dream - Elegy for rhythm-box
After Taai Liira I figured anything would be an improvement - but the
opening keyboard thinga-ma-jig of Elegy for rhythm-box had me running
for the Bayer. However, dump that annoying opening and the track isn't
too bad. A collection of vocals with a minimal beat and electronics,
the female vocals are twined against each other in an interesting
arrangement. The upper echelon vocals are kind of high though -
reaching for a soprano level that is almost mind numbing.
Phantom Bertha - Igni Natura Renovatur Integra
We're into the heavier electronics again. Russian lyrics done with a
Bauhausian flair, Igni has a deep bass line and interesting keyboards.
However, other than the drum track, that's about all it has. Very
minimal - keyboards, bass, metronomic drum line and vocals. It could
have stood to have more added to it, I'm sure. But otherwise a decent
old-skool punky song.
Dreams - Cloud of Dreams
Opening with flowing water and light thunder, Cloud of Dreams brings us
back to more of an ethereal nature, but this time imbued with
trance-like keyboard chords and flowing female vocals reminiscent of My
Scarlet Life. The beat track is bongo-style and very low key, allowing
the keyboards and vocals to mesh together in the first portion of the
song. A stronger beat/bass line comes in later, adding a definitive
rhythm to the piece. Quite well done!
Cyclotimia - Paradise X
Thought Russia was bereft of industrial dance bands early on in the
review, didn't you? Well maybe - but they have a strong up and comer in
the swirly Paradise X from Moscow's Cyclotimia. Combining a grooving
trance/EBM style with industrial samples and flowing synthesizers,
Paradise X is a very nice piece and definitely worth dropping the X to.
Later the drum rolls get more stompable, windy and keys get a little
technoish just to keep things moving along at a good pace. Rather
experimental in places, they could have laid off the music-swallowing
keyboard arrangements at times as well.
Lunophobia - Under the Snow
Synth-poppy, light, breezy, beautiful keyboard melodies, wonderful
female vocals. Under the Snow is a highlight of this compilation.
Fresh and new sounding and arranged with flair and aplomb. Whispered
vocal lines and, a bit later, a great bass line (albeit a little too
hidden under the keys) and drum track. Saint Petersburg bred some fine
musicians in Lunophobia.
Djembe - Tourdion
Fast violins and strumming guitars in this very ethnic track. Flutes
wind to the clouds with the violins later, twisting in and out of each
other. Gets slower and brooding later with added keys and a bongo style
beat. I can appreciate very much the quality of the violins here, but
I'm not sure it fits a "gothic compilation" A nice song nonetheless -
if you really try you can probably lump it into the ethereal genre if
you wanted to.
Kratong - Echoes of Sinking Ships
My other favorite from this compilation, Kaliningrad's Kratong create a
folk atmosphere with beautiful string arrangements. Vocals are
near-whisper and hidden beneath the instruments for a nice effect in
this case. A very emotional track with soul-tweaking instrumentals.
Moon Far Away - December of Times
Bells bells bells. Everywhere bonging bells. Non-rhythmic and not very
satisfying at the outset, the song at least grows after about a minute
of bonging around. Orchestrational keyboards blend in with the ringing
and suddenly there's a chick cumming her brains out on high. It's
better than the outset - but the chick is too loud and blaring on the
upper reaches of soprano. You could deafen the vet's office customers
with this track.
TNT Art - Better Than You
Opening with a sample down on society, TNT Art's Better Than You starts
like a chameleon - you expect to hear some heavy industrial. Instead it
goes into a very noisy and brashly orchestrated rock style song. The
arrangement isn't so good, with a very powerful keyboard/electronic mix
with heavy beats and bass. During vocal sections the heavy orchestral
soundings tone down so you can hear the guy talk.
Cisfinitum - De Profundis
Slow and droning. De Profundis is a sleep-inducing track with ambient
keyboard styles and a droning bass and drum. A little more is added as
the song moves on, but it never quite throws off the sleepy drone of its
rhythm. Female vocals that attempt to meld with the ambient synth
scores later on.
Now is your chance to be introduced to what is available from the goth scene in Russia. And I promise you, that you won't be disappointed with what you can hear on this compilation, particularly if you like the more ambient/atmospheric style of goth.
It kicks off with Snow River, by Canonis, and features ethereal female vocals, offset against guitars of a rather Asiatic feel. Atmospheric stuff.
Princess Mee by Caprice follows; this band hails from Moscow, and they are avowed Tolkein nuts. This is romantic, as you might expect, with somewhat Classical touches. It has a fairy-tale Prokofiev feel to my ears, and it comes this time with operatic female vocals. Next comes the rather wistful, ambient Elegy, from Romowe Rikoito, from Kaliningrad. This is for lost lovers to moon about to.
It is followed by Falling into the Night, from a band also from Kaliningrad, called No Man's Land. This is somewhat more gothy in style than are the previous tracks, or at least is somewhat Depeche-Modish. It seems a little bland in comparison to the next track Playroom, from Moscovites Neutral. Here are glutinous, Eldritchy vocals (and very Russian-sounding) but set against melodic Nephilimesque guitars, with that elusive Eastern edge again.
Dvar, who come next, are mystery-mongers, occultists according to the blurb I was sent, 'with an unknown location.' Anyway, their offering, Taai Liira, presents an experimental sound of howling vocals, chanting and chuckling against urgent background furniture. I can just hear the savage Steppes in this, though I also suspect that this could be a pretentious lot.
Next comes Damsel's Dream, and this was reckoned to be Moscow's answer to Portishead, by someone to whom I played this. Elegy for rhythm-box features chanting too, from a female vocalist. Musky, disturbing, this has to be one of the darker jewels from this gift box of as-yet unknown talent. Phantom Bertha from St Petersburg come next, and with Igni Natur Renovaur Integra, offer a straight-down-the-line track of traditional Sisters-style goth. Not bad, though.
The mood in the track is very DCD: Cloud of Dreams by Dreams is an ethereal hymn, with angelic soprano vocals. This could be one for Enya/Clannad fans too. Cyclothymia, however, with Paradise X, is definitely far more electro in style: Moscovites, and definitely urban, though still somewhat ethereal. Another St Petersburg band follows: Lunophobia, with Under the Snow. This is pleasant enough in its way, though a little twee by my tastes, a little poppy. There is nothing poppy about Djembe, however, with Tourdion: this comes, and is intended to sound as though it comes from, straight from the Middle Ages: it is a folky, dancy instrumental. This, were there vocals, could be Russia's answer to Ataraxia.
There must be something about Kalininograd, as Kratong hail from there too. Echoes of Sinking Ships is a slow, wistful track, featuring low-key strings as well as guitars; just as you thought this was going to degenerate into 'Streets of London' sentimentality, though, this hits you with sinister chuckling and mutterings at strategic moments. The bleak mood here carries on into the next track, December of Times, by Moon Far Away. This lot comes from Arkhanggelsk, which, I have reliably been told, is a cold place. This is certainly wintry, with lost vocals, opening with bells that recall Holst's Saturn track: overall, pretty atmospheric.
TNT Art deliver the penultimate track, Better than You. This has a vaguely Missionish feel, with husky male vocals, delivered in English; it is an engaging track, and seems to have reasonable commercial potential. Finally, we have Cisefinitum, with De Profondis. This is a longish instrumental, though with mere hints in the background of Enigma-style Gregorian samplings. The mood, however, is a long way from that of Enigma, though: this is melancholy, solemn in pace and in mood: a fitting conclusion.
There are some very intriguing new discoveries awaiting you on this album. The standard of musicianship is high overall on this album, too, so whilst there are some inevitable echoes bedsit cloning of old idols discernible on one or two of the tracks here, there is much that is new and mysterious on this compilation from this large and relatively unknown and isolated part of the world, too.
Das Russian Gothic Project ist ein loser Zusammenschluss von russischen Journalisten, Kritikern, Kunstlern und Musikern, die es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht haben, die russische Gothic-Kultur zu fordern. Neben ihrer Homepage (http://www.gothic.ru) haben sie mit dem auf 999 Exemplare limitierten und handnummerierten, grafisch anspruchsvoll gestalteten Sampler "Edge of the Night" einen bemerkenswerten Uberblick uber die russische Independent-Szene zusammengestellt, der beweist, wie vielfaltig auch dort die Underground-Musik gedeiht. Allerdings bietet die Compilation mit 16 Acts weit mehr als Gothic im engeren Sinne, wie man ihn unter der Pragung von Bauhaus, Sisters, Fields oder Mission versteht, sondern auch interessante Wave-, Neofolk- und Electro-Klange.
Mit Russland verbinde ich nun nicht unbedingt Gothic und all seine moglichen Spielarten. Das dieses Vorurteil aber absolut unbegrundet ist beweist der mir vorliegende und auf 999 numerierte Exemplare limitierte -Edge Of The Night--Sampler, der vom Russian Gothic Project zusammengestellt wurde, die u.a. Parties organisieren und auch fur die Website www.gothic.ru verantwortlich sind. Sehr auffallend an der Compilation ist, daú hauptsachlich sehr dustere Varianten des Gothic vertreten sind. Seien es nun Apocalyptic Folk Bands, Mittelalterlich orientierte Combos oder Vertreter des klassischen Goth / Wave-Rock. Rein elektronische Bands bilden die Ausnahme. Der Sampler halt durchgehend ein sehr gutes qualitatives Level ohne groúe Schwankungen oder Abfalle. Die bekanntesten Namen sind wohl Moon Far Away und Romowe Rikoito, die bereits vor einigen Jahren ein Album bei Triton veroffentlicht haben. Mein Favorit und absoluter Tip dieser schicken Compilation-CD ist allerdings Dvar, die mit ihrem -Taai Liira- eine absolut abgefahrene Mixtur aus Electro, Industrial und Ritual-Sounds fabrizieren. Kauft euch diesen Sampler und unterstutzt das Russian Gothic Project...
Russian Gothic Project is an underground project dedicated to the promotion
of gothic, darkwave and industrial in Russia. On this CD of this
organisation you will only find Russian gothic bands and it is limited to
999 copies. They offer a selection of the most famous or talented bands,
to show their scene in all its diversity. Sometimes you think you're
listening to a compilation album with bands like Ataraxia, Rosa Crux, Madre
Del Vizio. No need to tell you the music on this CD is of high quality.
You will certainly be surprised by bands like Caprice, Romowe Rikoto, No
Mans Land, Phantom Bertha, Cyclotima or Lunophobia. Different styles of
music, bands that are unknown in most parts of the world and outstanding
music make this album a must for everybody who is into gothic, wave and
such. Also good to know is that apparently most of the Russian bands are
not into EBM and electro. You will not be disappointed when you buy this
CD so get in touch with Russian Gothic Project to know more about these and
I was very surprised and eager when I found out that there was a Russian gothic compilation and which I would be able to review. Like all compilations there are variations in styles within the genre and, of course, within quality. The strongest contributions in my opinion are Canonis "Snow River", Lunophobia "Under the Snow" (there must be a theme here!), Kratong "Echoes of a Sinking Ships" and TNT Art "Better than You" (what about Phantom Bertha? /ikon).
But in all, I can honestly say that this is a very good compilation and it must be the perfect portal to what our fellow goths in the east have to offer, as I'm sure very few of you - just like me - are totally clueless regarding the Russian gothic scene today!
This is a compilation of the Russian web-page www.gothic.ru and features 16 tracks of Russian Goth-bands. I think especially for us Western people this is a very interesting compilation and we can learn alot from it about the bands in our neighbor-country.
The CD features a nice artwork and is professionally made. The sound is good, sometimes a little bit to weak but I think this is because of the origin of the material and it fits the atmosphere: underground-music.
Canonis - Snow River : Medival sounds, powerful Goth with synths and guitars and a angelic female voice. A beautiful song for fans of Ataraxia and Co,
Caprice - Princess Mee : A silent song with a medival touch, the vocals are classical.
Romowe Rikoito - Elegy : synthetic strings, guitars and melancholy melted into a beautiful, sad. Very slow with nice vocals.
No Man's Land - Falling into the Night : This is old-school Goth-Rock, very fast with good breaks and Russian verses sung by a moarning male voice.
Neutral - Playroom : A very slow and dark song featuring a dark male voice, Nosferatu-like music and a femal voice in contrast. The sung language is English.
Dvar - Taai Liira : Very grim and gloomy, almost a little bit black-metallish with a witch-like screaming voice. Very fast and a driving rhythm. An evil song.
Damsel's Dream - Elegy for rhythm-box : almost an easy-listening track with technoid beats and a ritualistic spoken text.
Phantom Bertha - Igni Natura Renovatur Integra : this one reminds of old Rosetta Stone! Goth Rock with a lamenting voice.
Dreams - Cloud of Dreams : clerical with a heavenly female voice, but the sound is not so good to bring all the brilliance of the track.
Cyclotimia - Paradise X : a heavy, slow electronic track that could also appear on a compilation for dark electronics.
Lunophobia - Under the Snow : quiet guitars, a bassline and a female Russian voice, singing and whispering. An acoustic picture of snow.
Djembe - Tourdion : folcloristic, medival music very danceable with a fiddle as the main-instrument. You can imagine a medival marketplace while listening this track.
Kratong - Echoes of Sinking Ships : A guitar-ballad with two voices: male and female.
Moon Far Away - December of Times : ringing churchbells and dark atmospheric sound together with a feary-voice. Very dark and mystical.
Tnt Art - Better than You : heavy Goth/Electro with a male voice, the tracks starts with a speech-sample.
Cisfinitum - De Profundis : a good closing-track for this compilation, sad, melancholic with silent strings and a dying rhythm.
Wow, das hatte ich nicht gedacht. Vor Jahren bekam ich durch Zufall auf einem Flohmarkt ein Tape einer russischen Goth-Band angeboten. Die hier verewigte Musik war sehr stark verwurzelt im Sound der Batcave Zeit, mit dem Unterschied der russischen Texte. Um es kurz zu machen, das Produkt wanderte ins Nirwana meiner Sammlung und war nie wieder gesehen. Mit diesem Sampler wird dies jedoch ganz bestimmt nicht geschehen. Die getroffene Zusammenstellung uberzeugt durch und durch. Von entspannten, vertraumten elektronischen Klangen („Dreams“, mein personlicher Favorit) uber neoklassisch elfengleiche Melodien („Caprice“) bis hin zu traditionellen Gothic Sounds („Phantom Bertha“) reicht die Bandbreite. Weisen zwar einzelne Beitrage Produktionsschwachen auf, so ist dennoch der Gesamteindruck mehr als uberzeugend. Bleibt nur zu hoffen, da? sich bald westliche Labels/Vertriebe dieser Bands annehmen und ihnen den zugegeben von Ru?land aus schwierigen Weg etwas ebnen. Fazit: Wenn ihr diese Compilation irgendwo angeboten seht, unbedingt reinhoren und zugreifen!
The Russian Underground project is CD compilation of the hottest and
upcoming gothic artists in Russia. This compilation captures gothic,
ethereal, and darker industrial artists. The CD has a lot of diversity, and
should appeal to many people. It is so nice to see that gothic music is
alive and well in Russia. With this CD, I would hope it would introduce
people all over to these promising acts such as Dvar, one of the darkest and
twisted bands with evil yells and shrieks of torture. This is terror at its
best. This is a more dark electro industrial track, definitely a song that
leads me into hearing more from them."Phantom Bertha" has great intelligent
drum programming with dark gothic vocals. This song is excellent and could
be compared to the Sisters Of Mercy. This a band that has something
magical, I just wish I knew what he was saying, since most of the songs are
all in Russian. Cylotimia's "Pardise X" creates mesmerizing electro beats
and atmospheric keyboards and captures an essence of sensitive music. I
definitely can see myself getting into this song on the dancefloor with the
fog machine letting out the dense fog. It is a dark moody song with melodic
ambience. "Djembe" takes an a more folk and dark fiddle sounds that is good
for a dark event and to dance around a pit of fire. Cisfinitum's De
Profundis has thick drum loops and creates a slow murky atmosphere.
Neutral's "Playroom" is an excellent song, and yes, finally a song in
English that is gothic has remarkable guitar with perfectly balanced
keyboards that shine though. This compilation has made me more of aware of
gothic/industrial music in Russia, and I am glad to see this compilation
bring the scene out.