Couple months ago, I got a message from a band to check out their music. The band was Tacit Fury from Moscow, Russia and my interest was piqued. I liked what I was hearing. I was happy to know people on the other side of the globe were giving my humble blog a their attention, so I figured I'd return the favor and shed some light on some epic metal over there.
I had no idea Russia even had a real metal scene. My experience with it was limited to Pseudogod and Tvangeste, and I thought the latter was Swedish when I first heard them. I asked the front man from Tacit Fury, Enoth, about the scene. Most bands comes out of the cities in the western quadrant of the country, particularly Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Not many bands have broken out of the local scene, but a few exceptions are the folk metal band Arkona and the heavy metal bands Aria, Catharsis, and Epidemia. I attempted to get in contact with these groups for questions, but, alas, I couldn't reach them.
When it comes to music, there are two things that immediately come to mind when it comes to Russia: folk and protest. Arkona, and many other bands on this list, integrate the rich history and culture of the Slavs into their art. There's plenty of similarities with the Nordic culture that has nearly become synonymous with metal-- thanks to some crossover from the Varangians: warrior storm gods, great heros, and the ever-constant struggle between paganism and Christianity.
As for protest, Russia's government and its people have had a complicated relationship. One need only look at the punk rock collective Pussy Riot. The band has fought for years for women's rights and against a regime they deem tyrannical. Their arrest on account of "hooliganism" and the coverage failed to extinguish them-- it only fueled the fire more. Now I don't know if any of the bands I'm about to talk about have a political slant to their lyricism, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone was saying something important. That's my take on it, at least.
But enough of my attempts to analyze. I'll have to have a chat with people and maybe visit the scene sometime before I can really dig deep. Now, let's take a look at some of these badass bands! I've decided to add the specific sub-genre in as well. Figure this'll be a favor who like or dislike particular styles. My old way was more of a gamble. I like to live dangerously.
Proggy Thrash Metal
Black Metal/Crust Punk
Proggy Doom Metal
Black Metal/Crust Punk
Funeral Doom Metal
Stay heavy, my friends.