Russian depressive black metal band Taiga has maintained a steady pace of material since 2014, putting out a full length each year alongside a number of EP’s. This year’s album ‘Cosmos’, the group’s fourth overall, finds band founder Nikolay Seredov pushing towards some new territory while also heading back towards some styles found on his earliest releases. Now joined by Satanath Records owner and Abigorum member Aleksey Korolyov on keyboards, ‘Cosmos’ is an exploration of the self and what happens as one pushes themselves outsides of those confines. Set for release on December 15th as a co-release between Symbol of Domination Productions and Final Gate Records, today we bring you a premiere of the song Жить.
The majority of Taiga’s previous material has been very guitar focused, and while the guitars once again play a central role in establishing a haunting, spacey atmosphere the emphasis on the keyboards gives this material a different feel compared to the group’s previous output. A short mid-tempo section early on quickly transitions over to blasting drums and a whirlwind of keyboard melodies and guitar work. The atmosphere is one of the elements of this song that I like the most, as there’s a natural balance between melancholy and chaotic, explosive instrumentation that channels a bit more traditional black metal. What’s also worth mentioning is that the recording gives equal emphasis to each instrument, allowing the keyboards to expand over your speakers and wash over you with ambiance without fully overpowering the guitar work.
Admittedly Nikolay Seredov’s vocals are likely to be what makes ‘Cosmos’ the type of album that listeners are instantly drawn in by or turn off fairly quickly, as he has one of those high pitched, ear piercing shrieks. It’s certainly not uncommon for depressive black metal and is delivered with considerably intensity and emotion, which is sure to be a positive for anyone that’s a fan of this particular variant of the genre. The vocal performance this time around recalls Taiga’s earlier releases, as in contrast to the last few albums where Seredov’s shrieks were front and center he’s much further back in the mix and it often sounds like he’s coming from bursting out from beneath the instrumentals. For an album that explores the idea of expanding outside of the space of the self, this seems wholly appropriate.
The prominent addition of keyboards on ‘Cosmos’ gives Taiga’s latest full length a different dynamic, channeling spacey ambiance and melancholic tones alongside a raw edge and tortured vocals. It’s a combination that is quite appealing, and if you find the vocals to be to your taste this is a release worth spending some time with. ‘Cosmos’ is out December 15th on Symbol of Domination Productions and Final Gate Records.
When last we visited the Russian atmospheric black metal band Taiga, roughly 14 months ago, their third album (Sky) was on the brink of release and we were premiering a track from the album named “Похоть“, which in English means “Lust”. Now Taiga are returning with a fourth album, and we’re again premiering a song, this time through a lyric video. This one is named “Стыд” (Shame).
The title of the new album is Cosmos, which might make you think of the vast mysteries of an endless, star-spangled void. But the concept here is an inner cosmos, a space in which anger, love, hate, decency, and other impulses and emotions orbit each other, colliding and exploding in ways that could lead to self-destruction, or to new heights of self-realization.
Once again the album is the work of Taiga’s multi-instrumentalist founder and vocalist Nikolay Seredov (from the bands Стахановцы and Funeral Tears) and keyboardist Aleksey Korolyov (from Abigorum and Satanath). It will be jointly released by Symbol of Domination (Belarus) and Final Gate Records (Germany) on December 15.
The new album should appeal strongly to fans of atmospheric black metal with a depressive cast, and “Стыд” provides a fitting introduction to what it holds in store.
While the music does have a bleak, depressive resonance, it’s quite a dynamic composition. And so although it begins at a slow pace, with grim distorted riffing paired with spectral chiming tones, it becomes a surging force, the drums hammering like pistons and battering like a hailstorm, the lead guitar and keyboards swirling and swarming in an incandescent frenzy, the bass bubbling and boiling. Deep growls force their way through this torrent… and then things change,
As the pace slows once more, that brutish growl gives way to soft, somber spoken words joined by a rapidly rippling melody. When the engine storms to life again, a shimmering, sorrowing ambient layer glides across the top.
The video below presents the lyrics in their original Russian language, but we have also been given a translation of the words into English, which you’ll find below the video. And we have also included a stream of a previously released track from the album (a free download at Bandcamp) named “Космос“.
Like hundreds of needles my sins that crawl deep in the night
Are warming my shame just like filth in complete absence of light
And while I’m slithering through glass shattered, my conscience in pain,
Euphoria obsesses my mind, like dust that runs through my veins
I’ll never find out my strength; it has never been destined for me,
But I shall grant you my soul, let it be smoothening nectar for thee
Mature hath we become and confusing weakness and fear
We covered our scars with the cloth, smiling but unable to feel
Mature hath we become and kneeling before feelings’ control
We were brought into line just like sheep; we’ve been stripped and devoid of souls
Euphoria obsesses my mind like dust that runs through my veins
Forever I shall be blind, but my spirit will liberate you from chains.
Translation by Denis Slobodyannik