We are told that Setoml was the ancient name of a river that flowed into the Pochayna River in Kyiv city, Ukraine. Mentioned in chronicles that date back to the 11th and 12th centuries, it was the resting place of parts of an army of the Turkic Pechenegs who were defeated in 1036 by Yaroslav The Wise and drowned beneath its waters.
Setoml is also the name chosen by a new two-man Ukrainian melodic black metal band, formed by Semenenko Anton (known as one-man project Luna) and Krivoviaz Serge (founder, vocalist, guitarist of I Miss My Death). In Setoml, Anton is the composer of all songs and performer of all instruments, while Serge is the lyricist/vocalist. Their debut album Reincarnation (“Перевтілення”) will be co-released on April 24th by Satanath Records (Russia) and Kryrart Records (Germany).
The song we’re presenting today, “The Shadows Path (Шлях тiней)“, is the track that closes the album. And like all the other tracks, it explores the reincarnation of the soul after death, the symbol of which is the night butterfly.
Produced in a way that conveys clarity of sound, and integrating ingredients of doom and death metal, the song is an evolving, instrumentally varying, and persistently engrossing piece of music that grows increasingly more intense but is shadowed from the beginning by emotionally dark moods — a shadow that never vanishes.
In its earliest movement, Setoml combine heavy, jolting riffs and rhythms with eerie shimmering melodic tones, hammering double-bass, and wretched howls and screams, interspersed with bursts of blasting percussion and raking chords. That provides a momentous yet chilling introduction, and as the song proceeds, dark and doomy arpeggios and shivering tremolo’d chords, as well as booming toms and accents of moody melody, channel an increasingly desperate feeling.
The vocals remain a furious, growling and howling presence as the song moves among these changing phases of gloom and misery. Ultimately, the song becomes more frantic and despairing as it moves toward a crescendo with layered guitar frenzies that shimmer, soar, and boil like ants on fire.
Setoml explain that almost all nations of the world represent the butterfly as a symbol of immortality. “According to beliefs, the spirit of the deceased person reincarnates in these night creatures and wanders endless spaces, as if in the other world…” As mentioned, all eight tracks on Reincarnation focus on ideas about the reincarnation of the soul after death.