Music Reviews

Artist: Otzepenevshiye
Title: Razryv Svyazi
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Zhelezobeton (@)
Rated: *****
'Razryv Svyazi' is Otzepenevshiye's first major release in the 11 years of the band's existence. This industrial death/doom/sludge metal outfit was originally formed in 2006 by Evgeniy Voronovskiy (Cisfinitum), Dimitriy Zubov (Hypnoz, Zub off Sex Shop), and Ivan Napreenko (Sal Solaris, 016), but after some time transformed into the duo of Ivan and Arnold_pR (Reutoff, Myrrman). Otzepenevshiye have had tracks on numerous compilations previously, but their only full-length album ('For A Knife') was in collaboration with the band, Vir. Now here they are alone (for the most part) in all their noise-infected walls & slabs of distorted guitar glory. On the second CD features collaborations with the bands Circle of Unexisted, and Vir, and also remakes of compositions by Banda Chetyryokh and Theregothon. If all this sounds obscure to you, you are not alone; you'd have to have a familiarity with the Russian underground doom metal scene to really know any of these names, but that's what I'm here for. The first thing you need to know about the music of Otzepenevshiye is that it's (mostly) instrumental. Any vocals/voices used in the music seem to be strictly incidental or ephemeral, save for a couple of tracks on CD 2 but we'll get to that later. The second thing you need to know is that the title, 'Razryv Svyazi,' means 'Disconnection,' if that's in any way helpful. Some of this might even be described as "doomgaze" as there is a strong reliance on atmosphere even over content and form in some cases. There are only five tracks on the first CD (still 71 minutes) but they're all rather long, ranging from a little over 9 minutes to a little over 23 minutes each. It starts out innocuously enough with some drone and slow paced doom drums, but when the squalling atmospherics and eventual mass of distorto-guitar and other noise-sonics kicks in, you'll feel you're on Jupiter with all its gravity bearing down on you. It's pretty oppressive all the way through. The second track begins with some ostinado bass guitar that moves into a sludgy, heavy groove that just seems endlessly endless. (Yep, this is the 23 minute track.) To be perfectly honest, the first CD was a bit hard to take- a depressingly slow crawl through a bleak, nightmarish landscape eternally. Great walls of guitar noise block your path at every turn as the doom drums beat you into submission. Some people are really going to love this though as I know there's market out there for this kind of music, especially when it's as well done as this is. There is some variety in form and content on the first CD but not nearly as much as on the 2nd CD. CD 2 has more tracks and of shorter duration (approximately 8-13 minutes each), also with more sonic variety and form. I noticed more industrial aspects on the 2nd CD as well as ambiences. Some songs go through a number of radical changes before they play out which adds some spice and keeps things from getting dull. There's also more melodic content in places. Overall I liked the drum-work/rhythms better on the second CD as well. Even the atmospherics seemed more refined than on the first CD. In fact, there are parts that are industrial drone dark ambient, and I love that kind of stuff! There are two tracks with vocals - (Title in Russian I can't really duplicate) where a voice just barely above a whisper recites the barely melodic melody, and "The Black" where the vocals are sort of screamed in the background. For me, the former was preferable to the latter, but whatever, it all works. While most of this is not my prime kind of music, I'd recommend it to those who crave industrial death/doom/sludge metal; it's worth seeking out. Comes in a neat glossy double slipcase, and my copy had 3 interestingly gloomy postcards, one with photos of the band members who look unsurprisingly wretched.

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