By Greg Grose
I, Voidhanger Records
The murky, churning waters of the debut Tchornobog album are not waters to be traversed lightly. The riffs and production are clouded in a thick haze, where the music can be heard, but the delivery of the riffs sounds booming, cavernous and epic. The listening experience of the album is one that feels akin to being lost in a vast underground cavern, hearing sounds moving through the blackness but not quite being able to parse where they are coming from. The album sounds dissonant, hostile, and full of ideas.
Even as far as simple metal structure goes, the guitar playing is always strong and always driving but never flashy; things drift from moving at breakneck speeds to crunching to a halt and moving into slower, heavier passages. The way the songs are structured allows for a huge wealth of ideas to be displayed over the course of their epic runtimes, featuring both heavy, memorable riffs and quieter moments featuring saxophone and piano from time to time as well. One negative that the album has is that there seems to be little consistency through any of the its four tracks. Although the album is very consistent in tone, once the band finishes playing a riff, they seem more or less done with it. The album cycles ideas so many times over the course of any of its songs that there seems to be little reason the album couldn’t have been one giant piece of music. That being said, all the ideas presented on the album work very well, and Tchornobog’s debut is easily one of the strongest and most memorably alternative pieces of extreme metal to be released this year.I, Record Review, Tchornobog, Voidhanger Records