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Tchornobog - Tchornobog Award winner

by Clarissa "Wulf" Wright at 02 October 2017, 11:45 AM

As the sole member of TCHORNOBOG, Markov Soroka brings us a storm for the senses in the project’s latest album, also named “Tchornobog”. This is not entirely a solo act, featuring the drumming of Magnús Skúlason from Svartidauði and the growls of Greg Chandler from ESOTERIC. Having been released to the world on July 28th this year, this album combines death and doom metal to create an ethereal and post-apocalyptic atmosphere. Its four lengthy tracks are not easily digestible, but better suit the image of regurgitation. The first track "The Vomiting Tchornobog” adds to this image, and is just over 20 minutes long. It really throws you in, with raspy, yet deep and wholesome vocals that overlay percussive rhythms. Doom metal influences are soon revealed when the music slows into deep, moody breakdowns with sustained guitars. I noticed the consistent and powerful bass that reverberates throughout the music. With the right speakers, it is enough to get your stomach vibrating. The putrid screams of the vocals transcend to high pitch screeches against this heavily bass-ridden backdrop. Approaching the middle of the track, silence is followed by more vortex filling vocals, as sustained, reverberating guitars are reintroduced. At this time, I did start to wonder if I could expect anything different to come up, from the consistent repetition. Though, this just kept me invested and waiting for more to follow.  As the song progresses, blast beats accelerate the momentum behind the gasping vocals, followed by uneasy guitar riffs.

“Hallucinatory Black Breath of Possession” has an unforgiving entrance with its expansive whirlwind of distorted chaos, leading into pang-y guitar sequences and machine-like blasting of the drums, followed by the subtle taps of toms and cymbals. As the speed picks up, hints of piano, and metallic chimes paint the atmosphere, in a not-quite melodic but catchy tune. The momentum really progresses towards the end of the song, while the discorded guitars and metallic chimes build up in unison. As the end approaches, it starts to feel like everything is starting to melt (or maybe that was just my brain?). “Non-Existence's Warmth” begins with an underwater soundscape, where a shuffling drum rhythm on the hi-hat gently frames the despondent and muted guitar melody. Unexpectedly, saxophones take the melody further, before the wall of guitar distortion, rambling double bass and whirling vocals progressively return. The repetitive drone of the guitars sent me into a sleepy-trance, until three-quarters through, when it diverted into sustaining guitar screeches. As the music thins out and concludes, aquatic soundscapes and a man's echoed mumbling adds to the ethereal mystery.

As the album draws to a close, the despairing and taunting drones sequentially interweave, and the sense of discord that pervades throughout this music reminds me of the feeling of discord from my own mind's inner demons. This is just the inspiration of Markov Soroka speaks of - "I believe that everyone has their own TCHORNOBOG that they are constantly wrestling with and have their own ways of coping with it. This is mine.” “Tchornobog” poured me into a mesmerizing pool of chaos, led with death-metal style guitars and blast beats, and interludes of psychedelic doom. For me, it conveys a post-apocalyptic other-worldiness, which matches well with the unusual album cover. Said to be influenced by metaphors in religion, psychological disorders and hallucinatory natures of the human mind, I see how this music reflects these complex ideas.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Vomiting Tchornobog
2. Hallucinatory Black Breath of Possession
3. Non-Existence’s Warmth
4. Here, At The Disposition Of Time
Markov Soroka - All Instruments
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records


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