Na Yazichnitzkai Zyamli
[Funeral Pyre]

Finally I got my hands on a black metal band from my homeland. Yep, Oyhra hail from Belarus, so you can imagine how excited I was. For that same reason, however, I was also afraid to be disappointed, although I heard positive things about the band. As a result, I kept postponing the listening procedure, but, of course, sooner or later I had to listen to it. Well, finally I did and - thank all the pagan deities!!! - it is pretty darn good. Not perfect, but very promising. Oyhra define their music as "neopagan," so there is no doubt about the ideology behind the band. Music-wise, Oyhra is, of course, a black metal band, but not without certain nuances. All lyrics are in Belarusian. The music displays numerous tempo shifts, from slow to medium to hyper-speed territory, as well as plenty of guitar solos. Folk influence is also very apparent, and all the better for it. The most interesting thing though, is the absence of a bass payer. The line-up includes two guitarists, a drummer and a keyboardist, but the deprivation of a low-end doesn't prevent the band from creating a convincing sound and good songs. Everything is done with great feeling and atmosphere. The production is pretty raw, but that's the case with many Eastern European bands since most of them can't afford a decent studio. But hey, since so many people in the underground are grumbling about Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir's glossy production, there you have it. In case you haven't noticed yet, Eastern Europe is a new hotbed for metal nowadays, especially for black metal. We all know about Poland, but countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria crop dozens of eager and talented young bands that are waiting to be heard. Anyway, back to Oyhra. I liked them. Sure, I have a soft spot for Belarusian bands, but if you are good - you are good, and Oyhra is good and that's that.

Funeral Pyre Productions
c/o Oleg V. Barozhinsky
p.o. box 17, 220030 Minsk, Belarus

1999 boris