Old Wainds
Zdes' Nikogda Ne Shodyat Snega...
[Zimargla Power]

Look up the Russian city of Murmansk on a map. See how far North it is located? How do you think a true black metal band from this city would sound like? Yes, as harsh and cold as the permafrost that surrounds those lands.

There are two ways this obscure Russian band can be looked at. You can either look at them as another faceless band trapped in a nostalgic rut, attempting to recapture what black metal used to be back in a day. Or, you can take this release for what it is: a fine slab of Norwegian-style fundamentalism. Naturally, all the black metal "new wavers" will be disgusted by it, while all the purists will welcome it with open arms.

Arrrggghhh!! Raw and raw and cold and raw. The music is RAW - you can even say necro - with deliciously vile vocals. This is nothing but total Northern grimness in its utmost orthodox form. It's like the band is stuck in a time warp somewhere between "Pure Holocaust," "Transylvanian Hunger" and "Pentagram." Of course, it's not as great as Darkthrone's best because very few bands can match the latter's delicately minimalistic melodicism. Neither does it quite reach the level of Immortal's warped, nearly ambient noise layers. Instead, Old Wainds chose to just go straight for the kill, assaulting you with uncompomising, blood freezing harshness and brutality. And they certainly left an impression upon me. A brief intro is followed by six raging, ice-cold tracks, plus the last, slower, more atmospheric song which effectively closes this opus. I approve, and if you don't like it, you know what they say: go listen to C.o.F. and D.B. or something.

2000 boris