Dec 012017


Today, Iron Bonehead Productions is releasing the debut album of the Ukrainian one-woman black metal band Ieschure, the creation of Lilita Arndt from Rivne, which is fittingly named The Shadow. We’re helping spread the word through a full stream of the album in this post.

As I listened to the album for the first time, I had a place in my notes where I just jotted words that came to mind, unbidden — words intended to express the atmosphere and emotional sensations conveyed by the music and the voices. And those were: haunting, preternatural, nocturnal, cold, depressive, sinister, hallucinatory, hypnotic, beautiful, and… perhaps most to the point… hopeless.



In one sense, the music is an unabashed homage to the particularly grim, frigid, and supernatural forms of black metal that sprang to life in the early ’90s, but it is spliced with other intriguing accents that give the songs changing shapes… albeit without ever allowing warmth or joy to rear their banished heads.

True to the music’s deep roots, the album has an intentionally lo-fi production quality, the guitars cloaked in a scratchy shroud of distortion or an ethereal shine of reverberation, the drums hitting in a muffled whump, the voices sounding as if they were recorded in an echoing crypt.

The album is book-ended by two largely instrumental pieces that, while not black metal, do successfully complement the utter bleakness of the songs that come between them. The introductory track, “Shadows From the Great Beyond”, is a slow, sorrowful, eerie, reverberating acoustic guitar melody backed by shimmering keyboards and tones that sound like a cross between the peal of a horn and the chiming of a bell, while the outro piece, “Through the Chaos of Voices”, is a classical composition performed by beautiful, grieving violins over the deep moan of a bass. There are vocals in this finishing piece — a plaintive clean voice on the brink of desolation, rising in a song of sorrow.

Clean vocals appear elsewhere in the album. They sound like the somber emanations of a poltergeist in “Eternal Wheels of Life” (which includes a grief-stricken guitar melody that drifts like smoke into a misting night sky), like the sound of agony in the frenzied and unsettling “Mystic Schizophrenia”, like the wailing of a witch in “What Waits In the End”, which includes sad, folk-like melodic accents against the scratch and scrape of harsh chords. The voice has a somber, gothic resonance in “Before the New Dawn Comes” (which moves with a persistent rocking beat), and soars with a beautiful purity in “Condemned To Death” (which helps make that song one of the album’s highlights).

But as you’ll discover early in the album, these clean vocal expressions share at least equal time with abrasive ugliness. This is black metal after all, and so Ms. Arndt proves herself capable of emitting excruciating snarls and shrieks, expressing torture or rage or both, in a truly harrowing manner.

The album turns out to be an intriguing trip, but a very dark one through shadow realms of sorcery and death.



The Shadow is out now via Iron Bonehead, available today on CD and digitally, with an LP version to be released a bit later.




  1. MOMMY!

  2. Sweet Satan these vocals are fucking atrocious

  3. Yeah…got to agree with the poster above me. Those vocals are…not so good

    • I’m struggling to understand this reaction. I assume you’re writing about the harsh vocals, but I don’t follow the judgment there. Most depressive black metal includes vocals that feel like they’re clawing at my eyes, and this is no different, and to me no worse. And her other vocal expressions, including the clean ones, I thought were very good. Explain!

      • I don’t know if I really can. Something about the way she sings the harsh vocals is very grating though. I had a hard time making it through the first song because of them

      • I read the first couple negative comments on the vocals and saw your reply but before reading decided to listen to the first couple tracks on my own.

        Some of the vocals come off a little funny sounding. Kind of like a warbling/howling which sometimes seems to jump up in the mix but lacks any kind of grit or gravel that might make it sound threatening or unsettling.

        Like you say, other bands do use this vocal approach and I do find that the music ties everything together in a way that the vocals begin to feel that they fit, at least in my listening experience. By the end I found myself appreciating the vocal diversity as compared to others of similar style.

  4. That’s great. That’s how Myrkur should have sounded from the start.

  5. Yeah pretty horrible I must say. Not everything hits though. Sometimes opinions only fall on very few listeners giving them. It happens.

  6. Wait, another one woman black metal band? Is that allowed?

    It has a very early 80s bedroom/garage death rock feel to me. Like if Rozz were still alive, he and Lilita would be rolling around in bat feces and razorblades, bleeding on each other, and recording filthy guitar and screams together. Makes me miss the 80s. Sort of.

    Not loving it, but it’s interesting.

  7. These one-woman BM bands should follow Emperor and not Ulver IMO…
    Her screams and cleans are excellent, but the spoken word is really cheesy.
    I get that it’s supposed to be slow in atmospheric black metal, but it gets boring really, really fast.
    I think her voice would be better with some blasting hardcore-ish meloblack a-la Totem Skin, Dödsrit and a bit of Ihsahn.

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