On November 27th a consortium of labels led by the Ukrainian GrimmDistribution will release the debut album Stonewounds (Каменю рани) of Ukronakh, and they introduce it with these words:
“The Ukrainian project Ukronakh (У кронах) was founded in 2020 by Artyom ‘Voidger’. Ukronakh’s music combines genres such as atmospheric black metal and death metal, reflecting the personal inner experiences of the author, inspired by the atmosphere of the moss-covered forests of the Carpathians and the aesthetics of pre-Christian cultures of the northern peoples…. The album is saturated with the atmosphere of the damp Carpathian forest. The listener will have a story about the spirits of antiquity who wander the forest paths of the Carpathian mountains in oblivion and find no rest….”
We share those words because they are worth keeping in mind as you listen to the album track we’re premiering today, “Де журба обіймається зі злістю” (Where Sorrow Embraces Anger), although the name of the song itself provides a telling introduction to the thoroughly gripping music.
The sound of heavy footfalls in snow and a chill wind lead into swelling guitars, sharp snare strikes, and a heavy bass line. The reverberating ring of the guitars sounds like a choir of bells, with a mood that’s somehow both glorious and grieving. The music catches fire, the riffing becoming feverish and jolting and the drums hitting like automatic weapons. The vocals arrive in a throat-splitting scream, joined by the piercing trill of a sorrowful, but gripping, guitar melody.
The song methodically digs its way into the listener’s head, even as it continues to change, replacing one immersive riff and gripping rhythmic attack with another. Although the vocals continue to inflict scarring damage, the music becomes an experience of sweeping grandeur, driven to new heights by the electricity of the vibrato guitar leads. It’s the kind of very memorable experience that manages to be both heart-swelling and heart-breaking, both fiery and forlorn.
Stonewounds was mixed and mastered by Roman Sapozhnikov at Black Dwell Records. The logo, album cover, and illustrations were created by Ksenia Martynyuk, with booklet design by Aleksey Korolyov. Diana Shvygar was involved in the translation of the lyrics into English.
The album is a co-release of GrimmDistribution with Krasta Records, The End Of Time Records, and Kuyen Producciones. It will be presented in a limited jewel-box CD edition with an 8-page booklet, as well as digitally. More info is available through the links below, and you’ll also find there a stream of the previously released opening track “Коли тіні блукають” (As Shadows Wander).