Apr 142023


(Comrade Aleks has it right — Затемно (Zatemno) is an out-of-the-ordinary black metal band. Almost everything about the band raises questions, and so Aleks asked many of them in this new interview.)

Russian black metal project Затемно / Zatemno (“After Dark”) appeared in Sergiev Posad in 2011. Back then its members were Vasily Suzdalsky (vocals, guitar, drums, accordion), VVurd (guitar), and Japetus (bass), who left the band in 2018. The accordion is not a typical instrument in this genre, although you might remember two bands that occasionally add it to their arsenal, but Zatemno is an atypical project in itself, even if we’ll leave the accordion behind.

The EP Into The Ashes / Во прах (2016) and the full-length In the Noose / В петле (2019), released by the British label Aesthetic Death, gave many black metal fans something that is now difficult to find – an original concept and non-trivial musical solutions that fit well into the black metal format and ideology without unnecessary antics and pathos. It’s something that’s better to be experienced personally.

Alcoholic delirium as a method of communicating with the other world, the voices of devils pushing for suicide, the gloomy spirit of the Russian hinterland, and black anger were also embodied in Zatemno‘s second album In Hell / В аду (2022). Vasily labels it as “obscurantism and cemetery jazz”, and we had a conversation with him, as I don’t really know what that means. Continue reading »

Mar 312019


I had decided to limit this week’s column to advance tracks from forthcoming albums, but then couldn’t resist adding a single-song EP that was released on Friday (by that band in the post title with the mile-long name). I’m hoping to do another SHADES OF BLACK round-up devoted to highlighting a few recent albums, but since it’s only an idea right now, I’m not going to call this post Part 1; Part 2 may remain only an idea, depending on how the next 24-48 hours go.

Obviously, I really like everything you’ll find in this collection. Some of the music is so scorching it might leave you with third-degree burns. Other tracks are more atmospheric. And I think you’ll be surprised by some of what you find here as well. So please do give everything a chance.


On their last album, All Hail the Swinelord (2015), This Gift Is A Curse made music that ruthlessly takes you apart and sends what’s left of your mind into a very dark place. It was stupefyingly heavy, implacably savage, and frighteningly eerie. We premiered one song from the album and a video for another song, but I failed to review the whole thing. I’ll have a second chance to do right by this Stockholm band, because they now have another album on the horizon. Continue reading »