Sep 092012

Moscow-based Roman “Arsafes” Iskorostenskiy is one of those uncommon musicians whose creative impulses are multifaceted and who has the talent to follow them with remarkable success, despite how divergent they are.

We first became aware of him through the striking music of his Indian-influenced melodic death metal band Kartikeya, about which much has been written here at NCS. Later, we discovered his involvement with a Russian pagan-metal band called Nevid (Невидь), which has produced four full-length albums, the most of recent of which is 2011′s Agarta, (discussed here). Most recently, he has also collaborated with singer Aleksandra Radosavljevic (ex-Destiny Potato) to create an “Atmospheric/Ambient/Progressive Metal” project named Above the Earth, who we featured here and whose debut EP is coming soon.

But in addition to all that, Roman also has an ongoing solo project named Arsafes. The first work of the Arsafes project was a solo EP called A New Way of Creation that appeared in 2010. We wrote about that here and in that same post provided a link for a free download of the EP.

Now, the Arsafes project has a new album in the works, which with luck will be ready before the end of the year — and today we are giving you the exclusive premiere of its first single, “.onslaught.čoček.”, which is now available on Bandcamp. It features performances not only by Arsafes, but also by drummer extraordinaire Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, The Devin Townsend Project, etc.), David Maxim Micic (guitar) and  Bojan Kvocka (bass) of Destiny Potato, and Fedor Vetrov (viola) (Veter Vodi, Nevid), as well as a cameo appearence by the above-mentioned Ms. Radosavljevic.

And if you’ve heard the first Arsafes EP, what you are about to hear is something very different, and it’s very, very good. Continue reading »

Jun 302011

We have all sorts of odd ways for picking bands to hear and feature. We pick them based on the appeal of their album art, or the sound of their names, or where they’re from. Sometimes we just mentally throw a dart at a list we keep for our MISCELLANY explorations (the people who watch over us won’t allowed us to have real darts — some bullshit about being a danger to self and others).

Now we’ve come up with a new method of sifting through the great unwashed hordes of metal bands for listening purposes: We decided to pick a handful of bands who, as of the writing of this post, had less than 100 Facebook “likes”. Of course, this tells you absolutely nothing reliable about the quality of the music; many godawful bands have five- and even six-figure Facebook “likes”, and some really good ones just haven’t been widely discovered yet. The low numbers do imply that the band is new, or at least new to Facebook. The bands we picked for this post have got some promising things going on with their music, despite the so-far meager “like” totals. Maybe a little attention will push their totals above the century mark.

In terms of musical styles and genres, today’s line-up is quite varied in their extremity: Melodic black metal from Oak Pantheon (Minnesota), deathcore from Above This (Virginia), death ‘n’ roll from Rudiment of Abhorrence (Washington), and old-school, face-melting death metal from Panic Disorder (Indonesia). Some of this music is also available for free download. Dive in after the jump. Continue reading »