From parts unknown and with identities concealed, a new black metal band named Koldovstvo have quickly begun to make a striking first impression. Earlier this year the opening track of their debut album emerged, and at least in the crevices of the underground that I frequent it created a buzz of appreciation and set tongues wagging with curiosity. With the track we’re premiering today (“IV“), it’s a safe bet that the hype around the album will spread.
The name of that album is Ni Tsarya, Ni Boga (Ни царя, ни бога) — Slavic words that mean “neither tsar nor god” (and could be interpreted in English as “no gods, no masters”). The band’s name itself seems to be Russian for “witchcraft” or “sorcery”. These may be clues, or misdirections, concerning the band’s origins, or simply a distinctive way of expressing the group’s inspirations and intentions.
A possible further expression could be found in the choice of the painting excerpted on the album’s cover — a depiction of an elegant (and voluptuous) woman standing half-crouched on her bed, her back against the wall, her bedroom filling with water, and rats scurrying onto the sinking ship of her mattress. Even though we can’t see the emotions in her face, what we can see is a frightening vision of beauty and peril and fear.
As it happens, those sensations come through in Koldovstvo‘s music too, but what the painting might be missing but is ever-present in the music is the sensation of having been transported into a supernatural realm, a place (as the band’s name signifies) of mystery and magic, where the sorceries become entrancing but don’t completely veil the present dangers.