It seems that more and more bands (though still a small number) have been springing their albums by surprise, with little advance notice and no preview tracks, and the Ukrainian powerhouse Kroda did that at midnight last night, launching a new album named Selbstwelt on Bandcamp (though I confess that I was given an opportunity to hear the album in advance of that release).
Selbstwelt (The Land of Selbst) is Kroda’s seventh full-length studio album and joins a discography that also includes EPs, live recordings, and compilations. It follows a live album, Kälte Aurora – Live In Lemberg II, and is the band’s first studio release since 2015’s Навій схрон (Navij Skhron) (reviewed here), which was a significant departure from most previous Kroda releases, consisting of six ghostly and chilling ambient-music tracks and three black metal songs (including an electrifying cover of a song by Kroda’s countrymen Nokturnal Mortum), each different from the others and all still different in some ways from the pulse of Kroda’s past music.
Selbstwelt can be understood as both a return to earlier times and as a culmnation up of the band’s career so far. In Kroda’s own words: