That’s a photo of legendary blues guitarist and singer Robert Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938), except it’s been altered with the addition of the Russian fur hat, the bottle of Stoli vodka on the bench, the forest background, and the flames (?). It’s the cover of a 2012 album dedicated to Robert Johnson’s memory. The album is called Сибирский Блюз, and it’s by a Russian black metal band named Пердящий в Темноте. You may ask, “What the fuck?” And I will attempt to answer your astute question.
First of all, I’m relying entirely on Google translate for the English version of the band and album names in the title of this post (though the band name could also be “Perdyaschy In the Dark” and “Пердящий” (or “perdyaschy”) could mean “farting”, which would make the band name Farting In the Dark). Perhaps one of our Russian readers can weigh in on the accuracy of this rendering.
I have a little more information about the band and the album, but not much more, despite spending a ridiculous amount of time on internet detective work and Russian translation:
It seems to involve six people, one of whom now seems to be dead. The principal vocalist (the one who seems to be dead) dishes out everything from horrifying cracked-glass howls to falsetto operatics to Tuvan throat-singing. The two guitarists are assigned one stereo channel each on the recording. The drums seem to be programmed. The band seems to have released at least one previous album, with a translated title of In Vain (2010), and perhaps an earlier one called Transcendental Irrefutable Existence (2009).
Siberian Blues includes 12 tracks and runs for almost 1 hour and 20 minutes. It includes a Mayhem cover (“Freezing Moon”, except it’s called “Freezing Sailor Moon”) and other song titles such as “I Despise LaVey – Respect Lavash” and “Sinister Misanthropic Dristalovo Under the Pine Trees On the Mystical Moonlit Snow” (or at least that’s what Google translate tells me). The album may or may not be released by an underground Danish label called Hikikomori Records.
Okay, that’s about it. Now that we’ve got the sketchy facts out of the way, here’s the rest of the answer to that “What the fuck?” question: The music is obviously created partly in jest, but it’s really an amazing accomplishment. In fact, though it’s an uneven work, it’s one of the most endlessly interesting albums I’ve heard all year — and where it’s strong, it’s very strong.