(In this new piece Comrade Aleks discloses his interview with vocalist Blizzard from the Hungarian black metal band Vorkuta, who returned with an EP this past spring as the first new music in more than a dozen years.)
You’re wrong if you think from a first glance that the “Vorkuta” name was taken from Tolkien mythology or something like that. This word came from the Nenets language and it means “filled with bears”. It’s a city right in the middle of nowhere — to be precise, in the Russian north, right beyond he Arctic Circle. The city was founded in a place surrounded by coal mines but it’s more infamously associated with “Vorkutlag”, a corrective labor camp, another cold and rotten hole in the Gulag system.
Who could imagine that a black metal band from Hungary would take “Vorkuta” as its name? However such a band has existed since 2002, and though it was silent for nearly 13 years it returned with a new EP, Wandering Alone in the Forest of Transcendence, in March 2021. Taking into account their very underground ethic (there’s just one full-length against eight split-albums in their discography), an EP seems to be a good option. This piece of cold atmospheric black metal could serve as a teaser for something more, and that suggestion was my first reason to get in touch with the band. This conversation with Vorkuta’s voiceman Blizzard may shed some light on the dark history of his creature.