Year of release: 2020
Released by: COD Label
Rating: 8,1 / 10
The next unusual release from COD on the pages of Bagnik Zine. I sincerely hope that someone buys all these outrages. As far from my predilections all these urban neofolks mixed with chthonic haydogs are the COD releases are definitely not made with the back left foot. This is really good and deep music, just not for everyone, and I would not be surprised if the same Vivita, which I will talk about today, has fewer listeners than some fucking TANK GENOCIDE who has no listeners at all.
So, Alina Vivita is a Moscow artist, a tattoo artist (suddenly not looking like a monkey painted from head to toe, which is unexpected and pleasant; moreover, not a single tattoo is visible in her photographs) and a master of playing banjo. Vivita and her companions (THE SUFFERINGS) perform what the listeners call dark country, the musician herself - romances, the publisher - a primordial American gothic from the Russian wastelands (sic!), and would describe it with the broad concept of “cabaret”, but only partially. The release sent to me contains mini-albums from 2020 and 2016, and the first two of the seven songs from 2020' mini album persist in pretending to be the introduction to the doom metal epic. Only those who are accustomed to the sound of this instrument can find a banjo here, but I hear primarily aerial electric guitars and an acoustic guitar with an echo effect. It sounds, in general, very atmospheric and beautiful, although these are not really songs. On the third track, the tuba comes into play, and here the first salon notes are already cut through. And on the fifth, the dances begin in full. Actually, this is practically the end of this EP; the aforementioned tracks are followed by shortened version of "Romance" in Russian, and the final instrumental.
“A Hex” sounds almost identical technically, despite the 4-year difference. However, there is really a lot of country in the music here. This also applies to the style of performance and the basis of the mood. At the same time, “A Hex” is noticeably darker, although in some places it contains a hooligan devil in the spirit of the culture of the early 20th century, where the Devil is a sharpie and a vagabond from the dark side but not a destructive entity. The song “Blue Moon Baby” is very easy to imagine in Glenn Denzig's repertoire, for example. On “Stormy Day” and “The Swallow”, the lead vocals are performed by men, which adds an additional value to the collection; variability is good. All the songs included on the disc would make an excellent soundtrack for some not very realistic post-apocalyptic RPG. I imagine Vivita playing with her Sufferings in some Colonial Bar in front of a bunch of tired travelers in dusty clothes, whose faces are marked not only by the burden of ordeals, but also by ugly mutations.
I will not lie that I will listen to this collection over and over again - this is not my thing. But it must be admitted that the music here is strong, and in general everything is done conscientiously. Recorded and mixed masterfully, the performance is excellent, and there is no
ryazan accent peculiarities of pronunciation. Visual and imaginative solutions are very original. At the same time, the music is not sterile, like with MOTHER WITCH & DEAD WATER GHOSTS who play something similar in aesthetics but in the form of psychedelic doom-rock. The collection is released in a folding digipak and limited by 97 copies only. I would say that this is very little, but you still need to find a buyer for such a product. There are not enough texts on the spread, and this is depressing. Most of it is understandable by ear, but here and there I would like to read some sentences. For example, at the beginning of “Ballad of Accounting” there is a line where it seems to me “We wandered through the SS”, and all sorts of grotesque pictures immediately start to creep into my head. You can take a closer look at the digipak on a video.