We regularly feature metal from all over the world on our monthly metal column, The Black Market, ranking songs by bands from Finland next to those from Australia, the United States, China … and in one instance, a band from the United States that pretended to be from China. It’s somewhat rare we get a band from Russia, though, which is a shame. It can be a bit harder to find, but there’s a lot of top-notch Russian metal out there. Like their Scandinavian neighbors, Russia has the cold climate and deep-seated sense of history that’s fertile fodder for powerful metal. And the one-man band Sivyj Yar is an exceptional example that we haven’t let slip by.
Like its two jaw dropping predecessors, Sivyj Yar’s upcoming album, Burial Shrouds, takes inspiration from the Russian countryside and rural life. Vladimir, the man behind Sivyj Yar, has crafted a unique brand of deeply moving, melancholic atmospheric black metal. That said, there’s often a sense of playfulness to his songs. Folk elements arrive in lush swells of mournful strings, which are both complemented and partly offset by the lively, organic-sounding bass. Vladimir enthusiastically kills it on drums — album closer “The Snow Shall Fall A Long While” is a prime example — and often opts for bright guitar tones. Still, it’s forceful and soaring stuff, and Vladimir’s howls carry a sense of urgency.
Agalloch fans might experience a sense of déjà entendu when they hear the first few bars of the title track. But unlike much nature-reverent atmospheric black metal, Burial Shrouds is rooted in a different experience, one forlorn and weary but resolute, with calloused weathered hands from centuries of agrarian life. Listen.
Burial Shrouds is out on 9/23 via Avantgarde Music.