Russian depressive black metal band Taiga has maintained a steady pace of material since 2014, putting out a full length each year alongside a number of EP’s. This year’s album ‘Cosmos’, the group’s fourth overall, finds band founder Nikolay Seredov pushing towards some new territory while also heading back towards some styles found on his earliest releases. Now joined by Satanath Records owner and Abigorum member Aleksey Korolyov on keyboards, ‘Cosmos’ is an exploration of the self and what happens as one pushes themselves outsides of those confines. Set for release on December 15th as a co-release between Symbol of Domination Productions and Final Gate Records, today we bring you a premiere of the song Жить.
The majority of Taiga’s previous material has been very guitar focused, and while the guitars once again play a central role in establishing a haunting, spacey atmosphere the emphasis on the keyboards gives this material a different feel compared to the group’s previous output. A short mid-tempo section early on quickly transitions over to blasting drums and a whirlwind of keyboard melodies and guitar work. The atmosphere is one of the elements of this song that I like the most, as there’s a natural balance between melancholy and chaotic, explosive instrumentation that channels a bit more traditional black metal. What’s also worth mentioning is that the recording gives equal emphasis to each instrument, allowing the keyboards to expand over your speakers and wash over you with ambiance without fully overpowering the guitar work.
Admittedly Nikolay Seredov’s vocals are likely to be what makes ‘Cosmos’ the type of album that listeners are instantly drawn in by or turn off fairly quickly, as he has one of those high pitched, ear piercing shrieks. It’s certainly not uncommon for depressive black metal and is delivered with considerably intensity and emotion, which is sure to be a positive for anyone that’s a fan of this particular variant of the genre. The vocal performance this time around recalls Taiga’s earlier releases, as in contrast to the last few albums where Seredov’s shrieks were front and center he’s much further back in the mix and it often sounds like he’s coming from bursting out from beneath the instrumentals. For an album that explores the idea of expanding outside of the space of the self, this seems wholly appropriate.
The prominent addition of keyboards on ‘Cosmos’ gives Taiga’s latest full length a different dynamic, channeling spacey ambiance and melancholic tones alongside a raw edge and tortured vocals. It’s a combination that is quite appealing, and if you find the vocals to be to your taste this is a release worth spending some time with. ‘Cosmos’ is out December 15th on Symbol of Domination Productions and Final Gate Records.