Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vadikan-Hydrargyrum

Metal Scrap Records
2013

The roots of Moscow's Vadikan can be traced back to 2004 when, as nothing more then a studio-project really, guitarist and sound producer Vadim Pashutin (formerly of  Gross Grolland) first recorded a handful of tracks. It would take until 2007 (and the addition of vocalist Julia Tikhomirova) before all the pieces would start to fall into place though. Even then, as two demos were recorded and released before this full-length debut album, the band (and it's style) was in a slight state of chaos as they tried to hit on that one winning formula needed to keep the dream alive. It would take a few years, but in 2011 everything would change. Enter bassist Ilya Filipyev. In Ilya Filipyev the band found the one musician who would prove to be the last missing piece of the puzzle. Once fully assembled the puzzles artwork would look something like this: Gothic heavy metal with colorful shades of traditional heavy metal, melodic metal/melodic rock and doom rock. This combination, along with pleasantly strange pop and psychedelic undertones (not to mention blues rock!), proves to be more then a little effective. There is even sprinklings of electronic and symphonic rock hidden within the album's 9 tracks as well as some European power metal and neoclassical guitar. Whew! Despite all that it's actually vocalist Julia Tikhomirova, who is as lovely in real life as her pop-sweetened vocals would suggest, that ends up being the first thing you notice as "Hydrargyrum" kicks into gear. Even with the lyrics being in Russian you'll find yourself drawn into the music thanks to her alluring voice and her keen ability to convey the different emotional feelings that this album conveys. In her you begin to appreciate just what it is that Vadikan strives for. She remains the highlight of this album even after repeated listens. Close behind her though is guitarist Vadim Pashutin whose lead work is just spectacular. Whether the music is slow and dreamy and upbeat and intense his guitar playing fits the vibe perfectly like well-loved pair of gloves. With the pair of Vadim Pashutin and Julia Tikhomirova so easily able to feed off of each others strengths, and bassist Ilya Filipyev keeping everything in check (as his bass playing remains a steady point of reference within the album's landscape) the music within this debut-album takes on a life of it's own. The material on hand swirls about in this almost dance-like routine. Is it possible for metal to be both dreamy and doom-laden? With this talented bunch the answer is yes. While no credit is given as to who played drums (or for that matter who contributed the keys) on this album, which is a shame, credit still must be given to both instrumental endeavors. The overall effectiveness of these contributing instruments can not be overstated. Dreamy keys and a rock-steady beat only add to the overall appeal of this multicolored undertaking. As for the sound? Amazingly recordings for this 9-track album took place at several different studios in Moscow ( including Vadikan's home studio) and yet everything flows together perfectly and every aspect of this group (from the vocals to the drums) is right where it should be. The album, which was mastered by Finnish producer Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Apocalyptica, Sentenced, Theatre Of Tragedy, Entwine, The 69 Eyes) features artwork by artist Alla Bobyleva and a 12 pages booklet by Polish designer Marek "Ptys" Jastrzebski (Helloween, Hell:On, Quo Vadis). Those elements only serve to add to the overall appeal of this praise-worthy full-length debut album.


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2 Comments:

Blogger Big D said...

Sounds worth checking out.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

It is a different sort of album, but in a good way. It's like you have this good lead vocalist with a voice that would almost be better suited for pop rock or power rock and she is fronting this creative goth metal band. On paper that sounds so weird and yet it works!

9:04 AM  

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