[Reviewed by: stark]
The first track is driven by the beating heart of a Eastern industrial metropolis. It has a post-punk / cold wave vibe, obviously, but at the same time it breaths with a raw metallic feeling. It’s quite cold music, rhythmic and catchy, yes, but also making an impression as if it was created in a ruined post-communist factory. This is contrasted with the surprisingly warm vocal of Natasha Ilminsky, the only member of Nož Nad Lesam.
Natasha started her project in 2014, and to up to this date has released two full materials. “ДОМ” was created in 2019 and it must be clearly stated that, with all its harshness here and there, it is a catchy thing right from the first listen. It may not be surprising stuff, but it provides a bit less than fifty minutes of ecstatic dancing in a rusty, damp production hall. This music stands at the intersection of the paths taken by Lebanon Hanover on one side or Haus Arafna on the other. And with these automatically evolving connotations, it is impossible not to get the impression that Natasha fully consciously refers to the place she comes from, to her legacy, as this music is thoroughly saturated with Russian (or even Soviet) spirit, and not only due to the native language of the vocals. Anyway, what else can I say. Visit the project’s Bandcamp and take a look at the banner picture. This beautiful old Volga and the freight wagons in the background photo is a very appropriate reflection of the album’s atmosphere.
In the middle part Natasha slows down a bit, there are even fragments that may relate to dark ambient (like “Сын Земли [Son Of The Earth]” or especially “Тюль [Tulle]”, but at the end “ДОМ” becomes vivid and dynamic again, reaching the climax in ravishing “Ясенево [Yasenevo]” with wonderfully intertwining male and female vocals.
A very nice album, proving once again that the creativity of the Russian post-industrial underground is directly proportional to the area of their country.