Two mini reviews: Selma – Phoenix and Human Nihility – Last Stage of Abuse [2015]

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Our favorite Ukrainian tertius_decimus is here to review two albums from Ukrainian bands Selma and Human Nihility.

With low feeling I’m submitting two bands from Ukraine. Two previous articles were dropped, forgotten and lost among many e-mail messages. Those were doomed to never see the light of the day but nevertheless, I still have strong intention to discover some goods for you from the land of sheer madness.


 

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Meet Selma, a sludge band from magnificent city of Rivne (or if in case of Russian-speaking transliteration manner, Rovno). Ever wondered why saxophone has had its way to metal in too limited occasions? Why the sound of that native jazz instrument which IMO suits just perfectly in thick metal mix appears so rarely that in the year 2015 we still haven’t even talked about sax-driven metal as a tendency? I protest!

Listen to this sad, sorrowful material. To be honest, I don’t get that sludge thing, it’s just not my cup of tea. I found sludge to be too slow and boring, however in this particular case slightly faster tempo and traditional way of composing does the job of turning my mind against itself. It’s not just gritty and skronky as you, guys and girls, used to like, but also melodic and atmospheric — and that I love, big time. Like in case of post-rock band from Japan called “Mono”, the atmosphere comes from slow guitar line with clear sound. For soundscapes alongside with low note count per beat, you’ll hear Mono-specific tremolo technique. On top of it sits frail melodic tenor sax singing. The bottom of the mix is present by crumbly bass and dirty distortion. Riffs are simple, rhythmic, heavy and crushing, yet they tend to change the vibe from time to time, emphasizing otherworldly yet beautiful atmosphere. And then there’s dirty vocal as the icing on a cake.

Hope, this little review will break through and you’ll discover Selma and enjoy Phoenix as I did.

VK, Facebook, Bandcamp.


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Second band in this roundup is Human Nihility.

As you all know, something went a little bit wonky somewhere at the border between Russia and Ukraine. “Something” is an actual understatement, because even inhabitants of the Central part of the country have almost no knowledge about inhabitants of the Eastern part, who did what, or what the hell is happening. And those Easterners do nothing to break cliches and stereotypes formed back at the very end of the USSR, a quarter of a century ago. Nobody has an interest in either side, political and economical arguments rise above all discussions leave the culture unnoticed. Can any of you name any significant cultural act from the Eastern Ukraine? Don’t blame yourselves if you can’t, those who live in Kyiv can’t do it either. Nor can inhabitants of Lviv. Donbass is a mysterious place, like a black hole. Everyone has heard of it but none have seen it. However, in the post-USSR space there’s a widespread rumor that the East is the heart of the metal scene. You may haven’t heard ’em but they have left significant footprint nevertheless: Acephala (brutal death), Balfor (black), Brilliant Coldness (technical death), Mental Demise (brutal death), Phantasmagory (psychedelic/progressive death), to name a few. Human Nihility certainly have everything to fall into the category of the most notable region-specific metal acts as well. Their relentless, dry and powerful death metal in the vein of Dying Fetus is nothing to fuck with. The band has no bandcamp page yet, but you can check them on their VK-page (Russian analogue of the Facebook) or download an archive from the file hosting.

Now, the most confusing part: the band was originated in Lugansk, it now suffers hard times to write new material, rehearse and put out new releases together. Making that 5-piece short EP was very hard for them. War with Russia has torn the band into pieces: guitar player and bassist choosed to stay in the city of origin, two another (originally from Debaltseve where the battles were the most severe) moved to Kharkiv and Lviv respectively. And the last guy (on the photo below), who even isn’t a member of the band officially, now resides near Kyiv. He, however, heavily influenced the band by writing the material and by sharing it with the band at rehearsals. You can hear his crushing riffs in the third song. Escaping from turmoil, he couldn’t take all his belongings, so he have left his guitar at home and thus have stopped writing music. I’ve heard his unusual riffs in person, trust me, it’s an awesome thing! I do hope he’ll find a way to buy another one and will become full-time member of the band. Also, he’s very talented painter. I wouldn’t tell a word about his impressionist’s works. Take a look.

VK, download

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Photo by me.

My friend’s Deviant Art page.

  • Good write up dude. Will give these dudes a listen after work.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    listen to PHOENIX-Selma “filth”–in the op–full vol
    while watching this–full vol
    -https://youtu.be/1T-62uxbMBM

  • sweetooth0

    I’m digging that Selma stuff!

  • Óðhinn
  • Human Nihility EP if you can’t use VK’s player because third world country connection:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF2M9-1BMYg

    Tertius, this band rips, the bass is rumbling with too much groove in front of the drums, it’s a good production.

    The Selma band uses this nervous tremolo (like Mono, great band), and it gives a great balance between the melodies and the caustic parts. Loved the sax, it’s very beautiful how it’s circulating in the distortion. I think C. probably will dig this, too.

    Thank you so much for sharing this good music. Stay Tertius.

  • Sir Tapir the Based™

    I dimmadarn dig Selma.

    T. Tapiiri setä

    • tertius_decimus

      Grymt snygg och förvånansvärt bra musik. Så glad att jag hittade det här bandet.

      • Sir Tapir the Based™

        I thought you were from Ukraine, but turns out that you’re a DAMN DIRTY SWEDE!

        • Gider ikke , min ven Tapir Finland. Vi også gerne Danmark.

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            Voi vittujen kevät!

          • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

            Onward, Swedes, to Finland and tapir burgers!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP1JEsBY94w

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            Swedes can’t come in, we’ve got gay repellent!

          • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

            They’re over Helsinki as we speak………

            https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/304765388_1280x720.jpg

          • tertius_decimus

            Thyrfing’s best album.

          • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

            Their newest one is pretty badass too. They don’t have any bad albums that I know of.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            THEY’RE MULTIPLYING!!

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            THE DANISH ARE COMING, THE DANISH ARE COMING! Quickly to the shelters!

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            I haven’t got a one!

          • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

            Where Iceland is already waiting!

          • Sir Tapir the Based™

            But I don’t hate them.

          • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

            Mwahaha, look at my newest post right above this one!

          • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

            How you understand any Icelandic is beyond me. That and Finnish are nothing alike, and as much as I LOVE Moonsorrow I still can’t remember more than a couple of their song names.

          • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

            Too late, Tapir’s already one of them!

        • tertius_decimus

          🙂

        • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

          Sænska koma til þín fyrir tapir kjöt þinn !
          Nú allir tala þig eins Sesame Street kokkur !

          http://www.olofssonfamily.se/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/SwedishChef.jpg

  • Guacamole Jim

    Good shit!

  • Dagon

    Ukraine is one of the places I want to go to the most when it comes to Europe. Hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later.

    When I think of Ukrainian metal, I think of the best band name ever: Stoned Jesus.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-vSYlJ_b9Q

    • tertius_decimus

      If ever you’ll find a way to visit, please drop me a message!

      • Dagon

        No doubt about it. Hope it happens in the next 3 years.

        Changing subjects, the last dude’s paintings are really good. This is beautiful.

        http://pre14.deviantart.net/873f/th/pre/f/2015/046/a/b/garden_in_nijnebaranikovka__lugansk_region_by_dismwork-d8i7zik.jpg

        • tertius_decimus

          By the way, our Venezuelan friend Link keeps asking me from time to time when I’ll restart my photographic activity. I’ve done massive project covering Dismal’s work. If this subject is of any interest for inhabitants of Toilet, I wouldn’t hesitate to share the article full of photos.

          • Dagon

            I would love to read your words and your pictures.

            You don’t even need to write a lot if you share a lot of images.

          • tertius_decimus

            True. So, it’s up to Joe to kindly permit it. I’ll start writing tomorrow. Since it’s 0:35 in Kyiv now, I need some rest. I’ve slept 2 hours yesternight.

          • I’m into it – when you’re ready, put it up as a draft in WordPress and we can talk from there!

          • Yay!

        • Malted Hate

          Really beautiful stuff!

  • TERCIUS!!! was so stoked to see your name attached!

  • FUKKBEARD

    That Selma is rel gud.

  • Malted Hate

    Best Ukrainian band: Semargl

    • Malted Hate

      “Genre:Black Metal (early), Dance Pop/Mallcore (later)”

      • FUKKBEARD

        I looked this up to make sure it was real. it is.

    • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

      Gadzooks, this is lolbuttz!

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Selma sounds pretty good. The feels are strong with this one.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      Sounds like a sludgy Alchemist

  • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

    It’s been a while since I’ve heard Balfor. Good stuff! Ummmmmmmmm, cultural aspects of the Ukraine? Mila Kunis?

    http://www.vettri.net/gallery/celeb/mila_kunis/Vera-Wang-LA-Store-Launch-Party/Mila_Kunis_Vera-Wang-LA-Store-Launch-Party_Vettri.Net-35.jpg

  • Kevin Nash & Friends

    A music festival is going 5 minutes from my house. This festival has these guys as well as some newer bands. Should I go? I must also add they haven’t announced all the artists yet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9HL4RZR-Vk

    • KJM

      Take every chance you can get to see Jorma.

      • Kevin Nash & Friends

        I might go because it’s 5 minutes from my house and there will be more artists added apparently. I hope it becomes a yearly thing.

  • J.R.

    That sax. Nothing cuts right to my soul as fast as a lingering sax and some haunting steel guitar.

    I cvnting hate all the saxophone in the choruses of all these hip-pop songs. One guy puts a sax drop in his chorus and now every song on the radio is **build up build up build up SAXOPHOoooOOOoooOoOoOOooone** and some annoying little man “rapping” around it.

    Of course complaining about the state of “pop” music is pointless.

    Also Tertius that deviantart page has some really good stuff. Pass on our words of adoration to your buddy for us!

  • Treasure from Ukraine! Thanks Tertius.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    god bless the people of the Ukraine—
    for kicking the crap out of the commies–in their govt
    a good lesson/and inspiration–for America –and the world
    all 3 at once–full vol
    https://youtu.be/Q9lr0K6fig0

    -https://youtu.be/91RNPQCTgm8

    -https://youtu.be/uS8YWAisP7M

  • Selma is interesting tertius, they make excellent use of the sax. It’s mixed perfectly so it doesn’t overshadow the rest of instruments. Human Nihility does sound very much like Dying Fetus and that’s never a bad thing when you can play as well as they do. Hope the situation in your homeland clears up soon. I can’t imagine what life is like over there with all the unrest.

  • Lacertilian

    Some of those paintings really appeal to me, thanks for sharing @tertius_decimus:disqus

  • KJM

    R.I.P. Sir Dracula

  • DeadButtDreaming

    Cabbage rolls.