Album Review: Tchornobog – Tchornobog (2017) I, Voidhanger/Fallen Empire

Death Metal album of the year right here!

Let me tell you that I´m not a fan of cavernous death metal. I´m not a fan if that means NO songs whatsoever, buried drums, compression peaking issues and overall just mediocrity disguised as a malefic feeling. DO NOT FOOL ME.

Now, Tchornobog is cavernous death metal, but it is awesome in every single way you look at it. Sounds good, pretty good actually but not overproduced nor amateur, probably because this monster was recorded at Studio Emissary in Iceland by Stephen Lockhard, a now legendary producer that has worked with probably the best death metal bands to come from Iceland, and also one of the key players in the renaissance of the Icelandic scene.

Besides Stephen, the album is a two man affair according to their bandcamp page:

All instruments, concepts, and vocals composed by Markov Soroka,
Percussion & acoustic drums executed by Magnús Skúlason of Svartidauði.

Because of the minimal number of players involved, probably Soroka was able to infuse a sense of no bullshit when it comes to his vision which to me seem pretty clear and direct. The album has a decent to great ratio of death metal/doom/dissonance which means that could appeal to a wide number of metal heads. In my case, if it is too doom, I won´t care about it, if it is too dissonant, FORGET IT PORTAL! But I can digest a 100% death metal album even if it ends up being a bit boring.

First track “I: The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods of Cognitive Dissonance)” isa ll you need to embrace this álbum. A 20 minute track that has not a single moment wasted. Even the slower parts towards the middle of the song add a droning vibe that ends up becoming hypnotic and I´m not the biggest fan of things that take too long to evolve, but in this case that specific part is GOLD.

Track two “II- Hallucinatory Black Breath of Possession (Mountain-Eye Amalgamation)” is probably one of the most twisted on the album. It is high pace, it has some eerie arrangements at around 6.30 and the riffs are almost math-core but slowed down and made awesome.

With track three “III- Non-Existence’s Warmth (Infinite Natality Psychosis)” we start the journey into the depths of whatever Lovecraft story you want to get into. There is a random saxophone and a spooky and tense vibe that rules so so hard. The melodic guitar lines are outstanding and provide a ray of light into the pathetic existence of those like me who are sitting here in our asses while this man is able to conjure music this good. FUCK YOU. This track has a Cult of Luna vibe I would say and could be labelled post death metal.

Once we get to the bottom with “IIII- Here, At The Disposition Of Time (Inverting A Solar Giant)” we discover that we are fucked. Still this doesn´t stop the fun at all and the Tchornobog fest continues with more sick mid-tempo riffs and dynamic structures like the pure hellish death metal moment at around the 5 minute mark, the crescendo around 9.00 and its consequent final explosion.

As you can imagine I liked this album quite a bit for several reasons:

  • Came out of nowhere, at least for me
  • It had no promotional bullshit attached
  • It is a real and menacing musical experience
  • It is good no matter how you look at it

The only problem I can see is the duration of it which can become a hassle to find a moment to enjoy it. Still I don´t think it could have been trimmed at all as it feels like a journey. Now please let me finish so I can go and get this album from one of the following links below.






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