Истина (Istina)

Album Title: 
Познание тьмой
Release Date: 
Monday, October 13, 2014
Review Type: 

Istina is the name of some goddess, an evil female entity that wants to create / give birth to forceful creatures in order to destroy the world. This queen did inspire many bands before, amongst which this duo (M. and N.), hailing from the big Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk (Russia, at the river Yenisey). ‘istina’ is also the Russian word for ‘truth’, so actually I am not sure if there’s a connection, to be honest.

Since everything is in their mother tongue, i.e. the lyrics as well as all information in the booklet, and since my Russian tongue is nearly as good as my Swahili or Antarctic (penguins need to talk too, not?), I cannot add much more information that I found in the digipack, but I know that the title means something like ‘cognition of darkness’.

Anyway, this self-released album, having a total running time of about seventy minutes, opens with the scarifying, neo-symphonic introduction Создатель, which grabs your attention immediately. But things start getting really interesting as from the next song on, Глоток сознания. It brings very ominous, atmospheric, little funereal and obscure Black Metal with great variations in speed, the addition of wonderful acoustics (not original either, yet perfectly created right here), and a dense, suffocating sphere. The vocals (by N.) are of a mostly raspy kind, hysterious and possessed, yet they do certainly add that specific touch of utter grimness. Fantastic they are, I think. And the instrumental part, well, I did mention the variation is speed and the addition of acoustics. But this highly melodic material dwells in between the likes of Depressive / Funereal / Atmospheric Black Metal at the one hand, and dissonant, misanthropic and anti-human morbidity at the other. Add, on top of it, moments of Dark Ambient or post-gazing Dark Folk with a Cascadian spirit, and it does explain a lot. In general, the tracks sound little hypnotic, partly because of a certain repetition (executed very well right here), and partly because of those (semi) acoustic excerpts throughout about each single piece. But the sound too has to do with the final definition of this band’s identity. The production is rough, lo-fi, even primitive, but it does go extremely well with the abyssal compositions. Though, maybe some more polishing might have this stuff given an even more impressive result? Even though I am not completely moved whole the time, there are no minor moments at all. And once in a while it really surprises, by craftsmanship (song writing and performance) rather than by innovation.

Anyway, Познание тьмой has become a very attractive recording, at least for those who like to dwell in spheres of grim morbidity and desolate landscapes of despair. If you can make abstraction of the little inferior production quality (the mix actually sucks), you might get aroused by this album. I think it’s worth checking out!