Album Review: Burshtyn – Chtonichasm

Українська версія рецензії: Daily Metal

It’s time to hear from Kharkiv again. Earlier this month, Burshtyn released their new album Chtonichasm.

A specific work on the mix is sometimes a decisive factor about what mark will an album leave on its listeners. It was, along with their attitude and stage presence, what made them spectacular and powerful on Nothingarian. I was, ont the opposite, shocked by how their heaviness was removed on Chtonichasm. The drums went dull, the bass back to “normal” and overall the atmospheric work was diminished. It is not pagan in your face anymore.

However, it would be wrong to say there is nothing folkloric left although its musical retranscriptions went extremely rare. “Yiyi Natkhnennya Pektoral” is the most faithful in that vein. I’m glad they let the outro the time to be. The finishing following the last verse on “Urvyscha Bezmiru” is also part of the highlights of Chtonichasm.

Next comes “Khapun” and it needs an introduction. Khapun, in the west Slavic folklore, is a mythical evil spirit who kidnaps misbehaving children to torture and drown them in the swamps. This is the plot around which this instrumental was brilliantly composed. It reminds of old style cartoons soundtracks, with brass and whistles. It is very unusual, yet intelligently executed.

At times it feels like that some sections are not their best compositions but on Chtonichasm, there are good parts everywhere. You just have to prick up your ears to properly enjoy them while Nothingarian would grab them and not let go. The narrative is radically different here, and I think it was the hardest thing to comprehend with Chtonichasm. Even so, I still prefer the evil raid to the devil’s roam.

Header picture by Melissa Beugnies Photography

Chtonichasm is out now.

Burshtyn: facebook | bandcamp | youtube

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June 10, 2020 12:52 PM

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