Album of the Month

The debut full-length from Greek band Automaton is weighty, sludgy, coffin-lid-slamming Doom perfection.
(Read more)

Random band

Long-running cult demo band which plays traditional doom-metal with a slight stoner touch. Very epic music with somewhat of a heavy-metal feel due to the wailng...
(read more)

Shakhtyor : Tunguska

An unheralded musical jewel: Shakhtyor's crystal-clear blend of instrumental Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal.

Existing in those elusive shadows between Doom, Sludge, Post-rock and Atmospheric hardcore, playing hide and seek with those various aesthetics, sounding like one, then transforming into another, this German trio's musical material is hard to pigeonhole, and that's an idea to embrace. Rather than adhering to a single style, why not try several styles, either hybridizing them into a single sound or interchanging the musical plot with various "approaches" that slightly differ in shade? Not unlike many other bands playing that intangible style, these Germans sound often like a French atmospheric hardcore band (Year Of No Light and such) or country-mates Omega Massif, having a more 'ritualistic' approach; yet that guitar fiddling and the tremolos conjure the advent of the Black metal aesthetic; especially on that hyper-sped track 'Schlagwetter', where the band sound like a full-blown Black metal act (and a good one, too!). But that's an anomaly of course. An anomaly, yes, but a case in point about how versatile this German combo can be and a proof that all heavy styles of metal are connected, separated only by the speed of the music or the vocals (in this case, the lack of vocals): speed it up and it becomes Black metal, slow it down and it's Sludge or Doom. 'Tunguska' seemingly is monolithic, having one presiding style and sounding like your habitual Post-metal offering, but all that changes after you listen to this album's gargantuan, sweeping riffs, a massively crushing and gigantic sound, excellent yet simple and super-engaging song writing skills and an ominous, often pessimistic atmosphere.

'Tunguska' speaks in tongues, other than the human one, of course. The album needs no vocals, as it expresses musically everything it needs, and perfectly so. As gloomy as the cover artwork, as massive as a black, porous, dense and huge boulder rolling downhill and decimating everything in its violent path, this little unheralded musical jewel is a great find personally as well as for those who want to discover how far good music can reach and what it can accomplish - how profoundly it can express itself and its myriad of emotions and visions - how accurately and elegantly it can speak even without introducing a human voice. That's a challenge, if you think about it; because without the vocals, what you see (hear) is what you get; no covering up of mediocre music by a set of lungs that would probably try to blur the incapacity of the tunes to express themselves adequately.

In that regard, 'Tunguska' is crystal-clear, its music fully exposed, naked and raw for the listener to judge. No additives added, none are needed. The music's clarity plays with our minds and fucks up our souls.

So yeah, that's a great album to showcase the ability and power of (good) music, never mind the style or genre. Go listen to it, or something...

Click HERE to discuss this review on the doom-metal forum.

Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Baryon
2. Pechblende
3. Zerfall
4. Schlagwetter
5. Tunguska
6. Solaris

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes

Visit the Shakhtyor bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-06-06 by Chaim Drishner
Rotten Copper
Advertise your band, label or distro on doom-metal.com