Sunday 14 January 2024

Ethir Anduin - Холод

Labels: Atra Anduin Records

Formats: Digital

Release Date: 17 Feb 2023


1. Вепсский лес

2. Север

3. Холод внутри

4. Залив чудовищ

5. Пространство

The temperatures are due to drop below freezing in the UK next week, so to prepare myself I'm sitting down to a lovely barrel-aged imperial stout and the newest album from Russian black/doom metal band Ethir Anduin. I first found out about them thanks to Alexander (of both Atra Haeresis and Atra Anduin Records). Contact between the two of us was initially made via Telegram (due to more conventional means of communication being unavailable) and then by e-mail. Ethir Anduin has been active since 2006 and up to now, they've notched up many releases including a demo, 6 EPs, 2 splits, 9 full-length albums (including this one) and countless singles. 

Холод contains five songs that stretch to over fifty minutes and is entirely in Russian. Opener ‘Вепсский лес’ is a sprawling, melodic doom song that seems to be very much influenced by Scandinavia’s own death/doom explosion. Even the vocals, while delivered with the coldness of black metal, nestle perfectly amongst the instrumentation. This is surprising as I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at first. It could have been super raw and lo-fi but on listening it’s anything but those things. It’s really well performed, produced and so enjoyable.

‘Север’ is a grand mix of atmospheric doom and more straightforward black metal, except for a couple of surprises. Firstly, more folk-like clean chants are used as they were in the album’s opener and secondly, the mid-section is filled with glorious woodwind/brass tones that add real warmth to the music. Used in more of a traditional way as opposed to being avant-garde, Ethir Anduin craft something really impressive and euphoric.

On ‘Холод внутри’ (apologies, I can’t translate Russian and refuse to use Google Translate as it’s not always accurate), you’re treated to a song that’s on a more traditional black metal trajectory, albeit one that’s never too far away from Ethir Anduin’s sensitive atmospheric/melodic guitar work. Another thing that you’ll be familiar with if you listen to extreme Russian bands is the use of midi/synths within their music and the band uses said accompaniments sparingly so as not to affect their organic sound. 

The album’s folk-influences peaks during ‘Залив чудовищ’, which is very much a folk-black metal song. It’s very rhythmic and engrossing, giving an insight into the band’s roots and the traditions of the people that reside in their region. I really appreciate bands that stay true to their nationalities, instead of trying to sound too much like other nations when it comes to musical styles. For example, if you’re trying to sound like an American band and you’re not from America.

This is exactly what I needed today and listening to this album feels almost meditative, especially with a potentially difficult working week to come. Album closer ‘Пространство’ is a thing of instrumental beauty, showing that there’s much more to Ethir Anduin than first meets the eye and ear. Overall, I’ve been blown away by this album. After not knowing what to expect, the individuals that make up Ethir Anduin have put on a fantastic musical display that is worth your time and then some. 

You can stream and download this album (name-your-price) from Ethir Anduin below:-

You can connect with the band via Bandcamp above or via below (if you're on that platform):-

Atra Anduin Records -

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