Friday, June 6, 2014

Vapor Hiemis - Пламя Зимы

I loved this album. I'm going to say that up-front. In fact, I've recently listened to several different black metal releases (of varied styles) that all have a legitimate chance to make it into my top 10 albums of the year. This is one of them.

Vapor Hiemis are a black metal band from Belarus. Last month, they released their first full-length record, which I haven't the faintest idea how to pronounce, entitled Пламя Зимы.

These guys did something really unusual, and it is always exciting to me when strange ideas work. This could be just another in a line of very good European pagan black metal albums. Instead, the band chose to fuse that style with electronic dance music. It sounds like it would be a weird blend, but it actually works shockingly well. The electronic beats are layered into the music in a really natural, seamless way. The EDM side steps into the spotlight at times and it plays a large role in the overall sound, but it never overwhelms the album. The resulting sound allows the black metal to take the front seat, with the EDM sitting beside it controlling the air conditioner, while the pagan elements (with what I'm pretty sure are synthesized bagpipes) provide backing splashes of atmosphere and flavor.

In terms of the pure metal end of things, everything works just fine. The vocals are a fitting black metal rasp, the riffs are energetic and they provide a solid backbone for the songs. As I said before, on this front the band is a solid outfit. It's the unique stylistic blend of the other elements that elevates the record.

If you're somebody who really doesn't like electronic music and doesn't want to see it encroaching on metal territory, you will probably have some major issues with this. Personally, I really enjoyed it.

Grade: A

If you like what you hear, you can buy the album pretty cheaply on Bandcamp here.


  1. That was weird.

    Regarding the title, it apparently translates to "Winter Flame". I used Google Translate to find that out.

  2. Thanks, I don't know why it didn't occur to me to do that.

    And yeah, I have a feeling a lot of people will just find this weird. That's okay though, I can only speak for what I like.