When asked to think of Russian musicians I found myself stuggling, with the only names that spring to mind being Pussy Riot (more famous for feminist protests than good music) and… erm… Tchaikovsky and Stravinksy? But luckily we now have an exciting new metal band to add to the list, in the form of Moscow rockers Triumphant.
The band formed around 18 months ago, and came together as former members of various Russian metal bands. The quintet of vocalist Serezha Raev, guitarists Vova and Andrey, bassist Kesha and drummer Egor have formed something pretty awesome, that sounds huge and is very damn heavy yet melodic when it needs to be. So we spoke to Serezha to find out more about our first ever featured Russian band, and first asked him to give UK metal fans a taster for the Russian scene.
He told us: “The Russian underground scene is quite abundant with good bands, we have a huge variety of styles and genres which they play in. Sadly, lots of them are already disbanded or on the edge of disbandment because here in Russia the underground scene is poorly developed and musicians, who waste their last cents on their hobby, are poorly supported. As an example I would advise to check these awesome bands: Slivers, Volan, Obscure of Acacia, Shokran, Wildways, Hellhound, Hellweed, Slaughter to Prevail, Rain on Their Parade.”
Moving onto the music is where things get really interesting, as the band’s heavy influence from the likes of Slipknot and Korn, as well as Sworn In and Darke Complex, is really telling. Their sound is largely insanely heavy, while retaining a melodic edge with it.
The best place to start is Serezha’s vocals, which not only nail the massive screams and the delicate melodic sections where necessary, but also sound remarkably like Corey Taylor in Surfacing, the final track on their debut album Overdosed as Slipknot are drummer Egor’s favourite band.
The album begins with one hell of a statement on brilliantly named opening track Ripbastards, which has more than a passing similarity in sound to Slipknot. It opens up with a piercing synth noise, bursts of guitar and a scream of “Bitch” then descends into metal madness with wild bass drums, big fast-paced screamed vocals and cool, massively low-tuned guitar riffs.
Faceless is one of the best songs on the album, opening up with an awesome jumpy low-tuned riff, then diving into a blitz of vocals, driving bass drum and rolling drums and guitar riffs. Following this wild start the band also shows its melodic side, with cleaner vocals through the chorus before diving back into the metal blitz.
The brutal heaviness of the band comes across in Patient 0, which starts out a big quiet riff then a huge smash of bass drum and a quick guitar riff intro. There’s Taylor-esque eerie vocals through the verse before diving into a massive , then more of the melodic side of things for the chorus. That’s swiftly forgotten by a cool high-pitched guitar interlude countered by huge low-tuned booming guitars and insane bass drum action.
The interestingly named Holy Bomb opens up sounding like early days Korn, then leads into a wild ride of furious high-pitched guitars and drum action in support of some massive screamed vocals.
The heaviness stakes are ramped up even further with the massive Breakup, which opens with huge smashes of drums, a funky high-pitched riff and massive screamed vocals supported by ridiculously low-tuned, ridiuculously fast guitar riffs. Check it out in the video below:
The album is brought to a close with a cover of Surfacing, which if anything borders on being better than the original. The instantly recognisable high-pitched guitars kick off, joined by low-tuned guitars and big bass drum then the big cry of “Fuck you all!” As mentioned, Serezha’s vocals are eerily similar to his Iowa counterpart if not even heavier. It’s an awesome cover version and a fitting way to bring a heavy album to close – check it out below:
We ask Serezha, a vocal teacher whose drumming compatriot Egor is a drum tutor, to describe Triumphant’s music, and he tells us: “I think it’s possible to describe as ‘a state of mind.’ There is an outburst actually: to scream, to act aggressively or even fall in depression under the melodic parts. We love different styles and get inspiration from all sides: hip-hop to electronic music and classic rock to metal.
“Triumphant is a band of enthusiasts. Every one of us contributes a lot in this project and tries to reach heights in music career. The more people know us – the more possibilities we have to create cool great stuff. But of course every one of us dreams to drop everything, get on tour and never work again!”
This is a band that could truly put Russian metal on the map, and has even bigger plans for 2017. Triumphant plan to release a music video and release new material later this year, as well as targeting more high-profile gigs with bands from other countries and outside of Russia.