Gardarika progressive/thrash metal band
Forming in Moscow in 1995, Gardarika’s first release was as part of cassette collection entitled "TTM-V" (1997). Their first demo recordings "Gayda" ("Гайда") came out two years later. In 2008 the group released their first full-length album, "Kupava" ("Купава"). It consisted of eight songs, all in Russian. The album incorporates elements from a variety of metal subgenres, basically a classical heavy metal with elements of thrash, folk and progressive metal, with clean vocals, thrashy guitars riffing, a lot of guitars solos and accented bass lines. With their second album, "Chthonica" (2012) the band switched to writing and singing in English. The music became more heavy, and the proportion of progressive metal distinctly increased. The third album, "Khemosynthesis", released at the end of the 2014, continues the line of its predecessor. The year 2015 finds Gardarika working on their fourth album and getting ready to resume concert activity.
The current lineup of the band is Alex Izgarny (vocals), Ivan Aleshin (guitars), Serge Kuryavin (bass) and Alexey Petukhov (drums). The guitar parts on the "Chthonica" album mostly were performed by Ivan Aleshin except some of guitar solos provided by Eugene Orlov. All the guitar parts on "Kupava" were performed by Denis Katasonov.
The group philosophy of Gardarika is that while heavy metal has been around for a long time, there is still a lot of mileage left in the beast. They feel that with passion and introduction of new musical ideas and influences from outside the metal realm, creativity and originality are still possible in heavy metal, and believe that proper melding of different genre into heavy metal can create spectacular results. Accordingly, the musical style of Gardarika is the mix of modern and classic metal with strong influence of Russian and old European classical music. Also the music (and lyrics) is quite provocative and full of hidden quotations, allusions and allegories.
An important consideration when understanding any musical act is that their core values and ideals are often reflected in the sound and vision of the group. When it comes to such ideas for Gardarika, that means a lot of intriguing concepts showing up in the music. In some ways the group reflects (as does the human condition, really) a duality. They understand what destructive hatred is and know how to enjoy it. Yet, they also express compassion and intolerance for the suffering of others. They understand despair and anguish, yet also understand eternal hope. In addition, on the one hand, the band members consider themselves to be cynical and sarcastic in regard to trends in society. But, at the same time, they realize that struggle with trends is also being a trend and find this situation quite funny.
While Gardarika is not recognizable across the world yet, the band keeps working on it. That might be a lofty goal, but the band has a talent, vision and drive to make the effort toward making it happen. Through their passionate and genuine expression and love of music (and particularly heavy metal) they create a sound that is powerful and unique. It is such kind of commitment that ultimately brings success. Those looking to learn about all things Gardarika can point their web browsers to www.gardarika.com. Full songs are available for streaming there and at gardarika.bandcamp.com and soundcloud.com/gardarikametal.
- Gayda (Гайда)
- Hostage (Заложник)
- The Unforgettable (Незабвенная)
- From Obscurity (Из небытия)
- Bonfire of Mine (Мой костер)
- Messiah (Мессия)
- Dead Angel (Мертвый Ангел)
- Kupava (Купава)
- Hive Mind
- The Night and Unbending Intent
- They Live
- Of Pigs and Men
- My Veiled Kingdom