Friday, August 17, 2012

Russian Metal Week, Day 5: Коррозия металла - Орден Сатаны (1988)

Here is how it sounds in Russian: 'thrash tvoyu mat'!' (accent on 'yu' in 'tvoyu'). What does it mean? Fucking thrash!!! Of all the albums already reviewed here, this and, alright, maybe '86-88' too, is the heaviest one - back in the days, no one was faster, dirtier, more Satanic than good old Korroziya! Their music? See above for 'fucking thrash'. Their first live show? Most of the participants arrested. Their influences? Slayer, Venom, Mercyful Fate, Motorhead, Overkill. Even Master and late Obelisk were a lot more glamorous with their polished sound, thoughtful lyrics and acceptable image, but not these guys!

Коррозия металла - Орден Сатаны (Korroziya Metalla / Metal Corrosion - Order Of Satan)

Sergey Vysokosov - vocals, guitar
Roman Lebedev - guitar
Sergey Troitskiy - bass
Alexander Bondarenko - drums
Konstantin Smirnov - guest keyboards
Yuriy Orlov - guest keyboards

1. "СПИД" (AIDS)
2. "Героин" (Heroin)
3. "В шторме викинг и меч" (Through The Storm, A Viking And His Sword)
4. "Моторокер" (Motorocker)
5. "Чёрный террор" (Black Terror)
6. "Фантом" (Phantom)
7. "Аббадон" (Abaddon)
8. "Люцифер" (Lucifer)
9. "Седьмые ворота ада" (The Seventh Gates Of Hell)

What we're about to hear is a superb thrash LP, with surprisingly decent production values for the time, considering how underground and 'forbidden' the band was. The first song, 'AIDS', kicks off with blazing-ass-fast riff and brutal vocal delivery of Sergey 'The Hog' (Боров) Vysokosov. Of their influential bands listed above, I can't really compare him to any of the vocalists, maybe only to Chronos, but The Hog has a much lower voice. Also, this is seemingly the only song on this record where the lyrics make some kind of sense, telling that the AIDS plague is gonna drag everybody to Hell! From now on, it's all gonna be over-the-top Satanism and an assortment of violent imagery thrown together in a blender. The next song, 'Heroin', actually begins with a slow intro before switching into another speed metal number with chainsaw-sounding guitars and brief solos between the verses. This is why we love straightforward and brutal thrash metal, as it has the energy channeling endlessly through the listener's brain, forcing him to headbang to the beat up until the neckbreaking speed. 'Through The Storm, A Viking And His Sword' is a different story, as it's mid-paced, but heavy as hell nonetheless - a needed rest before another package of fast thrashers, the first of which is 'Motorocker'.

Anything said about other speedy songs here, can be applied to it as well - noisy guitars, evil vocals, monolithic rhythm section... and that's right, completely nonsensical over-the-top lyrics that would dominate Korroziya's next dozen of albums, becoming its own meme among the Russian metalheads. 'Black Terror' is no exception, but the riffing and ramming speed still make it worthwhile. And so, after five decent songs, we get a real hit! Much like The Black Obelisk's 'Midnight', the best song on this record is actually the slowest one - 'Phantom' delivers the best in Korroziya's style with its mid-paced verses and brutal choruses, and even The Hog attempts to sing for the most part, instead of just screaming (the latter is not a bad thing though, but for the fast songs only). 'Abaddon' is something similar, only the other way around, as we get fast verses and slow chorus. Yet another killer song from a classic album, making everything perfectly stitch together in a heavy metal slab it is. But the last two numbers stick out a little, as 'Lucifer' is presented in a live version - it doesn't actually matter, as the quality is okay, and everything is heard just right. The song itself is a choral mid-paced piece, while not as good as 'Phantom', it's still up to the quality standards of the rest. Finally, 'The Seventh Gates Of Hell' is a real surprise, as the band suddenly gives a Nine Inch Nails'ish industrial instrumental lasting no less than seven minutes. I love nine Inch Nails, I love industrial, but I think that Korroziya could cut it down a bit, because it unfortunately does dissonate with the laconic speed metal disk that we've just heard. But aside from this one track, the rest of the album still holds up today (if you're a fan of old-school thrash) and worth a listen anytime.

Korroziya would become a cult act through the end of the eighties and the first half of nineties. Sergey 'The Spider' (Паук) Troitskiy was also responsible for creation of the famous professional union and record label, the Hard Rock Corporation (Корпорация Тяжёлого Рока), which brought a lot of young and promising bands to life. They also had their fanzine, the 'Iron March', which was the Bible for all the Russian metalheads (before Metal Hammer, Kerrang etc. made their way to ex-USSR). It all went very well, but after The Hog left the band, The Spider decided that it would be amazing to convert to neo-Nacism, so their latest and current albums are pure and unfunny trash (without 'h'). But no matter what, 'Order Of Satan' is often seen as one of their strongest works, on par with the best American examples.

Whew, two thrash bands in a row. I guess we'll need to take a break here and pick something more melodic and obscure. And something I do own on vinyl. And I think, August will be just right (okay, okay, it's the last time I've used these far-fetched post-scriptum references, I promise!)

My Rating: 9 / 10 (Abaddon! The curse is rising!)