Emblazoned on the Russian Metal scene like a light-bearer is Emerald Night with their third album 'Зеркало Троллей', the Symphonic Melodic Black Metal quartet deliver a sonic blast of Russian language-infused tracks that are so powerful, the nuclear weaponry that is present in today's world is now considered obsolete. Whilst the general listener may fall short of understanding the lyrics, the music does well in supplying a backdrop to keep the listener occupied, with a massacre of tricky riffs to savour the insane drumming and ear-smashing vocals, Emerald Night are a truly underground band waiting to give the all-out assault.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
It just seems apparent that most Eastern European Black Metal bands will use Paganism for their lyric topics and include Slavonic style music, easily Pagan Black Metal, but for Russia's Izmoroz it is more than that. Mixing their native Russian language with the sounds of Paganism and Slavonic folklore, this is perhaps the most influential album for Russian Pagan Metal bands to follow as an example, with vocals evil enough to make yourself soil your pants and music fast and brutal enough to send all the bodybuilders running in tutu's, Izmoroz is leading the Russian Pagan Metal scene to newer dimensions.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Awaiting The Sunrise'
The debut album from Russian Symphonic Black / Melodic Death Metal quintet Twilight is now a reality, sounding similar to that of fellow countrymen Arcane Grail. The Vologda-based five-piece mould together the blistering pace of Black Metal with the melodic symphonies found within metal and the sister Metal genre of Death Metal to produce an album worthy of a Grammy award. Thunderous double-bass drumming is only the foundation for a harmonic yet mentally brutal production and is only the signal for an eight-track onslaught, 'Awaiting The Sunrise' is perhaps the most heaviest album released in Russian Metal history; a true work of honour.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Descent Into Hell'
Slaying their way into the limelight and into newcomers corner is French Thrashers Disconnected Brain with their debut album 'Descent Into Hell', sounding similar to that of Slayer and Metallica, the riffs are romping around the release like no tomorrow whilst the solo's are clean and crisp, somewhat bringing classic styles to the modern sound of European Thrash Metal. 'Descent Into Hell' is a 'thrashin' good album and with a taste for Pantera clearly detectable, this is without a doubt French Metal album of the year and with this effort, Disconnected Brain is only going to get better.
 RHYS STEVENSON
_ CORPSE FAUNA
Arising from the pits of Essex is Death Metal / Grindcore quintet Corpse Fauna, this five-piece simmer out the gravel from the grit and repeatedly smash the listener into brick walls with their debut demo 'Gore Gallery'. Whilst the production isn’t the most wonderful and at times sounds completely non-existent, the demo is a fair attempt at kick-starting the band's career, of course all bands don’t sound their best on their first demo, but Corpse Fauna are sure to make an impression as time goes on, with the double bass and guitars adding a raw atmosphere to it, the only way is forward, the only way is Essex.
[6.5] RHYS STEVENSON