Genre: Ambient Atmospheric Black Metal Epic Black Metal
Label: Razed Soul Productions
Tivaz is a dark ambient / atmospheric epic black metal project from Moscow, Russia. There is not much info about the band’s bio or line-up, but they have already released 3 full-length albums since 2010. “Under Nordic Stars” is the second full-length album for Tivaz and it is also their first work ever that came out in physical format. It was released in CD edition via the American label Razed Soul Productions in July 2014. In May 2015 Tivaz released their latest album “Behind a Veil of Dreams“, only digitally so far.
“Under Nordic Stars” includes 6 songs, lasting a little over 34 minutes. Three of the songs move in a very atmospheric dark ambient style, while the other three move in a raw epic atmospheric black metal style. Their ambient parts follow the typical minimal forms of the genre, with repetitive atmospheric synths, few electronic elements and eerie sound samples echoing in the distance. The result is very atmospheric, perfect background for isolated frozen winter dreamscapes… The first 2 metal compositions “Mystery of Black Sun” and “Flame of Our Forefathers” have a different approach, compared to the ambient tracks and to the other metal song. They move into a much more epic style, where raw black metal meets melodic orchestral keys with an almost Medieval folk touch. Vocals are black metal screams, quite low in the mix and mostly in the background. The last metal composition, “Under Nordic Stars” has a less melodic approach, where rhythmic guitars get a much more dominant role in the orchestrations, interrupted however by some ambient passages. This song has a more dark suffocating atmosphere, quite different from the other tracks. And while I find interesting the diversity in their music, I think that there is still something missing, in order to connect everything in a more coherent result. There is not much info about the lyrical concept of the album, since lyrics are not included in the CD. Based on the song titles and the music itself however, they are most probably singing about epic themes and local nature and folklore.
Tivaz have a really raw synth-based sound with a lot of distortion and “echo” both in the guitars and vocals. This works in the overall atmosphere of the album, but it also prevents some interesting melodic ideas of their music from being fully evolved. “Under Nordic Stars” is a diverse album with a raw underground aesthetic that can be enjoyed by fans of ambient atmospheric epic black metal. It is released by Razed Soul Productions in a nice digipak CD edition. You can visit the band’s official pages below for more info and listen to their complete discography.