Топь (“swamp” in English) is a new band from Moscow, Russia. They were formed in 2007 by Sventoyar (also on Beer Bear) and Hort. They never released any demo, so their debut album “Летели Вороны” came totally out of nowhere. Their music is advertised as shamanic folk black metal and the album was released by one of the biggest Russian labels, SoundAge Productions.
I don’t know if the description above is the best to define their music. What I know though is that Топь is a very original, interesting and different band! They play melodic, almost symphonic folk black metal, where synths and many other instruments are combined with metal guitars. Many guest musicians participate in this album, helping their impressive orchestrations, while their amazing violins really steal the show! They move in a very fast, bombastic tempo, always remaining melodic! There are also some calmer parts, where folk traditional instruments and acoustic guitars take the lead. They use many different vocal types, combining black metal screams, with clean male vocals, choirs and operatic vocals in a weird and unique result. There are also many instrumental parts, as well as a very special cover “Маразула” of the traditional medieval theme “Schiarazula Marazula“! All compositions are remarkable and contain so many wonderful and unusual melodies that really surprised me. There are 10 songs in the album that lasts for 55 minutes and 3 of them are totally instrumental. Their production is quite clear and they have a very personal sound! It is true though that everything sounds somehow “computerized”, but since Топь’s music is based on their folk symphonic melodies, this production actually works quite good for them. Their lyrics are all in Russian, speaking about epic legends and nature.
I found “Летели Вороны” a very promising debut. Топь is theoretically a side-project of Beer Bear, but they are much better in my opinion! Except for their inspired melodies, they bring a fresh and different sound in folk black metal. I hope they will remain active and become even better in the future. The album is released in standard jewel case edition, with a beautiful 16-page booklet illustrated by Mstibog. You can visit their official VK page below and listen on your own.
Топь @ VK