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Agony (Russia)
Bitter frozen and cold Black Metal, intensely aggressive. Very guitar driven, drums are heavy and driven; vocals are chilling and distant (via deep reverb). Musicianship is decent, production is low but not too bad. (Note- this link is a shared label link. All three songs are not Agony)

Crystal Abyss (Russia)
Absolutely raging Black Metal! Excellent use of aggressive tempos even in the “slow” parts, but with no loss of melody or harmony. Beautiful female vocals, ambient sound effects, and haunting keys offset and compliment the absolute brutality of the hammering drums and shredding guitars. The main vocals sound like razors of pure ice, and interludes of acoustic pieces punctuate the dark atmosphere perfectly. My fave pick is “First Born Snow”.

Rakoth (Russia)
Heavily melodic with an assortment of different instrument sounds, from brass horns and flutes to classical piano, but no sacrifice in utter brutality when it is applied. The vocals change from grim to clean and back, and in both cases they are excellent. A high level of musicianship is displayed throughout, with emphasis on the guitars and keys. The drumming is insane in parts, absolutely vicious. My fave pick is “Planeshift”.

Radigost (Russia)
Beautifully done Symphonic Black Metal, with incredibly melodic overtures and harmonization so thick you could cut it. Moaning guitars, deep keys, and heavy drumming set the atmosphere that is completed by the frozen and bitter vocals. Musicianship is very well done, production ok. My fave pick is “Outcast”.

Rossomahaar (Russia)
Excellent Black/Death. Guitars have a buzzing distortion that makes for a very raw sound without having the bad recording that usually follows such a sound. The vocals are more Death than Black, and the overall composition is interesting. The piano piece totally works, as do the keys. An effort well done. My fave pick is “Mists Of Eternity”

Satarial (Russia)
Symphonic Black Metal that is heavily atmospheric and melodic. Duet of grim male and clean female vocals work perfectly, as well as the flute and keys combined. The guitars drive through crisply, and the drumming is well done, be it a slower back beat or an all out assaulting blast that defines the rest of the tempo. Musicianship is perfect, production is very good.

Shadow Gard (Russia)
Amazingly atmospheric Symphonic Black Metal, very driven and intense yet maintaining a purely mystical feel. Abrasive and grim male vocals are offset by absolutely beautiful operatic female vocals, deeply mournful and haunting keys add to the overall atmosphere, the guitars range from heavy grinds to almost light classical, and the drumming is explosive. Musicianship is excellent, production is good. (Note- this link is a shared label link. All three songs are not Shadow Gard)

Stigmatic Chorus (Russia)
Goth influenced mid-tempo Black Metal. Has a “theatrical” feel to it, uses ambient sound effects and deep keys, as well as mixed guitars, blasting drumming, and very bitter vocals. Musicianship is good, production is decent. My fave pick is “Последний призраÐ" (No, that isn’t a typo, that is what is on the MP3 site).

Tvangeste (Russia)
Highly polished Symphonic Black Metal with Goth and Dark Ambient elements, ranges from atmospheric and emotional to straightforward blasting aggression. Keys sound a bit odd in parts, but work well overall. Guitars and vocals both have that “distant” feel to them via reverb and echoed distortion. Musicianship is very well done, production is decent. My fave pick is “Thinking…”