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3.81 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2017

Filed under Death Metal


1. I: The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods Of Cognitive Dissonance) (20:10)
2. II: Hallucinatory Black Breath Of Possession (Mountain-Eye Amalgamation) (12:03)
3. III: Non-Existence's Warmth (Infinite Natality Psychosis) (14:22)
4. IIII: Here, At The Disposition Of Time (Inverting A Solar Giant) (17:48)

Total Time 64:23


- Markov Soroka / Vocals, All Instruments, The Vomiting Choir

Guest/session musicians:

- Magnús Skúlason / Percussion, Acoustic Drums
- Greg Chandler / Vocals (tracks 1 & 3)
- Sofia Hedman / Saxophone (track 3)
- Hannar Gretarson / Trumpet, Cello
- Lillian Liu / Grand Piano (track 3)
- Elizabeth Barreca / The Vomiting Choir

About this release

Format: CD (500 copies)
Label: I, Voidhanger Records
Release date: July 28th, 2017

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Reviewer’s Challenge entry Dec 17.

Markov Soroka clearly likes doing things on his own having released music under various solo projects including Aureole, Slow and Enternium to name a few, none of which I’m familiar with by the way. From a bit of research it’s apparent and not surprising that he has a liking for the more extreme sub-genres of metal from black metal, doom and also death metal. Tchornobog is his latest where he brings in elements of all three.

This self-titled debut album for Tchornobog only contains four tracks but they’re all pretty long, the longest being opener The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods Of Cognitive Dissonance) which breaks the twenty minute barrier. Much of the time death metal takes the driving seat where he enters the realms of Australians Portal with an incredibly dense wall of noise approach. A few plays are required before the riffs reveal themselves, often getting lost in the murk, but at times they’re pretty inventive displaying a pleasing dose of dissonance. Soroka writes and plays everything bar the drums, piano, sax and trumpet (the latter three only briefly appearing) and perhaps therein lays the problem. With a few band members to bounce off he might have had someone to tell him that some of these compositions outstay their welcome and a bit of trimming might have been in order. Being a prog fan as much as metal I’m all for long songs but there needs to be dynamics and plenty of musical twists and turns for it to hold the interest. Here there are light and shade moments amongst the apocalyptic barrage but all too often a part outstays its welcome, even on some of the stronger moments and at times where it wanders a bit aimlessly I found myself losing interest quickly. This is particularly true on Non-Existence’s Warmth (Infinite Natality Psychosis) which seems to take an eternity to get going. There are moments however where it’s pretty good, occasionally very good, particularly on The Vomiting Tchornobog, the best track on offer with a compelling collection of blackened death metal riffs injected with some well-placed doom adding variety. My former criticisms of aimless wandering apply here too though to a lesser extent. As this is the first track though it’s a little disappointing that we’ve already heard the best this album has to offer with another forty minutes plus ahead of us.

So overall then, a good album with each piece having its moments though none are totally satisfying as a whole making it less than essential listening. Having said that Soroka is not without talent at creating extreme metal and I’d certainly be interested in checking out some of his other projects as well as any future Tchornobog releases.

Markov Soroka isn't the most household of names within the extreme metal scene but has been steadily building his profile of solo projects these last few years. His biggest claim to fame is likely the atmospheric black metal/ambient act Aureole, who did a split with the better known Mare Cognitum in 2016 called Resonance: Crimson Void. He also operates the funeral doom metal act Slow and previously symphonic black/death metal act Eternium, which at one point became a full band and as such put out his first major album, Repelling a Solar Giant (2013). His latest project is Tchornobog, whose self-titled debut album from 2017 looks to be the musician's most ambitious work to date.

Taking elements from a range of extreme metal sources, Tchornobog is best described as a mix of black and death metal with some doom metal influences. The black metal element sometimes has an atmospheric touch but overall Tchornobog brings a more chaotic approach to the table than atmospheric black metal usually allows, making the album vastly different to what Markov Soroka's fans will be used to with Aureole. Only four tracks are presented here, each lasting for extended durations. The opener The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods of Cognitive Dissonance) alone is over the twenty minute mark. At twelve minutes the next track Hallucinatory Black Breath Of Possession (Mountain-Eye Amalgamation) is comparatively short.

The album is an absolutely mammoth sized work and that certainly applies to both how it sounds as much as it's length. It's intense stuff for much of the running time with more melodic elements only existing underneath the raw barrage of guitars to add flavour and effect, though third track Non-Existence’s Warmth (Infinite Natality Psychosis) serves up an extended softer section that offers a bit of breathing space, where Soroka brings in guest musicians to add further instruments such as piano and saxophone, though it doesn't take long for the metal to make a reappearance and by the time of closer Here, At The Disposition Of Time (Inverting A Solar Giant) things have fully returned to business as usual. Other instruments used on the album are the trumpet and cello, while Greg Chandler of Esoteric provides some additional vocals on tracks one and three.

An album like this isn't the easiest of listens. The style of music isn't the kind that's going to serve up any lyrically hooks to latch onto, so it can be quite overwhelming at first and requires two or three sittings to really get to grips with what's been created. You know that an album like this one has been done right when it has that special spark that compels you to keep coming back to it to relive the experience it offers another time. Tchornobog certainly succeeds in that. For my money this album is leaps and bounds ahead of all the other work of Markov Soroka I've heard so far and is definitely up there with the year's best albums.

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