Narwhal Tusk – “In Despair” (2009)


Label: Musica Productions

Review by Tony Cannella

If you like female fronted symphonic metal ala Delain or Tarja era Nightwish, than Russia’s Narwhal Tusk should be right up your alley. The band formed in 2006 and after releasing an EP (“Widow’s Walk”) in 2009 has issued their full-length debut “In Despair”, and here it is. I have not heard their initial EP, but they consist of 5-songs that all appear on this debut, in re-recorded form, I imagine. Narwhal Tusk is very good at what they do and should secure a fan base in the symphonic metal genre. In singer Valentina Yastremskaya the band has a very competent front woman with an operatic style and the music has a melancholic, orchestral vibe to it, which, at times is quite beautiful. The piano/violin dominated opener “Waltz (As Autumn Falls)” serves its purpose as a useful intro track and leads into the bombastic and the up-tempo “Mourning Purple”. “Everfall” is next and keeps a steady pace and features the clean male and Valentina’s operatic vocals performing the song as a duet. The male vocals are very well done; the style is clean throughout and provides solid support to Valentina’s operatic approach. “Nova” is next and has a very accessible quality to it; it would make a great single/video (in my opinion) if the band chooses to release one. “In Despair, Pt. 1” is mournful and features some top-notch vocal work from Valentina. “My Angel” ventures closely into “Oceanborn” era Nightwish territory, and features a cool prog rock style keyboard bit in the middle of the track. “Walking over Waters of the Ocean” is a piano-laden ballad featuring healthy doses of orchestration. The over 7-minutes long “In Despair, Pt. 2” wraps things up nicely. The male vocals and orchestration dominate this track.  It also ends things on a rather doomy and sorrowful note. With “In Despair”, Narwhal Tusk has released a very good contribution to the ever crowded symphonic metal genre. With so many bands it has become increasingly harder to stand out from the pack. Time will tell if this talented Russian band has what it takes.

Rating – 78/100



  1. Waltz (As Autumn Falls)
  2. Mourning Purple
  3. Everfall (The Holy Gardiner of Souls)
  4. Nova
  5. In Despair pt.1
  6. New Dawn, New Day
  7. Remedy
  8. My Angel
  9. Walking over Waters of the Ocean
  10. In Despair pt.2


Line Up

  • Valentina Yastremskaya – Vocals
  • Dmitry Slutsky – Guitar
  • Dmitry Taranov – Keyboards, vocals
  • Danil Tolmachyov – Bass
  • Dmitry Cherchesov – Drums


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