Label : Nikitin

Review by Vard Aman

Risha are one of the most unique and unconventional bands around. They have created a sound that is theirs alone and a style that has not been done before – or more accurately, a style which is a mixture of different styles that has not been tried before, most likely because those who might have thought about it before probably decided that such a mix wouldn’t work. If that is what they thought, they were wrong: it does work, and Risha proves it. Or maybe it was something only Risha could do. Risha got together recently and are made up of former members of a Russian Industrial/Gothic/Alternative band called Deform. The vocalist and bassist, Irina Lvova (aka Rishafox), is also a seasoned session musician having worked with the likes of Tracktor Bowling, Arkona and others, as well as playing cello for Vespercellos. Their sound is… well… take some powerful Rammstein like guitar riffing; incorporate many of the electronic elements and effects that are often found in Industrial music of that kind; add some solid drumming; throw in a some Rock, Metal, and a few other influences here and there into the mix; and then get the vocalist to sing a beautiful melodic traditional Slavic folk style over it and you’ll be beginning to get some kind of idea as to what Risha sounds like – Industrial Folk. Now, Folk and Metal have been crossed many times very successfully, but most Folk Metal is exactly that – a fusion of two styles into one. Risha is not like that; Risha keeps their very contrasting styles mostly separate from each other at the same time, in the same songs, and the overall sound they create not just still works, but works amazingly well. Let me try to describe it another way: strip most of the folk elements out of the music leaving only the heavy Industrial/Industrial Metal style and then strip most of the Industrial/Metal elements out of the vocals leaving only the folk style and you have Risha. And that’s about the best I can do to describe their sound – you’re just going to have to get this album and listen to it yourself. Risha’s unique blend of styles operates simultaneously, as I’ve already mentioned, but from song to song the formula they have invented doesn’t vary any more than most other bands vary theirs from song to song. With Risha, this is not a bad thing at all; they give the listener a good dose (and certainly a varied enough dose by normal standards) of what they are all about. The album starts off with the title track, “Лето” and builds up to the really strong tracks on the album: “Голубка”; “Птаха”; and the two main highlights for me, “Водица” and “Улетай на крыльях ветра” (Risha’s rendition of the piece from the famous “Polovtsian Dances” in Act II of the opera “Prince Igor” by Alexander Borodin). Then Risha begin to change things up a bit with “Манечка” being the most experimental song on the album, and “Дождик / Lullaby” featuring Lou Gevorkyan from Tracktor Bowling which is a quieter, more ballad-like song. The album ends with, “Калёда”, which serves as a good reminder and summary of what Risha is all about. At the end they’ve added two remixes as bonus material. “Leto” is an album anyone and everyone can enjoy, because of Risha’s unique blend and the way they have put it to use. It’s heavy and quiet at the same time (yep, that is possible – listen and you’ll hear for yourself); rhythmic and melodic; you can turn it up loud and go wild to its energy; or you can concentrate closely on its intricacy; or you can put it on in the background and relax. It is a unique debut album from a unique band. I’ll be looking forward to their next release with great interest…

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Лето [Leto – Summer]
  2. Ой, Ладу [Oi, Ladu – Oh, Beloved]
  3. Голубка [Golubka – Dove]
  4. Птаха[Ptaha – Bird]
  5. Водица [Voditsa – Water]
  6. Улетай на крыльях ветра [Uletai na kriyl’yah vetra – Fly Away on the Wings of the Wind]
  7. Манечка [Manechka]
  8. Масленица [Maslenitsa – Shroventide]
  9. Дождик / Lullaby [Dozhdik – Rain]
  10. Калёда [Kalyoda]
  11. Голубка (Danoizze rmx)
  12. Ой, Ладу(Ushaft Muzak rmx)
  13. For Love

 

Line Up

  • Irina “Rishafox” Lvova – Vocals, Bass & Cello
  • Andrey Ostrav – Guitars & Programming
  • Alexander Suprun – Drums & Percussion

 

Links

MySpace * ReverbNation *  BandCamp * Facebook * Twitter * Site

 

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