Vera : This month a number of Russian-made albums came slipping through the letter-box. They are obviously presented to review with a little delay, because none of them are released in 2007. There is nothing mentioned about re-releases or available in Europe from now on, so I guess that 'Way Of Blind' of Little Dead Birtha really dates back to 2005. Anyway, it is the music that matters!
According to the biography Little Dead Bertha is one of the eldest Russian metal bands, formed in 1994. It seems they have played all kinds of metal styles. On the first two demos it was thrash. Next they added a violinist and a second guitar player and it evolved into doom. The result appeared on MC (music cassette indeed) 'In Memorium Premortis'. Two years later (2000) followed 'Two Sides' (on MC), this was gothic/doom, more complex and symphonic and female vocals entered. In 2003 'Light And Shadows' was released, a gothic metal album with a lighter sound than its predecessors, with two acoustic songs with clean vocals as well. Why this overview of the past which can be a bit boring to read? Because it is the only way to describe the music on this album 'Way Of Blind', for it is a blend of all previous things, yet with a return to the early heavy sound. Can we see the wood for the trees? Yes, we can. From time to time the music is rather hectic and a bit of a jumble, but usually the complex dark death/black metal the band plays now is fine to hear. The mostly very rough music is interlarded with violin (sometimes), lots of melodic guitar runs, a background of symphonic keyboards and very incidentally any female background vocals. That is why the band comes close to the gothic bands of the nineties without front lady, saving the necessary brutality.
One thing I have to put straight: if I would try to describe a song, this review would be a bummer. There are so many different things in one (mostly extensive) track that it would look very unapproachable if put down on paper, but it is not. It is the strength as well as the weakness of the band: unable to choose and so they want it all. One moment the hectic overtones seem like a piece of Cradle Of Filth music, a bit later we hear a dark low voice verging to the first Moonspell albums. Technical level is high; it is obvious that these musicians are playing for a long time. I do like the great echoing guitar sounds at the end of 'Force And Brave', but I also enjoyed those moments when the band sounds really raucous. It is an outfit that reminds me a bit of the Polish Sirrah, a band I truly loved in the nineties. 'Way Of Blind' is quite a decent album with an enthusiastic executed portion of complex nineties gothic metal, sometimes a bit out-of-date, yet worth checking out for fans of extreme metal with atmospheric parts.