The man behind this work talks about wrestling with his own demons. Accordingly this self-titled album of four long tracks is about psychological disorder and hallucinations. So the initially deep and deathly “The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods Of Cognitive Dissonance)” finds itself descending into imperious heavy doom before sliding into hell. The sound is echoey as if the growls are coming from a chasm. A pungent, funeral tone booms out in a patient and epically developing post metal style. The sludgy progression and distant roars create a fearsome scene. I’m not that “nice” is a word that should go with this, but there is a nice uninterrupted flow of darkness and horror, yet round each corner there’s a sinister and grisly twist. The sounds of lapping water and a distorted trumpet end “The Vomiting Tchornobog” before the next furious ode from hell, “Hallucinatory Black Breath of Possession” begins its ferocious course. The instrumentals signal violence as this eleven minute black world passes by us like a series of ghastly flashing images. The creative mind behind this punishing beast is Ukrainian Markov Soroka. Strange distorted sounds appear, adding to the horror behind this monstrous scene. I can see why words like “psychedelic” and ”avant-garde” have been applied to Tchornobog. Its black heaviness reminds me to some extent of the Slovakian avant-garde band Abbey ov Thelema and the Belarusians Ljosazabojstwa. But this has its own fluidity and whole world feel in amongst all the destruction and chaos.
The dark atmosphere is unrelenting. A menacing beat runs through “Non-Existence’s Warmth”, accompanying a lonely guitar and a watery backdrop. Maintaining the surprise the element, rage doesn’t take over, but the guitar and drum maintain a melancholic tune as the sound of heavy breathing pushes through the clouds. And wow, here we have the sound of the saxophone. It could never last. Extended roars and long chords signal expansion into new territory. But it’s exciting as the drum picks up, the roars lift with the wind and the scene becomes bigger, again like a post-metal atmosphere. Mid-way through amid ghastly noises, doom sets in. Over the course of its fourteen minutes, the scenery changes and it’s impossible not to be touched by this powerful and colourful piece. This music never stands still. A voice utters words in a language I do not understand. The oxymoronic title of this track is entirely apt. The sixteen minute “Here, At the Disposition of Time” follows. It is imperious and inevitably purposeful and sweeping in its scope, expanding like a violent attack and contracting into deep reflection. The symphonic stridence and the irregular drum sounds play with the mind. The long build-up once again is electrifying and intense. It ends in a swirl of turbulent fury.
Solo works are by definition works of self-expression. Sometimes that self-expression can be so introspective that all the darkness, pain and suffering can be confined to the artist. Here this is not the case. Tchornobog take us into a very dark but vivid world, which is possible to imagine and visualize. This world transforms musically and with it our perception of the world. This is a very imaginative and soulful album.
(8.5/10 Andrew Doherty)