My informations concerning RADIGOST always had been rather limited. I had read that they were something like Symphonic Black Metal, but then again, this label is put onto quite a number of bands and quite honestly, it does not mean a thing. Still I had read somewhere that they were good, even though that does not mean a thing either, so listen for yourself is the motto of the day and here we go, "Nocturne" is rotating in my player. The first 9 songs have already been recorded in 1999, while the last two tracks are bonus tracks, recorded in 2002. So something tells me that this is a re-release of this album, let's just say so.
After the almost obligatory intro "Full Moon" the first full track "The Cry Of Desolated Souls" brings us some very melodic music, which in the beginning can only partly be attributed the label of Black Metal, with piano/keyboards and the guitars in many cases only used as rhythm instrument, only the very raspy voice is the link there. But after three minutes or so, the Black Metal also reaches the music, intertwining with the previous melodic elements, forming an interesting whole, where my personally only "complaint" is the voice of Svar, whose higher rasp is just too extreme to fit the symphony of the music, while his deeper growls suit the atmosphere a lot better.
The at times very lengthy compositions (up to 9:30 minutes!) feature a lot of quite calm passages, mostly borne by piano and some keyboards, but always also feature some real Black Metallish eruptions to justify the categorisation I had mentioned above. The problem is that the length of the songs not always works in RADIGOST's favour as there are some lengths to be detected, where a passages comes over too drawn out and you would like to help the band gain a bit more momentum.
Still you cannot disregard the quality of songs like the long "Morning Star (Part I)", "Winter Dusk" or "Outcast", which do not really bring us anything overtly new, but nicely cover the more atmospheric side of the genre, with the Black Metal attacks kept on a smaller scale, with only Svar's nasty croak taking away some of the magic the band tries to weave in their compositions.
If you can look over that and do not mind that some of the songs are a bit too, hm, inconspicuous to really stand out, plus can take a relatively weak production, then RADIGOST is an interesting band and "Nocturne" an interesting album to discover in the realms of darkness…
Available at www.metal-cd.ru! (Online June 25, 2003)