A highly interesting self-production has reached me from Chelyabinsk, Russia, from a band called THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY. The best description could be Progressive Metal, if you look at the variety of the compositions (up to 13 minutes), which is pretty impressive.
The six songs of "Step Beyond" from 1998 start things off, calm, spheric passages consisting of soft keyboards and angelic female vocals go along with heavy Death Metal-parts with growls and powerful female vox (no soprano), making the already mentioned 13-minute-epos "Step Beyond" a real experience.
After that the song-structures at times take on avant-gardistic forms, when both vocal styles attack at the same time and the supporting music goes into a rather abstract, pretty progressive, yes experimental direction, especially Olga's vocals sound a LOT different from the usual female singers, I don't even have any comparisons any more.
Fragile piano-passages with soft vocals all of a sudden turn into super-heavy, fast Death Metal-parts with harsh vocals and pretty aggressive outbreaks by Olga, while the piano and keyboards run into the other direction in the background and then the guitars start their very own line over it all. So the expression of "avant-garde" is not out of place here, when suddenly a violin hits in-between…
The following five tracks are from the year 2000 and form the five-part "Leave The Past Behind". Here TCOG still tread pretty much their own paths and are almost progressive, but the song-structures have been straightened a bit, so there is more flow to the songs, enabling also the "normal" listener to get into the compositions.
All in all an equally unusual, unique and also quite selective sound (it's hard to digest for sure) that THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY offer us here, absolutely not for everyone, but for that really interesting.