Little Dead Bertha

'Two Sides'

(Stygian Crypt productions)

MARK: 75/100


This CD is the transposition of this funny-named band's second album, previously released only on musicassette by Moscowian Hobgoblin records.

Unfortunately after the intro "Sunrise" there's a sound interruption due to a mistake in the editing but the rest of the CD sounds perfectly. Voronezh's 7-piece's genre can be described as symphonic heavy metal in "Two Sides of...", based on lights and shades on account of several kinds of vocals (aggressive, reciting, or whispered, male and female by the 2 back-up songstresses, the seducing nicely curved Maria Sotnikova, also keyboards, and the violinist Veronica Belyaeva). The follower, "Frosties War", shows raw vocals on a double bass attack, though the riffs are never wicked and there's place fo a Maidenian guitar solo; definitely an original enough mix; the keyboards intervene from time to time, whereas they're more incisive and spread in "The Dawn of Times", which is my favourite track because of its straightforward solo. The reversed vocals of the refrain open "Indifference", a slow and lazy song which quickly becomes based on chiaroscuroes like the rest of the songs; here the fiddle is finally in the foreground, and the chorus proves to be a well-guessed one, one of those unforgettable
ones. I find "Who Dares" genial, since the way the violin is put between the rhythmic instruments couldn't have been any better; delicate keyboards and male vocals complete the picture, by making this track a masterpiece. "Remember Future" is an instrumental ruled by Veronika's instrument, which I've always adored; add that here it's used divinely, and you'll get that only this song is worth buying the CD. A 12-minute suite deign of Anathema proves to be "The Timelessness", where the violin sadly weeps, male and female vocals appear contemporarily, a piano hops on a lonesome guitar, and melancholy reigns supreme; suddenly the song changes and you find ourselves on a power metal ride, leading us to robotic male vocals and a frantic violin, then again doom; this alternation repeats but the violin lines turn to be gloomy this time, substained by a creeping bass or simply alone; whatever the violin plays, it always makes me thrill my back. Quite weird is the beginning of "Furtive World", a sort of Uralian folk with groundbreaking drums, an acoustic guitar anticipating a distorted one, busy with playing Middle Ages riffs. It's power/doom at its best with a keyboards escape closing the song. Finally, the closer "Wolfdance": over 8 minutes of dark metal, begun with an arpeggio and recitative double male vocals, alternated with suffering ones; one guitar makes one riff and the other follows with a different embroidering; then it's time to make way Maria's voice and keyboards, reinforced by additional male ones; the whole song is based on a world of shades and time changes that render it quite involving during all its lasting; I advise you to listen to it with earphones so as not to lose the prog-metal side of the track, made of drum passages in the end, the effects on the guitar sounds, and much more..

60 minutes presenting the 2nd CD of a band proud to own a personal sound, plenty of feeling and a good recording; of course there could've been more care for some male vocals and guitar sounds, but I think it's better a true band rather than one with a perfect recording and poor fantasy in songwriting. So forget the poor English pronunciation and grammar, and make Little Dead Bertha (now only Bertha) yours, because it represents one of the finest examples of music coming from the heart, passionated, not coming from calculations about audience and fucking business rules. Thumbs up for the lyrics, especially the title track and for the artwork as well. Need you saying more to be conquered by Russian metal pride?