There Is No Land Beyond The Volga
2xLP Gatefold - $10.00 (
Limited to 1000 copies on ebony vinyl! It's a beautiful GATEFOLD DOUBLE VINYL version of the CD that the band released on their own Nomadic Fortress label.
Nomadic sludge death-drone duo Jucifer channels the soul and soil of a place called Volgograd in over an hour of music as storied and powerful as the land and people to which they have dedicated this latest offering.
Entitled за волгой для нас земли нет ("There Is No Land Beyond the Volga," a quote from a Russian soldier in the battle of Stalingrad), Jucifer's new concept album tells the history of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) from the perspective of its people, its soldiers, its children and the very land itself.
A hot oil bath of riff after vicious riff. Massive, distortion-soaked stoner sludge Sabbath worship- down-tuned, skin-curdling, infectious, headbanging riffs beaten into submission by the unmistakable, power-hungry rhythm of Lucifer's custom hard-hitting kit. A sludge-rock landscape imbued with the scars this history left on the band's psyche, crusted with the yellow dust stirred by their feet as they walked Volgograd's hallowed ground on a hot hungover post-show afternoon; a sonic land populated by harmonies of the damned; fuzzed-out blacktop solos and a turning of the screw as slow and painful as the Russian winters these arcane volume addicts are singing about.
"For 20 years now the dynamic duo of Gazelle Amber Valentine and Edgar Livengood has been dominating audiences, running up venue electric bills and lining the pockets of hearing aid manufacturers the world over as Jucifer. The band now unleashes their seventh full length upon us long time tinnitus sufferers titled за волгой для нас земли нет (Rough translation: "there is no land beyond the Volga").
I don't hesitate to use the oft clichéd "unleashed" as (what will inevitably be called) The Russian Album is a beast. With all the might and feral brutality of a bear, Beyond the Volga crushes the listener under unmatched weight and Valentine's razor sharp vocals rake the consciousness to shreds.
The album itself is a tribute to the history and the peoples of Russia, specifically Volgograd (aka Stalingrad). At the beginning, end, and at various times in between we hear people speaking and singing in Russian. The woman's voice (and Valentine's) speaks as Mother Russia, the land her people fight valiantly to protect. Beyond the Volga chronicles the pain, the valor, and the loss of the Russian people and their constant struggle against outside forces, specifically during WWII.
All that turmoil, struggle and death is played out over the album's hour and 18 minutes. The album length fits the long history of the people of which it pays tribute. In typical Jucifer fashion, the music we are subjected to is incredibly powerful. This nomadic couple has once again taken their overwhelming live presence translated it to the recorded format.
Valentine is tuned down to disgusting levels, recalling the hazy doom of Sleep and cataclysmic drone of Sunn O))). Like the pace of war, trudging and waiting with constant tension followed by calculated outbursts of adrenalized attack, Jucifer's glacial doom is punctuated with flashes of more overt aggression in the form of lumbering sludge, frantic black metal and even slow paced NWOBHM riffing.
The effect of the transitions both between and within songs is much like running full sprint into a tar pit. Forward momentum stifled by the thick ooze as it pulls you towards your doom.
Throughout, Beyond the Volga is plutonium heavy, with a pall of death and despair weighing on the heart. Livengood's impeccable timing and unrivaled intensity adds a layer of life to the dismal tones. The impact of his unorthodox style is just as much felt as it is heard. Together their chemistry explodes from the speakers like a mortar round with all the destructive force of an atomic bomb.
Highlights of Jucifer's latest stellar effort include "Siberia" which flows like a river of frozen blood and the heartbreaking "Queen of Antlers". Although, each track makes up a cavalcade of swampy riffs and bone shaking tones as the sounds of death and pain echo through the mind. Not just heavy for heavy's sake, Beyond the Volga is a passionate sonic representation of a proud people; an album as huge and strong as the country which inspired it."
- about.com/heavy metal