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10 Russian Metal & Hard Rock Bands That Will Set Your World On Fire

Gruppa Kipelov

Russia is like a time machine. That is why one of the nation's most popular rock band goes by that name, Машина Времени/Time Machine. Although Soviet citizens missed out on 69 years of fashion and music, you can see past decades play themselves out in perfect harmony in parallel storefronts. Maybe you missed out on the ’80s or maybe feel nostalgia for the early ’2000s? In Russia, there is a bar for whatever era you would like to revisit. In St. Petersburg, for example, you can walk from a metal bar, where headbangers dressed like Marilyn Manson will fly into a frenzy over songs like Korpiklaani's “Vodka,” to a rockabilly bar, where retro-clad oddballs twist and shout to The Trashmen's “Bird Is the Word." Many Eurotrash bars still line the city, where Paris Hilton and Fred Durst look-alikes party like it's the early '2000s.

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Considering the Russian people's Proustian ability to regain lost time, it is no wonder that metal is still alive and raging there. In a territory, where citizens could once be arrested for owning a saxophone, rock is still more transgressive than it is in the United States. Despite restrictions, Russian rock has been going strong since the '60s. It took a gothic turn in the '80s, owing to creative activity in Yekaterinburg. Pioneers like Joanna Stingray, who married Kino's/Cinema's guitarist Yuri Kasparyan, helped to smuggle music in and out of the Soviet Union. Great examples of Russian rock's admixture of lightness and Faustian grit include the identically named song «Некрофилия»/“Necrophilia" (1987) by Гражданская Оборона/Civil Defense and an identically-named 1994 track by Крематорий/Crematorium. If you think these songs hit the bull's eye, Russian hard rock and metal bands blow the whole bull to pieces. Many American metal fans enjoy the Siberian deathcore group Slaughter to Prevail. How about expanding your horizons?! To set your world ablaze, check out these 10 classic Russian metal and hard rock bands. Each of these amazing groups epitomizes a different aspect of Russia, the Родина-мать/Motherland.

Ария/Aria

Aria may not have been the first heavy metal band to pierce the iron curtain with metal spikes, but they have become the most iconic. Ever since Ария released its debut album, Мания величия/Meglomania (1985), the group has made a public sport of its «Игра с огнём»/“Game with Fire.” «Дай жара»/“Bring the Heat” — Aria remains hot and in-demand after 36 years while many of its British heavy metal inspirations have burnt out. In its early years, Aria adapted western songs like Golden Earring’s “Going on the Run.” This became the mega-hit «Беспечный ангел»/“Carefree Angel.” Before long, western musicians began covering Aria. That is exactly what Till Lindemann and Richard Kruspe of Rammstein did in their 2003 single “Schtiel” — a misspelling of «Штиль”/“Calm,” which actually comes from the German word Stille. Till and Richard may have been enticed by the fact that Aria originally recorded «Штиль» as a duet between their original vocalist Valery Kipelov and Udo Dirkschneider. As an ongoing celebration of metal excellence, Aria-Fest has attracted international groups, such as U.D.O., Mägo de Oz, and Stratovarius.

Some of Aria’s most wicked tracks include «Дух войны»/“Spirit of War,” «Улица роз»/“Street of Roses,” «Тореро»/“Torero,” «Колизей»/“Coliseum.” Expect pyrotechnics, powerful vocals, and wicked guitar solos at an Aria concert. Aria has undergone various lineup changes throughout the years. Guitarist Vladimir Holstinin, however, has been with the group from its conception. Holstinin only briefly took time off in 2015 to undergo back surgery in Israel. Bass guitarist Vitaly Dubinin has been with the band nearly as long as Holstinin, whom he played within his school days. One of the most amusing moments in Aria-history occurred unintentionally when an interviewer asked Aria’s second vocalist, Arthur Berkut, with whom the pair also jammed with as students, about his dismissal. To the question, “What happened, Arthur?” Berkut responded with a raised index finger, “Ponchiki!” After Berkut refused to hand over his bag of donuts and sour cream — a popular Russian combo — he realized that he had irremediably offended Dubinin. Arthur allegedly tried to remedy the situation. After all, he had only been thinking of passing his donuts on to his children. Berkut offered, «Виталий, давай я тебе дам свои там пончики»/“Vitaly, let me give you my [literally: there] donuts.” If you combine the last two words of this phrase, you arrive at the diminutive noun tamponchiki. For all his talent and unparalleled zeal, Berkut will forever be remembered as the tampon vocalist. Mikhail Zhitnyakov replaced Berkut, who then founded the group Arthur Berkut, which was named in the Russian style of humility. Every now and then Berkut, whose name means Golden Eagle, swoops over to America.

Despite all of its passion, Aria’s theme song may as well be «Воля и разум»/“Will and Reason” — a track that has been used to unite various voices across the Russian rock scene. Throughout the decades Aria has been remarkably consistent and prolific. Aria is the top dog of Russian metal, and that’s the bottom line.

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To hear Aria at its peak, check out «Ангельская пыль/Angel Dust”:

Watch current and former members of Aria’s roster perform together for the group’s 30th anniversary:

2. Кипелов/Kipelov

Kipelov is Aria in distilled form. Most listeners will agree that Kipelov is the best lead singer of the Russian metal world. Who is Valery Kipelov — the man whose voice sounds like 6,666 tons of steel?! Valery Kipelov is a clean-living, considerate, modest gentleman. At the beginning of Covid, Valery gladly sought refuge in the peace and quiet of his dacha — summer house. Since then, he has been back behind the mic but not behind the steering wheel. Because "Valera" doesn't drive, his wife chauffeurs him to his gigs.

In 1997, Kipelov collaborated with red-headed guitarist and Kazan-native Sergey Mavrin on the album Смутное время/Troubled Time. By then, Mavrin had already broken away from Aria whereas Kipelov still sang for the group. This duo project was a success given that Mavrin and Kipelov were the two most rock-star musicians to have played with Aria. Kipelov is recognized as one of his generation’s greatest performers while Mavrin is distinguished by his unusual guitar technique, which fans have dubbed «Мавринг»/“Mavring.” Смутное время’s 4th track, «Я свободен!»/“I'm Free!” became one of Russia’s most popular songs. “Я свободен!” has permeated so deeply into the Russian collective consciousness that any babushka, child, or anchorite can recall its words at the snap of a finger.

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When Valery Kipelov created the group Kipelov in 2002, drummer Alexander Manyakin defected from Aria to join his friend. Mavrin also came aboard for a brief period before leaving to his focus once again on his group Mavrin, originally called Mavrik. Mavrin has never had luck with vocalists. This held the band back from realizing its potential. For instance, Mavrin had to fire Berkut for disappearing during the recording the album Химический сон/Chemical Sleep (2001). Yet, Mavrin has endured and continues to perform songs like «Крылья»/“Wings,” the instrumental version of «Я свободен!» The rift between Mavrin and Kipelov has caused confusion over music rights. As a result, each group spawned its own version of the song «Пророк»/“Prophet,” for example. There is some overlap between the tracks used by Aria and Kipelov. Nevertheless, all parties involved seem amicable. From time to time, Aria’s former musicians pop over onto each other’s projects and live concert albums as can be viewed above. Poet Margarita Pushkina has contributed her verses to Aria, Kipelov, Mavrin, and many other Russian bands. This has further muddled the question of identity in the incestuous pool of Russian metal talent. Fortunately, Kipelov’s members have been loyal. Kipelov’s original guitarist Alexandr Kharkov remains with the group. Guitarists Andrey Golovanov and Vyacheslav Molchanov arrived respectively in 2003 and 2006.

Where can you find Kipelov? The band is ready to greet your welcome with the song «Я здесь»/“I’m Here”:

If you are curious about how Kipelov’s version of «Пророк»/“Prophet” turned out, listen to the group’s guitarists shred to Mavrin’s music:

3. Король и Шут/Korol i Shut

Korol i Shut, which means King and Jester, was Russia’s best and most brutal punk band. There has never been a phenomenon like Korol i Shut, nor will there ever be again. To call Korol i Shut a punk band is misleading. Korol i Shut blends elements of horror, folk-rock, and metal. The group always employed a violinist to add a woodsy vibe. When one listens to KiSh, one imagines a chainsaw-carrying lumberjack in pursuit of trolls and little girls. KiSh’s music is both energized and trippy. The song title «Хардкор по-русски»/“Hardcore Russian-style” describes the band’s mission statement in a nutshell.

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Korol i Shut was jackass before the Jackass franchise. In 1996, the group released its first studio album Камнем по голове/Stone Against the Head, which is as badass as its daredevil title sounds. Formed in 1988, Korol i Shut infused the essence of St. Petersburg and its many dichotomies into everything it produced. KiSh’s music elicits all of the dampness of its marshy city. The collective looked like a bunch of swamp critters. Members often made themselves up like ghouls in tired, pale makeup with dark accents around the eyes. KiSh could have only arisen in response to the conflicting forces of its time, and yet its incorporated mythologies and existential impressions on the soul are timeless. Korol i Shut blends sophistication with barbarism. Singing along to KiSh songs with vodka and guitars at a table full of Russians is one of the most cathartic experiences that life has to offer. Korol i Shut was so savage, that it was one of the few bands that can write songs about magic tricks and clowns without sounding nerdy. On this note, Театр демона/Theater of the Demon (2010) roused controversy with fans. Many followers deemed the album’s turn towards lighter style to be a letdown. Although Театр демона truly was a charming and impish masterpiece, it was also co-vocalist Andrei Knyazev’s last album with the band.

As a father of two, Knyazev felt that Gorsheniov’s drug use was irresponsible. Once Knyazev exited the band, Gorsheniov began to work on his rock opera TODD and recorded two accompanying KiSH albums. After his death, the rock opera went on. A new actor replaced Gorsheniov. KiSh, however, could not go on. It took KiSH a year to make the announcement official. Many commemorative concerts have been held in Gorshok’s honor. It has been reported that before his final death, Gorsheniov was pronounced clinically dead on seven different occasions. That means that the practitioner of black magic almost made it to nine lives. On 19 July 2013, Gorsheniov was found dead at 39 for the last time with a spoon at his bedside. A public funeral service at Yubileyny Sports Complex in St. Petersburg drew 7,000 fans. Lines of leather-clad observers weeped, wailed, and gnashes their teeth on the streets. Gorshok left behind a beautiful wife, daughter, and stepdaughter. After completing his farewell tour with Кукрыниксы/Kukryniksy, Gorshok’s brother Alexei started a new band in 2018 using the family’s surname Gorsheniov.

When Andrei Knyazev and Mikhail Gorsheniov first met, the former was studying art restoration while the latter was already an aspiring musician. In the early days, Knayzev would show Gorshok his sketches. Andrei would later design many of KiSh’s album covers. Immediately attracted to Andrei as a friend and person of culture, Gorsheniov asked him to begin writing lyrics for him. Although both Knyazev and Gorsheniov played the guitar for KiSh at times, their primary roles evolved to place bot men in the position of KiSh’s frontmen. Their chemistry was supernatural. Gorsheniov could modulate his voice to sound magnificently creepy. A rebel from birth, Gorshok lost his front teeth as a child when he tried to grab hold of the monkey bars with his mouth. Gorshok’s enunciation was certainly affected by his dental woes. The singer sometimes sported a prosthetically corrected smile, but he was most loved when he went au naturale. Both Knyazev and Gorshok had rich, deep, masculine voices. «Воспоминания о былой любви»/“Recollections of Former Love” is a good example Gorsheniov’s vocal power.

KiSH’s "Лесник»/“Woodsman," an upbeat tune about cannibalism, often ranks as the best Russian rock song. We think «Некромант»/“Necromancer” and «Мертвый Анархист»/“Dead Anarchist,” from KiSH’s sixth studio album Жаль, нет ружья/It's a Shame There's No Rifle (2002), are among the band’s best songs. The concept album featured narration between tracks, and the group’s storytelling skills at their finest. There are some things that cannot be ordered on Amazon. That is why we are delivering your daily dose of necromancy in the first recording and anarchy in the latter.

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Did that resuscitate your inner demon? Watch a very youthful KiSH belt out everybody’s favorite love song «Прыгну со скалы»/“I Will Jump From the Cliff”:

4. КняZz/KnyaZz

Andrei Knyazev formed KnyaZz in 2011 after he broke away from Korol i Shut. Knyazev is one of Russia’s most charismatic entertainers, although he is often underrated. Gorshok cast the darkest shadow of any of KiSH’s members, and there are many who perceive Knyazev as overshadowed. In many regards, however, Andrei outshined Gorshok. Whereas Gorshok maintained the quirky allure of a sorcerer, Andrei Knyazev's magnetism is of the more traditional and jocular variety. Knyazev projects strength and manhood. That seems natural, given that some of Korol i Shut's best-known songs are «Ели мясо мужики»/“The Men Ate Meat” and «Ром»/“Rum.” As a group, KnyaZz keeps its lyrics clean. Considering Gorshok’s drug habits, it is a wonder that Knyazev and the latter refrained from turning illegal substances into a theme in KiSh’s songs. As mentioned, Andrei strives to be a good role model while knowing how to channel his inner monster. Like KiSh, KnyaZz always uses a violinist. For certain tracks, KnyaZz has even added a trumpeter.

Are you sick of hearing Adele on the radio? Move to Russia, where this is the «Адель»/“Adel” that plays on Nashe Radio:

Check out the duet that KnyaZz and Alexei Gorsheniov completed to a piece of music that Gorshok had left unfinished:

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5. Северный флот/Severny Flot/Northern Fleet

Severny Flot, which means Northern Fleet, assembled in the aftermath of Mikhail Gorsheniov’s passing. KiSh had been working on new material at the time of the tragedy. Gorsheniov’s family gave his bandmates the right to continue using the name Korol i Shut. The surviving band members, nevertheless, refused to continue use the name without Mikhail. Knyazev, meanwhile, refused to rejoin the group. KiSH had to die, but only death will stop its musicians from being creative. Alexandr Schigoliev, Pavel Sazhinov, Yakov Tsvirkunov, Alexandr “Renegade” Leontiev, and Alexandr Kulikov, who had been playing bass with KiSh for under a year, decided to rechristen themselves. The rest is the history of how a phoenix rose from ashes.

It is touching to see how Alexandr Leontiev has not only stepped up to the plate but filled it beyond expectation. Fans assumed that he had a creative voice. Who knew he had a singing voice? Within no time, Severny Flot pulled itself together as an ensemble to rock crowds as if they had been together since Korol i Shut’s conception. In reality, only Schigoliev, who had been briefly replaced by Alexei Gorsheniev, had been an original member of KiSh. Tsvirkunov, who deserves major credit, had been the KiSh's guitarist since the '90s. It is hard to picture him without mentally superimposing a picture of Gorshok beside him. Borne of hardship, the band has a totally different feel, as if it had been grounded by a fall to concrete, as opposed to the fertile earth of KiSh’s maggot-infested fairytales.

The aptly named «Вперёд и Вверх»/“Forward and Upward” came as a comfort to fans in 2014:

Do you want to hear the track that inspired the Severny Flot’s name? Turn up your volume for full enjoyment of Korol i Shut’s song “Северный флот»/“Northern Fleet” from Бунт на корабле/Mutiny on the Ship (2004). Warning: This may be the world’s most metal “punk” song:

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6. Сектор Газа/Sektor Gaza

Founded in 1987, Sektor Gaza emerged as an underground punk band in Voronezh, a city which is relatively close to the Russian-Ukrainian border. Sektor Gaza, or Gaza Strip, was the nickname of a district in Voronezh that was particularly affected by factory smoke. The band mocked Soviet and post-Soviet society with songs like «Колхозный панк»/“Kolkhoz Punk” and «Сельский кайф»/“Village High.” Sektor Gaza is known for their sexually explicit lyrics and radical openness regarding drug use. Russia has a language called мат/mat, which is comprised of dirty words. If you want to impress your Russian friends, Sektor will teach you what a tutor cannot. Sektor took some stabs at subjects like Russian folklore. Explore the album Кощей бессмертный/Koschei the Immortal (2004) — a vulgar retelling of the Russian version of the Frog Prince legend, some of which is rapped. While no topic was too lofty for the group to smear with its own black brand of varnish, no topic was too mundane either. Sektor Gaza painted daguerreotypes of aging relatives in songs like «Моя бабка»/“My Grandma”’and «Тёща»/“My Mother-in-Law.” Some fans suspect that the group’s singer, Yuri “Khoi” Klinskikh, was poisoned by his mother, by the way.

Klinskikh passed away at 35 on 4 July 2000. Yuri’s girlfriend was driving him back from a day of filming for his latest music video «Ночь страха»/“Night of Fear” when the musician turned blue. Yuri left behind a wife and two daughters. Although surviving group members tried to carry on Khoi’s legacy with the group ex-Sektor Gaza, the attempt holds little appeal without “Yura.” In a fate similar to Yura's, Sektor Gaza's guitarist, Vadim Glukhov, was found dead at 45 in 2011. His body was discovered in the vicinity of a war aerodrome with bottles of booze. Sektor's bassist, Sergei Tupikin, died in 2018 after years of disablement resulting from a beating. Singer Tatiana Fateeva, who sometimes sang alongside Yura in his satirical romantic ballads strives to keep the group's memory alive. Concerts are still held in Sektor Gaza's honor, and many people celebrate Klinskikh as a «народный поэт»/“national poet.” With lyrics like, “… our lives are short… as a puttana's skirt,” is it any wonder?

Sektor had always experimented with various musician styles. Its last album, however, Восставший из ада/Hellraiser (2000) points to a heavier style and what the band could have been. Восставший из ада sets a tone of confidence with its opening track «Демобилизация»/“Demobilization.” — Oddly enough, Sektor and the highly subversive Klinskikh, a former member of the ДПС, the Russian traffic police, had been invited to play a similar song «Пора домой»/“Time To Go Home” outside of the Kremlin. — The album features some of Sektor’s most metal songs like «Сожжённая ведьма»/“Burnt Witch.” Throughout its career, Sektor has released countless novel tracks: «Ядрёна вошь»/“Nuclear Louse,” «Импотент»/“Impotent,” «Гуляй мужик»/“Carouse, Man,” «Белая горячка»/“Delirium Tremens,” «Туман»/“Fog.”

The final and title song from Восставший из ада/Hellraiser names 1999 as the “fatal year,” when the “three horns” of the last three digits will turn upwards into 666. Klinskikh was off by one year in regard to his personal apocalypse. Test our prophesy that Yura’s screaming on «Восставший из ада» will drive you mad with bloodlust:

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«Святая война»/“Holy War” is another menacing song from Khoi’s final album. Is this even more metal than Korol i Shut’s «Северный флот»/“Northern Fleet”?

7. Тараканы!/Tarakany!

Hey, hey, their name translates as “The Cockroaches!” and they’ve definitely got something to say. People may say they monkey around, but [continuing in the words of The Monkees] they’re too busy singing to put anybody down. That is why Tarakany!’s single «Просто быть нормальным»/“Just to be Normal” is such a great song. It discusses the struggle to embark on one’s own artistic journey while remaining respectful towards pragmatic family members. The video features a young boy with a guitar watching older relatives humping.

Tarakany!’s lead singer Dmitry “Sid” Spirin, who began as the band’s bassist, explains: “There are two definitions of punk. The first — this is when normal guys try to look fucked-up. This sooner suits the Sex Pistols. But the second — this is when fucked-up guys try with all their might to look normal, this is the Ramones. So, I have been trying with all my might to be normal, because frankly, fucked-up people, who believe in reptilian humanoids annoy me wildly.” That is a rather thoughtful definition, considering that Die Ärzte’s lead singer, Farin Urlaub also of Farin Urlaub The Racing Team, announced his definition of punk in a drumroll moment as a person, who lives on social welfare.

Perhaps differences of opinion are what has united Tarakany! with Die Ärzte’s Rod, a Chilean-born bassist. Rod contributed his uber funky awesomeness to the German version of «Плохие танцоры»/“Bad Dancers”/“Schlechte Tänzer.” Before there was Seth Rogan's Sausage Party (2016), there was Tarakany!'s «Плохие танцоры» music video, which featured three elderly Russians dancing through Moscow while under the totally low-key guise of phallus costumes. The title of Tarakany!'s 11th album release — MaximumHappy I (2013), which includes «Плохие танцоры» originated — summarizes the feeling the band induces in its listeners. Although Tarakany! tackles social issues like poverty in songs like «Собачье сердце»/“Dog’s Heart,” the band’s sense of humor is its selling point.

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Tarakany! look, sound, and act like a bunch of rabid New Yorkers. Perhaps that is why joining up with Marky Ramone for The Ramones Night European Tour in 2005 seemed like the natural step to take. Tarakany! and Marky had previously played a trio of shows together in 2003. Tarakany! has even collsborated with groups like Anti-Flag. After all, Tarakany! is a veteran group. Tarakany! has been creeping and crawling, since it was formed in Moscow in 1991. Remarkably, the band seems as fresh as if its teenage rebellion were still in its first spring. Tarakany! has performed globally and in massive venues, but you can also catch them grooving on small, chic St. Petersburg rooftops.

If spatial confinement during Covid is bugging you, get active with some “Bad Dancers” and bad German right now:

Tarakany! sings it best: «Тишина — это смерть»/“Silence— It’s Death.” End it. This is your remedy:

8. Декабрь/Dekabr

Dekabr, which means December, is a hard rock group with punk and metal influences in its arsenal. Formed in 1999 in St. Petersburg, Dekabr has gained a die-hard following among bikers. The controversial biker gang Ночные волки/The Night Wolves adore Dekabr with a peculiar fondness. Dekabr is a favorite at rock festivals and on the popular station Nashe Radio. Dekabr’s lead singer, Mikhail Semyonov is deeply rooted in his religious beliefs. Mikhail is an old-school father. He refrains from drugs and volunteers at charity concerts. In 2014, the band released a song in Mikhail Gorsheniov’s honor called «Парни не плачут»/“Boys Don’t Cry.”

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Find out what all the Russian bikers are raving about so that if you are ever taken hostage you can at least sing the refrain from «Боль»/“Pain” as an indirect means of asking your tormentors to refrain from violence:

«Стёкла Грязных Улиц»/“Glass of Dirty Streets” is another cool song that should help you bond with those hard-to-humor Russian security guards at your office:

9. Глеб Самойлоff & The Matrixx/Gleb Samoyloff & The Matrixx

In 2010, Gleb [proper spelling] Samoylov organized The Matrixx with drummer Dmitry Khakimov of hardcore punk ensemble Наив/Naiv after his own band Агата Кристи/Agatha Christie called it quits. Gleb’s brother, Vadim Samoylov — a solo brand in his own right, created Agatha Christie with fellow musicians in 1985 and eventually welcomed Gleb into the lineup. The band was affiliated with the fabled Sverdlovsk Rock Club, which helped to pioneer Russian rock while under threat from the authorities. Gleb and Vadim's mother, a doctor, hooked the boys on opioids. Drugs would dictate everything from the themes of the brothers’ songs to the artful yet spastic way they gesticulated. Although Agatha's songs may have sounded benign, the group's lyrics were often among the most philosophically twisted. Like many Soviet/post-Soviet rock groups, the punch was not in the band’s style but rather the content. Although the brothers worked together for a 2015 Agatha Christie reunion, it seems as though a quick promotional buck could hardly pay them to stand each other’s company. Gleb’s intoxication levels frequently prevent him from fulfilling his duties. In one recent incident, he could not even muster the balance to perform a single song. Gleb makes Ozzy Osbourne look like an accountant. Although Vadim is the more responsible brother, he also fails on occasion to show up where he is expected. For all its troubles, Agatha Christie remains so well-liked that you can still observe crowds gathered on street corners to hear young musicians playing their music.

The Matrixx amps up the raunch, shock, and violence. Gleb has described the band as neo-post-gothic. The Matrixx is industrial, electronic, experimental, sometimes minimalist, and always cold. The Matrixx is both glam and glam’s suicide. The Matrixx’s first albums Прекрасное жестоко/Beautifully Brutal (2010) and Трэш/Tresh (2011) jarred fans by virtue of their departure from Agatha Christie’s thin yet apparent baseline of sanity. Some fans adjusted to the change. Others were left wondering: Is this what Rammstein would sound like with a sustained head injury? Whatever one may say about Gleb, his extraordinary creativity and intelligence still shine through. In a country where profanity is banned in the arts, Gleb’s boundary-pushing antics take major courage. One of Gleb Samoylov's most recent actions was to oppose the canonization of Pantera fan, rock star, and great actor Pyotr Mamonov. Mamonov, the Zvuki Mu singer, passed away on July 15th of Covid-19. Gleb has recently circumvented the pandemic by holding concerts on a boat. With Agatha Christie, he was known for nautically themed songs like Boarding/«Абордаж,» "Two Ships"/«Два корабля,» and «Моряк»/"Sailor." These songs appear in Matrixx setlists, although Gleb's current material is more aeronautically themed.

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If you’re feeling brave also, listen to The Matrixx’s «Любовью»/“With Love,” but under no circumstances open your eyes:

If you accidentally opened your eyes, and caught a glimpse of The Matrixx porn-star friends, cleanse your soul with these totally metal Bulgarian monks:

10. АлисА/AlisA

AlisA, formed in 1983, manages to draw miraculously large crowds after almost four decades. AlisA’s front man, Konstantin Kinchev — whose real surname is Panfilov, is a contemporary Slavic freedom fighter. Critics have accused the Kinchev of antisemitism and xenophobia. Kinchev has denied these claims, which he has fought in court. AlisA has welcomed Jewish band members and plays for a diverse crowd. Beware: When our staff tried to infiltrate "Kostya's" concerts, our American passports earned us free beer from hospitable Russian patriots eager to converse. After all, Kinchev was inspired by western bands like Black Sabbath.

It is true, nevertheless, that the blowhard singer repeatedly engages in controversial behavior. Authorities recently busted Kinchev for organizing an underground concert on the premises of a film studio under the pretext of shooting a video. The gathering was in violation of coronavirus regulations. Rather than apologizing, Kinchev voiced a call for help from both sides of his mouth. Kinchev, who was born on 25 December 1958, released a video stating that he is old and will continue to sing and play the guitar no matter what happens. The real question is will the government have to intervene to force the musician to stop taking off his shirts? Kinchev doesn’t always begin his concerts shirtless, but if he doesn’t end the night that way there may be a problem. In all fairness, Kinchev's decision to support the rights of non-vaccinated concert-goers has been replicated by Eric Clapton. AlisA currently has sold-out concerts scheduled.

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AlisA's fan club is called the AlisA Army. AlisA concerts have a reputation for being insanely electrifying. Fans work their way into a fist-pumping frenzy like no others. This is not all done in good cheer. AlisA concerts are also known to become extremely violent. At a 2019 show, a Latvian journalist was beaten so badly that he was left disabled. Accidents have also occurred at Alisa's shows as a result of illegal pyrotechnics.

In other respects, Kinchev's reputation is wholesome. He received his degree in economics from Moscow Institute of Technology. Kinchev is often portrayed as a modest man, who rides the subway, and practically lives in ragged cut-off jean shorts when the weather permits. Konstantin had three children. His daughter Vera is a Moscow Art Theatre-trained actress. Vera has worked on both the stage and the screen. Vera certainly caused bewilderment when she appeared as a nun in the play version of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason at the Mayakovsky Theatre. As a child, Vera got her start in entertainment when she starred in AlisA's «Родина »/“Motherland” music video.

Do you believe the hype? Judge songs like «Небо славян»/“Sky of Slavs” for yourself:

«Красное на чёрном»/“Red on Black” is another one of AlisA's classics:

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BONUS!

Because we are absolutely devastated that Steel Panther and its prettiest member, Lexxi Foxx, have parted ways, we would like to introduce you to three new sexy gentlemen. Meet Banana's Cream — the St. Petersburg-based band that absolutely no one has ever heard of outside of the Club A2, which is located in the brainy side of town. It's a total wonder that the Steel PantherRebecca Black hybrid could go unnoticed. When will students from the nearby Electrotechnical University broadcast the word across the web? The group's title song, “Banana's Cream” is bound to knock you off your seat. If that doesn’t do it, “Dildo” will have you gasping for air. These earworm melodies are so juicy, they will feel like wet willies:

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