The Smashing Skull Sessions

The Smashing Skull Sessions is a podcast, interview and review website, set up to showcase and support the underground rock and metal scenes. Our goal is to promote artists and bands from right across the globe, giving them another voice and another forum in which to get their music out to a greater audience. We also have a new review series, The Review Room, which is another unique way of getting bands and artists some extra coverage and promotion

Olhava – Eternal Fire

So many bands must work both tooth and nail in order to survive the music industry these days. Mentally and even financially, bands must overcome so many hurdles in order to share their art with us mere mortals, and I know that in this tight-knit community of ours, that dedication and willingness to persevere doesn’t go unnoticed.

However, with all that in mind, not many bands have had to endure the hardship, the oppression, and the difficulties that bands like Olhava have had to rise above. Hailing from Saint Petersburg, in Russia, Andrey Novozhilov and Timur Yusupov have had their fair share of troubles and have had their lives tossed upside down. But through adversity, the human race can find an inner strength, as is the case with Olhava. And In times like these, their music has never sounded so poignant and so relevant.

This latest release, Eternal Fire, comes from a highly anticipated album which hasn’t been given a release date yet, but my god, if this track is anything to go by, then we are in for a relentless blizzard of post-black brilliance. Following on from the majestic Frozen Bloom, Eternal Fire wastes no time in opening with a sea of blast beats and glorious guitars that gallop and drive forward in a black gaze frenzy. Haunting, hypnotic, and utterly consuming, this wailing wall of sound gives an almost out of body experience that I have missed. Fuzzy and distorted to the untrained ear, the melodies weave a pattern that creates a euphoric and near celestial experience. Even as the coarse vocals add another layer to the music, it doesn’t take away from the ecstasy and rhapsody that Olhava have conjured up here.

The music breaks down beneath a precise percussive mist momentarily before harnessing more of that blackened brilliance and regenerating itself once more, before spiralling and oscillating beyond the heavens. Anyone who knows Olhava, Trna or Show Me A Dinosaur will be in raptures and in a conscious state of euphoria with this track!. Fourteen minutes into the track, there’s a blissful, ambient passage, that floats and crackles beneath natures own soundtrack, ending a piece of music that epitomises and exemplifies the brilliance of the St. Petersburg scene, that was thriving not so long ago. We live in hope and prayer that it rises once more.