Light? - _Mirrors_
(Stygian Crypt Productions, 2005)
by: Quentin Kalis (5.5 out of 10)
This intriguing project is the work of Eugeny Churkin who is responsible for all music, instruments and lyrics, barring some vocal assistance from one Alexey Smirnov. Churkin refuses to fit into any predetermined box and has constructed what his label markets as "gothic metal with black, doom and progressive influences." This description is so broad as to be practically meaningless, but even a cursory listen reveals this to be a work that does not lend itself to easy pigeonholing.

A symphonic piece opens the album that sets the tone for what is to come. Bizarrely, the second track is also an instrumental, albeit with guitars. This is followed immediately afterward by a 14 minute monster that veers wildly between goth rock and symphonic black. I need not consider the remaining tracks as this should provide an ample indication of his eclectic proclivities.

Churkin appears to have tried too hard to create a unique album and the constant shifts between styles result in a rather incoherent work, which merely hints at, rather than establishes, a unique identity.

This is a flawed debut album that doesn't live up to its potential. However, the late arrival of this album from his record label suggests that they have a lot of faith in him, and I can't say that faith is misplaced. Churkin is barely in his twenties and as flawed and imperfect as _Mirrors_ is, it bodes well for his future endeavours, which should hopefully see a congruence of ambition and skill.


(article published 24/10/2007)

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