Haze of Summer’s debut album Znoi is a refreshing take on the current over-saturation of the worldwide black metal scene. This is an album that revels in corrupting black metal’s dark, grim base with lighter, summery moments, all the while staying surprisingly true to the originating style, while also going its own way down post-black metal pathways.
Do you know what? It works a treat, and Znoi is an extremely enjoyable listen.
Intrigued, and wanting to learn more about this enigmatic project, I caught up with the head man behind the band…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself
Hi. Haze of Summer is “Black Metal for Everyone”. That’s what I wanted to create at the very beginning. I used some synthpop keys and put into a folk during the track and tried to keep it in black metal way.
So here we go:
Alex Klaptsov (Grace Disgraced; Bestial Invasion) did guitar arrangements.
Ilya Rizaev (Logic Event) helped me with synths arrangements.
Rodion Lubensky (Golos Omeriki) did all Accordion and some synths arrangements.
Gosha Jankowski and Alexander Vorobiev (Golos Omeriki) helped me with Violin and Balalaika.
Andrey Ishchenko (Arkona) put killing drums into the album.
Belf (Izmoroz) did all bass guitar.
Give us a bit of background to Haze of Summer
Sure. In December 2015 I wanted to try to make my own music for the 1st time in my life. I decided to try record some music which I wanted to listen by myself, cuz I was really sick and tired of classical black metal these days.
What are your influences?
The main plot of the album is a love story. My own. Which is full of depression and inner mist. I’ve mixed it with nature blooming, which influences me very much, and here it is. This is exactly what you can hear during Znoi.
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
Oh that’s an awesome question! The album “Our Season Draws Near” by 1476 from USA has exploded my mind a few weeks ago. “Anomie” by Violet Cold is one of the best post-blackmetal album for 2017 imho. And also projects like Neolunar and Hardcore Café had an impact on my current playlist.
How do you feel that you fit into the wider metal scene?
I don’t feel, that Haze of Summer fit into the wider metal scene, especially a Russian one. I try to break “Black Metal of 90th” stereotype in people’s minds. But I can see ONLY positive feedback in web and I can say that it was unexpectedly for me. Now, most of the people can’t understand such “unmetal” cover art without any logo. I saw some angry feedback about it, and that means that I got my achievement, haha 🙂
Give us a bit of background to Znoi – any particular concepts or ideas you want to discuss?
Znoi is transliteration of the Russian word “Зной”, that means heat or sultriness. This is not just about weather in summer time, this is what you feel inside when your second part is nowhere and your soul is dry and empty like dust. Znoi is my symbol of great disappoint. This is the time which you wait for almost whole year and then you dive into your own sadness sea. Sorry for the poetic shit.
You mentioned the album cover – tell us about this
This album is totally dedicated to my lovely friend. Hope she likes it, ahaha. On cover picture is another person, also a friend of mine. As I’ve told about my current behaviour to classic black metal, I also sick of typical BM covers. I wanted to make something pure and simple. Tender and straight. Like Znoi in general.
How did the recording process go?
After I’ve made 6 demos by myself at my home studio and created the full conception for Znoi in my mind, I asked my friends to take a part in studio session after all tracks were done. I like the line up, cuz some people who took a part in record are not from metal at all. That’s why Znoi sounds not so metal sometimes, and that is great, I think.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
This is like deciding what your favourite child is, haha. Its impossible to choose. But June, haha. This is the most depressive track with rather personal lyrics.
What does the future hold for Haze of Summer?
Next album will be about autumn and winter times and it’s full of hope and ghostly happiness, haha. We’ll try to make a video clip in summer 2017. Also, I hope to give some live shows in 2017. Something like that.