Metal Chick of the Month – Mariia “Masha” Dementieva

Raise some hell, our true Lady Evil!

Are you ready to scream and roar together with our metal chick of the month of April in the name of darkness and evil, here on The Headbanging Moose webzine? If you’re a fan of the blasphemous, obscure and absolutely awesome music played by renowned acts like Behemoth, Septicflesh and Kaoteon, among many others, you’ll fall in love with the talent and beauty of Mariia “Masha” Dementieva, also known as simply Masha (or even  Mary Crematorium in a not-so-distant past, and if you prefer, Мария Дементьева in her mother tongue), the unrelenting frontwoman for Ukrainian Blackened Death Metal horde Nordwitch. That, of course, if you come from another galaxy or dimension and haven’t listened to Nordwitch’s sulfurous music yet, because if you’re from this planet I’m sure you’re already addicted to Masha’s demonic growling.

Although there’s isn’t much available online about Masha’s personal life (apart from many awesome photos from her career as a model, photo model and alternative tattoo model), you can still enjoy a good amount of information from her ass-kicking Kyiv-based band Nordwitch, formed in 2015. Singing about some very interesting topics such as satanism, occultism and ancient Scandinavian mythology, Nordwitch bring forth a flammable fusion of Black and Death Metal in their music, offering tons of melody amidst a brutal sonic devastation. The name Nordwitch, according to Masha herself, is the band’s representation of the mysticism and mystery of Scandinavian witches with a hint of female sexuality, which by the way matches perfectly with her diabolical vocal style. As a matter of fact, before becoming Nordwitch, Masha and the rest of the band, guitarists Max and Leo and bassist Max Senchilo, were all part of a Symphonic/Progressive Metal band named Crystalnight, where Masha was not their vocalist, but their keyboardist. If you’re curious to know how Masha and her bandmates used to sound before morphing into the dark beast known as Nordwitch, you can take a listen at some of their songs from their ReverbNation profile, such as Dark Angel and the original version of Nordwitch’s crushing tune Lady Evil.

In addition, not only Masha spearheads her horde of Blackened Death Metal in Nordwitch, but she was also one of the producers of their 2016 opus Mørk Profeti together with the other members of the band. You can listen to their pulverizing album in full on YouTube, and raise your horns to amazing songs like the aforementioned Lady Evil and Messiah of Death, or search for some live footage online like this one where the band is playing Lady Evil live at MHM – Metal Head’s Mission Festival in 2018. Furthermore, don’t forget to buy your copy of the album at the Satanath Records BandCamp, to subscribe to the band’s YouTube channel (where you can find for example a fun and raw version of the song No Regret live in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2016), follow them on VKontakte, and listen to more of their music through their ReverbNation and SoundCloud profiles. Who doesn’t enjoy listening to some brutal metal music like this remastered live version of Messiah of Death, right?

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In regards to her idols and main influences in music and in life in general, Masha said in one of her interviews that not only herself but all of her bandmates are inspired by mysticism, occultism and several other eccentric topics when writing their music, always trying to make their sound as unique as possible. As the main founder and central figure of Nordwitch, a project that was originated inside her pagan mind, Masha is obviously influenced by all classic Black Metal bands, such as Mayhem, Watain and Bathory, which she’s been a fan since she was a teenager, and you can see how much she’s passionate about such controversial but fantastic subgenre of heavy music by visiting her official Instagram account and searching for her personal videos playing several Black Metal classics on the piano and keyboard. For instance, take a very good listen at her delicate but at the same time piercing piano versions for Burzum’s Dunkelheit and Han Som Reiste, Dark Funeral’s Stigmata, Dissection’s Where Dead Angels Lie and Thorns Of Crimson Death, and Shining’s Tillsammans Är Vi Allt, among others, as well as non-Black Metal hymns like Type O Negative’s Love You To Death. In addition, she mentioned in an interview that she’s also influenced by classical music and Scandinavian folk music, which kind of explains her passion for the piano, and that Runhild Gammelsæter, a Norwegian musician notable for being the vocalist for the American bands Thorr’s Hammer and Khlyst, is her favorite female metal singer of all time, complementing by saying that she cannot choose only one male singer as her favorite, though, as there are too many.

When asked about her hobbies outside of music, Masha listed a few very interesting and healthy activities, like working out and practicing sports, modeling and photography, also mentioning her interest in satanism, occultism and the mythology of ancient Scandinavia, which as aforementioned are the main topics covered in the music by Nordwitch. In addition, Masha said in one of her interviews she’s an apolitical person, as in her opinion true Black Metal has always been and will continue to be away from politics or anything related to it, being focused on religion and other more obscure topics. She also said that she had always dreamed about being in an Extreme Metal band like Nordwitch, but she wasn’t sure if that was going to actually happen one day, also saying she understands being a woman in a Black and Death Metal band from the underground scene is not easy at all, but that she won’t give up and keep on rockin’, always counting on the support form her family, friends and fans, aiming as high as possible with Nordwitch in the years to come. And we, true metalheads, will be ready to hail darkness and raise our horns together with the unstoppable Masha and her henchmen, no doubt about that.

Masha’s Official Instagram
NordWitch’s Official Facebook page
NordWitch’s Official VKontakte
NordWitch’s Official YouTube channel

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Album Review – The Order of the Solar Temple / The Order of the Solar Temple (2014)

A fresh and psychedelic music journey through the realms of heavy music, engendered by a very talented Canuck band.

Rating4

The_Order_Of_The_Solar_Temple_front_coverWhen you put together music genres such as Rock N’ Roll, Hard Rock and Doom Metal, the final result is at least interesting, especially in terms of creativity and feeling. But if you really want to spice things up, simply add to that some nuances of occultism and lots of groove from the dawn of Heavy Metal and you have the excellent self-titled debut album by Canadian Hard Rock/Doom Metal band The Order of the Solar Temple.

Let’s say that if people asked me to describe The Order of the Solar Temple in just a few words, I would call it a psychedelic heavy music journey. This Vancouver-based band was capable of sounding fairly original during the entire album even using only really old music elements in all compositions, mainly due to the above average skills and the passion for music of each musician involved. Not only that, the production of the album, which also seems to be inspired by the music from the 70’s, helps enhance that classic occult sonority regularly found in the music by bands like Blue Öyster Cult and Black Sabbath.

The album opens with the groovy Fallout Woman, a pure Rock N’ Roll song that makes me feel like I’m listening to an album from the 70’s, with highlights to its smooth vocals, soft and melancholic atmosphere and a soulful guitar solo, followed by Aeon Of Horus, a dark tune with lots of Doom Metal elements from bands such as Danzig that curiously starts with an ominous intro but ends in an acoustic way  and, of course, focus heavily on all the obscurity in the lyrics (“Mother Egypt sets the stage for the dawning of an age / Har-par-Khered / Ancient magick is exhumed to free us from our doom / Abrahadabra”) to make the entire song more vibrant and meaningful to the listener. By the way, their classic but unique lyric themes are one of the greatest strengths of the band, staying far away from all the repetitiveness and lack of depth so common in the world of music nowadays.

the_order_of_the_solar_templeGetting back to the album, The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll) sounds like a “tribute” to the good old KISS, with an awesome work done on riffs and drums, elevating it to the status of best track of the album. Moreover, it’s perfect for becoming a Rock N’ Roll radio hit as it would certainly please not only traditional hard rockers but also any fan of some good quality music. Then we have the psychedelic rhythm and melody of Jervas Dudley, a song that could be summarized as “when Black Sabbath meets Jethro Tull” and also an excellent “journey” for guitar players that enjoy the groove from the 70’s, followed by another fast and classic tune the likes of Deep Purple named Pale Horse, which I’m pretty sure you’ll get addicted to its melodic riffs and keyboards.

The last part of the album consists of the excellent Back Home, a song with lots of elements from good old Blues that sounds like a “pub song” perfect for having a beer with friends; the most Hard Rock track of all, Dominance And Submission, which also reminds me of the good times of Deep Purple, with kudos to Matt “Macabre” Emery for his performance: he might not have the most powerful voice in the world, but it fits perfectly into the musicality of the band. And finally, closing the album we have the obscure track The Order, which is good (especially if you’re a fan of “black magic”), but maybe more variations would make it a more intense song.

Sorry if I kept repeating the expressions “70’s”, “journey” and “psychedelic” every two or three sentences, but there’s no better way to describe the music from The Order of the Solar Temple: it truly is an awesome combination of past and future, carefully brought forth to people like us who live and breathe Rock N’ Roll and Heavy Metal. Even the album art is a tribute to the music that enchanted the world 40 years ago. Not only that, these guys are here to remind us how magic Rock N’ Roll was in its inception and how it can still be exciting even after all those years with the music industry trying to kill everything that sounds real, and we all should thank them for keeping on rockin’ and staying true to the roots of heavy music. And if you don’t want this magic to disappear, you can support the band by listening to their music and purchasing their album at their BandCamp page.

Best moments of the album: The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll), Pale Horse and Dominance And Submission.

Worst moments of the album: The Order.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Fallout Woman 3:47
2. Aeon Of Horus 8:31
3. The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll) 3:09
4. Jervas Dudley 6:58
5. Pale Horse 5:31
6. Back Home 5:01
7. Dominance And Submission 5:23
8. The Order 6:37

Band members
Matt “Macabre” Emery – lead vocal, electric guitar, theremin and primordial howls
S. Mulleady – organ, synthesizers, guitar, additional vocals
A. MacGreagor – bass guitar, additional vocals
M. Morrison – drums