While djent-inflected prog-metal outfit Jinjer have put Ukraine on the metal map in a major way in recent years, the country is home to plenty of other heavy bands offering up alternate forms of riff worship. One of these is Shiva the Destructor, a mostly instrumental psych-rock quartet from Kyiv that brings to mind Earthless on ecstasy or a European Elder.
One of Shiva the Destructor's most distinctive attributes is the way in which the group's guitar players use different tunings — one detuned, the other up-tuned — to create the unique, mind-bending sound heard the band's new concept album, Find the Others. The LP is set for release on March 26th via Robustfellow Productions (you can pre-order it now), but today (March 10th), Shiva the Destructor have teamed with Revolver to unleash standout cut "Hydronaut," the title of which would appear to nod to stoner titans Sleep. Crank it above.
"It all started with a dense, swampy riff that I came up with on April 20th, 2016," guitarist Rodion Tsirka tells us of the song. "I wanted to post a video on my YouTube channel that day, so I washed the dishes thoroughly, picked up a down-tuned guitar and started playing. Right off the bat, the main riff came out. On May 1st, using the 'range hood' method and having returned to the up-tuned Shiva-tuning, I got out of my head almost all the remaining parts of what would be the future track. The 'range hood' method is that I record the main riff using a looper, leave it in the living room to play the loop, go to the kitchen, turn on the range hood fan at a speed at which I can barely hear the riff, and wash the dishes. After these five to 10 minutes, melodies 'derivative' of the main riff start playing in my head. The next step is to let myself simmer in those for a little, then come back to the living room, quickly turn off the looper and take the guitar just in time to figure out everything still playing in my head. In a way, the range hood fan works like a subway ride after a rehearsal — it has its own sonic range that can be relied on as a support on which something similar to what's stuck in my head after a rehearsal starts to play.
"So, there was this initial dense, swampy guitar riff, and then a swampy, dense bass riff emerged from it, layered by a light guitar intro. Actually, the whole track is a result of mixing something dense and swampy with something light and airy. Then, with the guys, the verses were developed where the harmony moved somewhere and not always stayed in one place, as it often happened with my riffs back then, and the lyrics were written. My initial idea was much thicker and slower, but together we made a song that significantly expanded the range of emotions it initially covered."