On their new record Колхида, the Russian post-hardcore-oriented band Bagdadski Vor have captured a lush, sonically rich portrait of emotional longing and the energy that goes along with it. Their guitar melodies feel powerfully shaped to be emotionally poignant, but they don’t stop there. There’s also a relentlessly invigorating energy that runs through much of the record and gets expressed through means ranging from math rock-style segments to the sheer persistence of the underlying performances themselves.
Bagdadski Vor sound like they’ve put a kind of brighter-than-normal spin on some moments of emotional precariousness, and their songs are amply strong enough that they feel powerfully grounded while reaching off into the metaphorical distance with those bright bursts of energy.
Fundamentally, the band has a kind of noisy melodic hardcore sound. Often, this sound feels powerfully amplified with a set of lush, atmospheric tones that are reminiscent of post-rock, although the group definitely keeps their energy up — tracks five and six get almost blistering in their intensity.
On the first track, called “Сон,” there’s an uneasiness to the strong, heavy melodic hardcore riffing, as if the song feels like it packs power but might come apart at the seams at any moment. As the record proceeds, that dissembling starts to transpire — “В эту ночь,” which is the second track, features a heavy helping of math rock-esque riffing that sports a powerfully contemplatively intricate texture, although the overall feeling of an emotionally driving heaviness never really lets up. The vocals help clearly establish the emotional drive behind the music; the singer sounds like they’re pouring themselves out emotionally right then and there, in real time.
There are a lot of powerful dynamic swings on the record. For example, while remaining heavy and similarly textured as before, the first couple of minutes of “Крысолов” actually feel somewhat upbeat. It’s as if the band have dialed into a sense of emotional freedom popping up amidst the emotional haze. Across the record, the band seem to consistently deliver forms of that energy, which makes the listening experience feel perhaps surprisingly invigorating. The math rock-style riffing that repeatedly pops up throughout the album helps drive in this sense of a subtly growing emotional freedom of sorts. Within the emotional context of the record, the freedom feels well-earned and cathartic.
Check out the album below! It looks, based on the absence of anything else on the Bagdadski Vor Bandcamp page, like it’s the first from the band.