Russia is one of the biggest countries in the world, but musically not many websites or magazines have discussed the big Hardrock/Metal scene which currently is spreading throughout the country. Many young new bands have started playing music the past 5 years. Most of the older bands were hugely influenced by SCORPIONS, MAIDEN and AC/DC, while the newer acts take their influences from STRATOVARIUS, SONATA ARCTICA and NIGHTWISH. They have all one thing in common, and that’s the fact they play quality Hardrock/Metal, because the amount of released CDs from Russian bands is all above average and so it was only a matter of time before we launched a ‘Special report’ on the Russian Hardrock/Metal scene. I will review about 30 CDs below, introduce you to the most famous Russian band ARIJA and some other bands, and finally, give a summary and tell you where to get the CDs. First off the reviews...

Before we start reviewing CDs of Russian bands, I want to talk about a compilation CD released by the Russian label VALIANT MUSIC. It seems like a lot of things have changed the past 10 years in Russia. In the early 80s Hardrock and Metal music was not allowed in Russia, but in the mid 1980s everything changed and bands like SCORPIONS, MOTLEY CRUE and AC/DC became very popular over there. This resulted in many bands playing these styles in the years to follow. Unfortunately towards the end of the 1980s it became clear that not many Russian bands were playing quality Hardrock/Metal. Most of the bands were very average, except the legendary band ARIJA (read story on them in our Russian Special). Anyway, the 1990s went by without anyone noticing the Russian Metal scene, which started to grow towards the end of that decade. A few years ago a whole new scene came to life and many new Russian bands started playing Power/Progressive Metal in the style of STRATOVARIUS and SYMPHONY X. Happily, these new bands sound a lot better than the 80s bands, because this is most of the time high quality Prog/Power Metal like also the Italian bands are bringing us. 

This compilation CD released by VALIANT MUSIC is giving you a great summary of some of the new quality bands out there in the big country of Russia. Later I will discuss bands like SHADOW HOST, NORDREAM (the Russian version of NIGHTWISH, WITHIN TEMPTATION and EVANESCENCE), ARCHONTES, SPECTER, SANTA MARIA, X-FACTOR and the fantastic pure AOR band OFFROAD. Most of these bands are really great Prog/Power Metalbands that should be check out. You can compare them to most of the Italian and Spanish bands we have seen the past few years. Some of the remaining unknown bands on this CD are also quite interesting to check out, such as ARDA (new band with ex-singer of EPIDEMIA), a Germanish sounding band with a great semi melodic heavy rockballad called “Fly away”. Also MASQUERAGE is a very interesting band, as they play high quality melodic Prog Metal. As you can see, this compilation CD is a good way to start if you want to discover the big Russian Prog/Power Metal scene. More info at:

(Points: - )


VALIANT MUSIC is a very important Metal label in Russia, as you will notice in this and other reviews. SHADOW HOST is probably the only band to get some response outside Russia. This band is also one of the best Russian bands at the moment. They play high quality melodic Prog/Power Metal like a mix between BLIND GUARDIAN, LABYRINTH and SYMPHONY X, with very good lead vocals that tend to sound a bit German. The CD has a very ‘big sound’ and the 11 included tracks are all very good. The absolute highlights are “The last hope”, “Beyond the line”, “Dragonfire’s burning”, “In the mirrorland” (best song, very fast Power Metal) and “Inviolable balance”. Without a doubt, this SHADOW HOST is a band to keep our eye open for, in the meantime check out their site at: and you can buy the CD at

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


This band is playing high quality melodic Power Metal in the style of HELLOWEEN. Their new CD is very impressive, and some songs also have a Neo-classical break with some very nice keyboardsolo’s. The band has a very good lead singer and the CD has a strong sound. 8 tracks are included, of which my favourites are “The world where shadows come to life”, “Runaway from dark”, “Fear is the conscience of villians” and “Victory of death” (very catchy), all fast melodic Power Metal tracks. Together with SHADOW HOST, ARCHONTES is definitely a band with a future. You can buy the CD at

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


SPECTER is another quality Progressive Metal band from Russia, although they have’t got such a good singer like most of the other bands do have. Nevertheless, their CD ‘Images of the innocent’ is a quality CD, filled with darker Progressive Metal in the style of EVERGREY. The best songs are “Images of the innocent”, “Jackal” and “Temple of ice”. Not one of the best bands, but still nice to check out if you’re looking for darker rawer Progressive Metal. More info at: and you can buy the CD at

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


This band is definitely inspired by 80s German Teutonic Metal a la RUNNING WILD, ACCEPT... Unfortunately they have a very average singer, and their music sounds very dated. Only the MANOWARish song “Brothers in Metal” is interesting, but apart from that only fans of Teutonic Metal might find something of interest here. You can buy the CD at

(Points: 6.0 out of 10)


Not all Russian bands are playing Hardrock or Metal, because OFFROAD is a trio playing pure AOR, and they do it on a very high level, quite close to ON THE RISE, NELSON and MITCH MALLOY. Their CD ‘Make it through’ contains some AOR perls here and there, and I can really give it a big recommendation to the AOR fans. The band has a very good lead singer (guitarist/keyboardplayer Ivan Chumakov) and their big AOR/Melodic Rocksound sounds very American. After listening to the first 4 tracks you will agree with me that OFFROAD is a high quality band. Opener “Nobody loves you more than I do” is a pure 90s NELSON meets MITCH MALLOY orientated classy US Melodic Rocker. Next track “California rose” is fantastic uptempo AOR a la ON THE RISE. The great semi AOR ballad “Queen of my heart” follows. Then comes the uptempo melodic poprocker “Tell them getta hell away”. The first average song is the groovy rocker “Don’t get evil” which has some AEROSMITH influences. Up next is the very impressive catchy uptempo melodic rocker “Now is when I need ya”. The calmer semi-ballad “Living on her own” follows. One of the best tracks has got to be the strong midtempo melodic rocker “What am I supposed to do”, which sounds like a mix between SCORPIONS and ON THE RISE. Following track “Playing with the strings of my soul” is taking us back to the early 80s US melodic poprocksound of RICK SPRINGFIELD. The last two tracks are less interesting, but nevertheless this is a highly recommended AOR record, probably the best AOR album ever made in Russia! Website at: You can buy the CD at

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


NYL is another band, just like OFF ROAD, playing a different style than any other band in Russia. NPL is playing great (poppy) Sympho/Progressive Rock with an AOR/Pomp touch, kinda like FOR ABSENT FRIENDS, KAYAK, ACT, JADIS and STYX. Actually the band sounds a lot like any SI MUSIC released CD from 10 years ago, so then you know a little more about the ‘melodic’ sound of NYL. 7 tracks are included, but most of them are quite long in length, so the CD still clocks about 40 minutes. Highlights are “Playin’ this game” (pure FAF sympho AOR), “Alone” (STYXish catchy radio-ready uptempo rocker) and the 9 minutes counting closing track “No matter of our lives”, which is a very relaxing Sympho/AOR semi-ballad like JADIS meets FAF. The songs have pleasant melodies, while the band has a great lead singer (Oleg Reznikov), so nothing stands in my way to give this CD a good rating. You can buy the CD at

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)

CATHARSIS is one of the few bands to have secured a label deal with a foreign label, namely with a Turkish label. In the past I reviewed the CD they released on that label (Dea" (Irond ltd. / Hamer Muzik), but they have also released a CD titled ‘Imago’, which should definitely be discussed, as it belongs to the better Russian releases. The Progressive/Power Metal of CATHARSIS is of a very high level, and reminds me of SYMPHONY X and VANDENPLAS. 12 tracks are included on the fantastic ‘Imago’ CD, with as best tracks “Imago”, “Heart of the world” (best song, very strong), “Chosen by heaven”, “Star waterfall” and “Follow the sun”. The sound is big, the songs are sensational, so this CD is highly recommended! You can buy the CD at

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


The CD ‘The wings’ from the band AZAZELLO contains only 2 songs, the 35 minute epic “The wings and “The sun”. “The wings” is divided in 9 tracks, and is basically a very good instrumental Progressive Metal song of a very high level, comparable to SYMPHONY X, with some interesting keyboardwork here and there. 2nd song is a bonus from the solo album of their leader Alexander Kukak. Also Azazello released the album Upstairs on French prog label Musea. Fans of instrumental Neo-classical Prog Metal will love this! More info at: and you can buy the CD at

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


There are quite some bands named RAIN, but this is of course a Russian band with the RAIN bandname, and their demo CD ‘Old castle’ is a very good typical Euro Melodic Metal release. The band sounds a lot like EDGUY, PRETTY MAIDS, PINK CREAM 69, so the CD is filled with a mix of Melodic Hardrock and Power Metal with catchy choruses in each song. The songs are quite long, and the band is at their very best during uptempo tracks, of which especially the first 2 songs are very impressive. The ballads are not that strong, but concluded this RAIN has delivered a very good Demo CD. You can buy the CD at

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


I haven’t got any information on this band, but they released their album ‘Veter v grivakh’ in 1989. The band sings in the Russian language, so I will not mention any of the songtitles here, because my Russian is not that well, but what I can do say about this CD is that it contains some high class 80s AOR/Melodic Rock, not unlike EUROPE, DEF LEPPARD, AUTOGRAPH, BON JOVI and some SCORPIONS. Although not all songs were sensational, you can find some really great AOR/Melodic Rocktracks on the album, such as the fantastic track “Proschaj (Goodbye)” on this CD, which is midtempo AOR a la SIGNAL/MARK FREE. The CD also contains a great videoclip, which is a very good AOR ballad (“Okhodit noch”) by the way. If you’re looking for good Russian AOR/Melodic Rock, you should check out KURAZH. You can buy the CD at

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)


This is a new Russian band and they have just released their debut CD titled ‘Evil sorcery’. The CD contains 12 tracks, and is basically a fantastic high quality melodic heavy rock/power metal release that can easily compete with most LIMB MUSIC releases, so we have a winner on our hands here! Highlights on the CD are “Vortex” (great faster uptempo melodic Power Metal), “Break the Fetters” (another lovely fast Euro Power Metal track), “Revolution Time” (good uptempo melodic heavy rocker a la SCORPIONS), “Prison for My Soul” (fast Power Metal a la SEVENTH AVENUE, with excellent guitarplay), “Autumn” (strong Progressive Melodic Rockballad) and “When Tomorrow Comes” (Power Metal a la LABYRINTH). Concluded, this is a highly recommended band! You can buy the CD at

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


THE ARROW come out of Moscow, and ‘Children of Gods’ is their debut CD, released in 2001. They were formed in 1994, but it took 7 years to finally release this first CD, which is a very good album, but sadly only clocks about 38 minutes. On the other hand, the 6 included tracks (not counting the 2 instrumentals) are fantastic ‘big sounding’ melodic heavy rock/metal tracks of a very high level. The best songs are “Metal in the Air” (great high quality faster uptempo melodic Power Metal a la LABYRINTH, STRATOVARIUS), “Mystery” (lovely semi melodic rockballad a la DREAM EVIL, MALMSTEEN, with very strong vocals and a catchy chorus), “Jewel Road” (80s US Melodic Power Metal a la QUEENSRYCHE and FATES WARNING) and the 10 minutes counting closing track “Lady Nite”, which is another high class 80s US Power Metal track. So, with THE ARROW we have another recommended band, especially if you’re a fan of mentioned bands. You can buy the CD at

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


The second CD of EPIDEMIA was released 2 years ago, and is even better than their fantastic debut. Like their debut it’s sung in Russian, so there’s not much to say about their songtitles, but I can inform you that even though the songs are not in English, this CD is one of the best Power Metal records released in Russia. The band has a great lead singer (Maxim Samosvat) and their latest effort ‘Riddle of magic land’ contains 9 fantastic Prog/Power Metal tracks, with as best songs “3” (great uptempo melodic heavy rocker a la 80s MAIDEN), “4” (great uptempo melodic Power Metal), “5” (catchy uptempo melodic rocker, nice keys, a la STRATOVARIUS), “7” (very 80s, excellent guitarplay, uptempo melodic heavy rocker), “8” (lovely semi melodic rockballad) and finally, the closing English track “Living In Twilight”, which is pure STRATOVARIUS! Concluded, this is one of the most recommended Russian Metal titles, if you don’t mind the Russian language barrier. You can buy the CD at Latest news: Epidemia has started recording a metal opera! The new Aria singer Arthur Berkut is guest singer. Producer of this project is Vladimir Holstinin (guitarist, songwriter and leader of ARIA).

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


EPIDEMIA from Moscow is yet another sensational Melodic Metal/Power Metalband. The band was formed in 1995 and released 2 full-length CDs. The first CD ‘Nakrav vremeni’ was released in 1999, and like the title predicts EPIDEMIA sings in their own language, so there’s not much to tell about the songtitles. Despite the language barrier, this is a fantastic melodic Power Metal album and with a playing time of 74 minutes, the 14 included tracks will provide enough pleasure for fans of RHAPSODY, LABYRINTH, BLIND GUARDIAN... The only song in English, “Dragonheart”, is one of the highlights, as this is a very fast melodic catchy Power Metal track. The follow up is slightly betterm but also this CD is highly recommended to fans of Euro Power Metal. You can buy the CD at By the way, Epidemia is the 1st Russian heavy metal group who went to the final show MTV Europe Music Awards (2002) in Barcelona among 4 other russian
pop groups such as t.A.T.u. and so on.

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


Although NORDREAM is also playing melodic Prog Metal in the style of SYMPHONY X, their CD is not really a recommendation, because the songs are just nice, but definitely not sensational. The CD was released in 2000 on VALIANT MUSIC, and actually only the opening track is really good, while the rest is just average. In other words, please buy the other releases on VALIANT MUSIC instead of this average record. If you’re still interested, you can buy the CD at

(Points: 7.0 out of 10)


SANTA MARIA is the least interesting band from Russia, as their CD from 2001 is a very average record that combines Russian traditional music and Melodic Hardrock/Metal. If you expect something like (let’s say) MAGA DE OZ, you’re completely fooled, because the CD of SANTA MARIA takes up only 27 minutes of average music with weak vocals. . If you’re still interested, you can buy the CD at

(Points: 6.5 out of 10)


Although CONQUEST is playing cliche Power Metal, they might be one of the best bands from the east, and surprisingly they hail from Ukraine. Their CD ‘Endless power’ is filled with superb high quality fast Melodic Power Metal that sounds very close to STRATOVARIUS, SONATA ARCTICA and LABYRINTH. The first song “I`ve Seen You In My Dreams” is very catchy and sets the spirit for the rest of the album, which is most of the time in the same style, which is fast melodic Power Metal with catchy memorable and singable choruses that will stick in your head after hearing it just once! Other highlights include “I`m Flying Back”, “Ancient Winds”, “This World Law”, “Before It`s Done” and “Destiny”, all sensational fast melodic Power Metal with catchy choruses to remember instantly. The band slows things down a few times, such as on the (semi) melodic rockballads “Winter Has Come” and “I Wanna Be With You”, but in general this is a band for the fans of fast Euro Power Metal a la HELLOWEEN, STRATOVARIUS, SONATA ARCTICA and SEVENTH AVENUE. Buy their sensational record at:

(Points: 9.0 out of 10)


It seems like the Russian bands are unstoppable, because also this LEGION released a sensational CD titled ‘The prophecy’ in 2001. The band has a great strong lead singer, and they play awesome high class melodic Power Metal a la STRATOVARIUS and LABYRINTH. Unfortunately I haven’t got any info on the band, but the best songs are the catchy uptempo Power Metal tracks 2 and 7 (sorry, no songtitles) and also the melodic rockballad 5 is quite nice, a bit like SCORPIONS. It’s a pity I don’t know much about LEGION, but take it from me that this is an impressive Power Metal act. You can buy the CD at

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


This is another sensational band. X-FACTOR is playing strong Melodic Metal and they remind me a bit of TIERRA SANTA and other Spanish Metalbands. The CD has a big sound and most of the songs are very good, such as the catchy songs 3 and 7 (again no songtitles here). Although released in 2001, I never saw a review on them and that’s a pity, because X-FACTOR is just like LEGION, another great Melodic Metalband from Russia. You can buy the CD at Additional info: Songs were written in 1988, but recorded in 2000. 

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)


NEFELIM was formed about 10 years ago, but had to wait until last year before releasing their official debut CD ‘Gates of creation’. The band is playing good Prog/Power Metal a la SYMPHONY X, with many keys and breaks, yet the vocals are not that strong, and also the 7 songs (still 45 minutes playing length) are not really shocking. Instrumental it sounds very good, but like I said the vocals of singer/keyboardplayer DJ Avad are not convincing enough. Still songs like “Lethe” and “Dawn” are good Progressive Metal songs a la SYMPHONY X. Not as good as the other Russian Prog/Power Metalbands, but still this is a nice CD to check out. You can buy the CD at

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


SAMHAIN is a band that has a male and female lead singer, and I do prefer the female singer, who reminds me of NIGHTWISH and WITHIN TEMPTATION, so a bit Gothic Metal we have here. The male vocals are average, and spoil the Melodic Prog Metal of SAMHAIN. Nevertheless, SAMHAIN has delivered a nice quality Prog Metal record, which could have sounded better if the band had only used the female singer. Maybe next time, in the meantime, you can buy the CD at

(Points: 7.5 out of 10)


Every country has it’s own very popular Hardrock or Metalband. In The Netherlands VANDENBERG and AYREON have a cult status, in Finland NIGHTWISH, STRATOVARIUS and SONATA ARCTICA are known with all the inhabitants, in Germany SCORPIONS and ACCEPT, in the USA KISS and AEROSMITH, in Switzerland GOTTHARD and KROKUS, in the UK IRON MAIDEN, in Argentina RATA BLANCA, in Spain MAGA DE OZ and TIERRA SANTA, in Italy RHAPSODY etc. etc. Bands like these are very big in their own country, with every album going instantly Gold or Platinum. However, in other countries some are not that big, and in Russia we have the same thing happening, because over there a band called ARIA has been selling millions of records the past 15-20 years, but outside Russia nobody has ever heard of them! That’s a pity, because the handfull of albums they released since 1985 are filled with good quality melodic Hardrock/Metal with a very strong German Metal approach. Sometimes they remind me of all the Spanish Melodic Metal bands I head the past few years, but the best description would be a mix between SCORPIONS, MAIDEN and AXEL RUDI PELL, with Russian lyrics. 

The band released about 9 records, and it all started in the mid 1980s. The band was becoming very popular in the underground scene, but had to struggle to survive, because back then (during the so-called Cold War) Hardrock or Metal were (almost) banned in Russia, but as we all remember around the time Gorbatsjov ruled Hardrock and Metal was allowed, resulting in many new bands playing this kind of Rock/Hardrock and one of them was ARIA. By far they were the best band around, because they played it very well, and their songs were of a very high level. The first 2 albums were only released on Cassette, but in 1987 they were signed to Melodia Records, on which they released their 3rd and 4th album. All these 4 albums are filled with great melodic heavy rock a la MAIDEN and PRETTY MAIDS, with as best songs (translated to English) “Torero” (catchy), “Dreams” (semi-ballad) (both from ‘Maniya velichiya’ – 1985), “Stand up” (strong melodic heavy rock), “Memory about...” (very good uptempo melodic heavy rocker) (both from ‘S Kem Ty’ – 1986), “Serving Evil Force” (catchy uptempo melodic heavy rocker), “Almost 1100” (another catchy uptempo melodic heavy rocker) and “Ballad of old wars/ Ballad About Ancient Russian Warrior” (strong semi-ballad/melodic heavy rocker) (all from ‘Geroy asfalta’ – 1987) and the songs “Slave of fear”, “Temptation” and “The war goes on” from their 4th album ‘Igra s ognyom’ – 1989). 

Then the 1980s were over, and the band released an album in 1991 on Syntez Records, the album ‘Krov za krov’ was another strong melodic heavy rockalbum with a huge production. Songs like “Farewell Norfolk”, “Zombie” and “Follow me” were great uptempo melodic heavy rockers. After this record, the band signed to MOROZ RECORDS, and released every now and then CDs on this label the following 10 years. The style changed a little, and the Metal almost vanished, and instead we got to hear more Melodic Hardrock orientated material. The bandmembers also released albums on their own during 1997, but ARIA remained to be their best effort, and in the year 1999 ARIA released it’s best album to date, namely 'I Odna Noch' (best of + 2 exclusive tracks). Although many ballads were included on this album, the band proved they could deliver a fantastic melodic rockalbum that sounded like a mix between THE SCORPIONS and HAREM SCAREM. From start to finish this was the perfect ARIA album, with many sensational songs and excellent musical and vocal performances. After this album it became quiet around ARIA, although a live CD was released in 2000. Nevertheless, this band should get some more attention outside Russia, because their catalogue is extensive and filled with great Melodic Rock/Metal material, best way to start with the band is to purchase their double live CD ‘Made in Russia Live’ as released in 1996. You can buy this and all other ARIA albums at

But the story goes on, because in the new millenium ARIA returned to the scene as APUST. Under this name they have released 2 CDs so far, and both are filled with great quality melodic metal like AXEL RUDI PELL, yet with Russian lyrics. I will not bother you talking about the Russian songtitles, because not many will understand it, but I can really recommend you both albums, as there are many strong uptempo melodic heavy rockers included on both ‘Wtual’ and ‘Xumepa’. It’s really a pity I have not much more to tell than to recommend you both albums, especially fans of Melodic Metal a la PELL/MAIDEN. Both albums can be purchased at: At the moment, APUST/ARIA is about to release a new CD with a new singer, so hopefully a review of that soon.



I was informed BLACK COFFEE was the first Russian Hardrockband. Anyway, they released 4 CDs, of which I received 2 albums. The 1987 record is a nice Hardrock/Metal record, with some Party Metal influences here and there. It reminds me of KROKUS, QUIET RIOT, although there’s also some slow bluesy Hardrock on the album (a la WHITESNAKE). The album is not really sensational, and sounds very dated nowadays, but for the period it was a good record. It is also the first hard'n'heavy album released on vinyl in Russia and sold 2 million copies during a year. The 1989 record however is much better, as it saw the band introducing an updated keyboard orientated AOR/Melodic Rocksound. Especially the first 2 songs are fantastic classy 80s AOR/Melodic Rockers a la BON JOVI, ZINATRA, EUROPE, TOBRUK... Unfortunately the rest of the album was weaker, and so were the lead vocals. Maybe their other albums were stronger, but these 2 records are definitely not of the same high quality as ARIJA did on their records. 


Not everything in Russia is high quality Hardrock/Metal, because IN FOLIO is an example of a very average Rock/Hardrockband. The 2 CDs I received of them didn’t impress me at all, and they sound like some cheap 80s Rock record that was too weak to be released back then, when basically every Rock or Hardrockband was signed by the specialized labels in the genre. If you didn’t like GORKY PARK, then you will never have to check out IN FOLIO, because these guys are even worse. Insiders call this an album for LED ZEPPELIN fans, so they might want to find out what this is all about. 


Just like IN FOLIO, PUSHKING is another example of an average band. They have copied the sound of GORKY PARK, so childish American orientated Party Hardrock a la SLAUGHTER is the style here, but not on any of their 3 CDs they reach the level of the weakest SLAUGHTER track, so I guess you’ll understand that this is not the kind of band I would recommend. It seems like the Russians are very good in playing Melodic Metal/Power Metal, but when it comes to good Hardrock only one band is playing it well and that’s ARIJA/APUST!

After hearing and reviewing the band PUSHKING I heard from Alexander from Russia that PUSHKING is one of the most popular bands from Russia. Here’s what he told me:

PUSHKING 'VIP' is the best Russian hard rock album! Guys are not very popular here, but group is well-known in West Europe. They are the most professionally musicians in Russia. Their 2nd (as i know) concert was on Sound Of Frankfurt Festival 300.000(!!!!) people. Their set and the interview with band was in hotline in all West Europe.  Pushking was created in 1994 and was the first example of the  recognition of Russian rock music on the international scene. 

The band recorded an album entitled "V.I.P." in Germany (1996, Bestell Nr. DTM 33000 LC 2613) which was a real eye-opener for European fans of hard rock. "V.I.P." was recorded at the Dolphin Studio, Frankfurt. Bruce Gowdy (producer of Glenn Houghes) was sound-producer of the album. The songs "Mama" and "Garden Undone" from the album placed 2nd and 4th respectively on German, Swiss and Dutch charts. Music channels (VIVA MTV, MCM) broadcast videos of these songs and radio stations and received good reviews in the European music press.

From 1996 to 1999 the group gave over 400 concerts in Germany and Switzerland. Concurrently, Pushking took part in the Sound Of Frankfurt Festival in Germany (1996) and the The Kingdom Festival in Bellinzona, Switzerland (1997) with EMERSON LAKE & PALMER, PINK CREAM 69, SAGA, MARILLION. Out of more than 30 participating band critics highlighted performances by Le Gouche, a famous band, and Pushking.

In 1998 Pushing returned to Russia to work on their new program and a concert tour around Russia.

So far the band has released two albums "V.I.P." and "To All The Losers" and a music collection (Vols. 1 & 2), and first Russian-language album "Desyatyi Krug" (Tenth Circle) to celebrate the group's anniversary. Constantine Choustarev, the band's front man, wrote all of the songs. The songs "Bashmaki" (Shoes) and "Bye, Bye Leningrad" from the album "Desyatyi Krug" (Tenth Circle) have video films. Russian music channels broadcast videos of these songs and received good reviews.

This year (2000), the band release the first video full-length film around 90 minutes "Koha's Birthday Party". The band is currently preparing for a solo-concert in one of St. Petersburg's largest concert halls, and also for the planned European tour and the release of two new records (English + Russian versions).

Well, I guess this story on Russian Hardrock/Metal has given you some info on the scene over there, soon part 2, with many more stories on other countries as well soon.

(This Russian Hardrock/Metal special was entirely made by Gabor Kleinbloesem, with the help of additional info and providing the bands by of Alexander Pastukhov of the mailorder company METAL CD RUSSIA where you can buy ALL reviewed albums: