IWKC or I Will Kill Chita (the band’s name jokingly refers to fraternal tensions between members in the past) was formed in 2008 in Russia when the Samarin brothers, Nikita and Nikolai started a chaotic punk-garage band. The search for their own style as well as competent partner-performers has continued through almost three years. After some years spent experimenting with the sound and line-up the band consolidated finally as a septet of Nikolai Samarin (keyboards, guitars), Nikita Samarin (drums, electronics), Andrei Silin (keyboards, electronics), Alexander Ivanov (bass), and Artem Litvakovsky (cello), Denis Smirnov (french horn), Ksenia Pluzhnikova (violin). The band released their 3 track debut EP ‘Better Days’ in December of 2010. The following year they released another EP titled ‘Not A Dream’. On January 28, 2012 the band released their first full length ‘Urban Fears’. It was a conceptual album dedicated to Moscow’s industrial outskirts and was uniquely recorded in an abandoned industrial building in Moscow Suburbs. Since that time the band has has 5 additional releases and a brand new release ‘Hladikarna’ which dropped on May 2, 2017 . The album was recorded & mixed by Nick Samarin @ Orange Studio, produced by IWKC & Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko and mastered by Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko. The album also includes a vast amount of guest vocalists Valentin Berezin, Roman Karandaev (extreme vocals), Julia Mityashova, Nicolas Perrault (German vocals), Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko & Smackapella Choir, Gennadiy Lavrentiev (tabla), Khyung Nagpo (Gyuke voices), Shonchulai Hovenmei, Medved Boris (Full Power), these are in addition of course to the vocals by guitarist and keyboardist Nick Samarin. The band has been formed almost a decade and has more releases than most average bands that have been formed the same amount of time. IWKC doesn’t sit around, they are constantly creating music, and ‘Hladikarna’ is just the latest creative output by the band.
The album is kicked off with the incredibly downtuned sludge track “Kastenkampf”. The track includes a little reverb and static like sound that gives it this crusty raw feel that is extremely appealing. The keyboard parts by Nick Samarin really set the mood of the song. You can almost hear a hint of vocals in the background but it isn’t enough to make out exactly what’s going on. Because of that it makes you listen even more closely. The track almost serves as a intro to the album, and it surely gets you pumped for everything to come. Next up is “Samadhi” which incorporates some exotic sounds. Slowly the track includes these slow hand tapping like drum sounds that are almost hypnotizing. The riffs repeat and slowly become heavier and heavier. This song is really climactic and builds as it goes. Just as you think the song is about to go one way it completely changes directions. The keyboard become more incorporated and you get a funk and groove vibe going but it still has that exotic flare. As “Samadhi” inches its way more towards a doom sound you get these group chant vocals that really add to the depth of the song. The track is multilayered and has a tremendous amount of things going on. Usually with so many different variables things can become chaotic but here it is a well orchestrated and planned chaos and it works flawlessly. “Youth” unlike some of the other tracks on the album starts immediately with some vocals. Unsure which vocalist is featured here but the style is almost more of an early 90’s alt rock sound and at times reminiscent of Radiohead. In addition to those vocals you also get a screaming like chant that adds to the flare of the chorus. Though the vocals aren’t normally fitting to the heavy riffs and beats of a band like this, it fits here. This specific track has more of a progressive feel. This track also highlights the cello playing of Artyom Litvakovskiy. During portions of the chorus later in the song the vocalist showcases and holds a note for quite a long time and is pitch perfect. “Land of Stupas” is the most haunting song on the album by far. It has an eerie tone and some whispered harsh type vocals. The track sludges through at a snails pace and captures a drone like feel to the bands sound. This truly shows the bands ability to play at any tempo. IWKC showcase varying sounds and styles on this album. From one track to the next you never really know what they are going to do. ‘Hladikarna’ works almost like a mystery novel, and you will never be able to predict the bands next move.