Ustalost – The Spoor of Vipers (Someone Finally Dropped a Fecal Reference)

I really liked the title of this one, until I thought about it more and remembered, that, yes, this can be considered a reference to poop or sultry odors emanating from slithering beasts. Say, there’s a band name or album title, right there. Copyright Deaf Sparrow 8 November 2017, though, sorry. So can this band overcome its penchant for bodily solid wastes, even if they’re coming from cool, earth-bound reptilians? After several thorough listens I have to say the answer is no, but oddly there’s a lovable quality to this bizarre black metal, one-man band, Ustalost, who though transliterating his name from the Russian word for “weariness” or “fatigue,” is actually from Brooklyn NY. Now, in his defense, there’s a sizable Russian population there, so maybe he’s Russian, but putting the word into English is a bit awkward, for the vowel stress goes on the second vowel, and if you can’t speak Russian you end up saying “oostalost” instead of “oostAHlost.” Personally, I would have just stuck with Weariness, or put the name in Russian to seem more elite underground legit. Yeah, I just pulled out some Russian grammar in the introduction to a black metal review what’s wrong with me?


So The Spoor of Vipers is as black metal album released by Sibir Records digitally and in limited cassette (a cool blue), which by the way seems to be controlled by Ustalost’s single member, so is it a label, or is it a dream? Well, I can tell you this album is something of a dream, because the approach to black metal here is like those scattered memories of sleep. The quality is murky, sprinkled with frosty static, and blown around by dissonant riffs. With the keyboard effects keeping the harmony going, there are moments when this one truly strikes a real thought. Track “V,” for example, is actually an effective usage of keyboards and old-school riff. I felt something then, I really did, but that something became almost comedy at other times. The keyboard is largely to blame, but otherwise you’ll find sections that sound unfinished, scales poorly placed and so dissonant that they lose their meaning musically, which is not helped by the clean bass throbbing like a headache in the background, occasionally running up the fret board so it almost sounds too old-school basement-cassette. Is it a rehearsal, is it a demo? Either of these are possible if I were to allow you to listen to this without any context.


Ustalost Is Too Cool for an Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Ustalost: The Spoor of Vipers
Siber Records
3.5 / 5