Review from Chronicles of Chaos Webzine

May 11, 2014
From: Chronicles of Chaos Webzine
Published: May 6, 2014

Thanks to technology, a single person can become a band of musicians; one instrument, human or musical, can become an orchestra, especially if you're an aspiring musician residing in the remotest regions of the planet. Like Siberia, for instance.

Windbruch is a Russian one-man band hailing from the coldest, most desolate parts of Russia, namely Siberia, but the blessed technology has enabled the artist to produce a full album (his second, if anybody cares) that fits the intellectually-inclined musical vision of its label, the prolific Canadian Hypnotic Dirge Records.

Musically, _No Stars, Only Full Dark_ centers around gentle and highly contemplative soundscapes that can be either traditionally structured or abstract, harnessing electronica, sampled motifs and some spoken passages, while the metallic essence roams between shoegaze rock and synthpop, to standard, by-the-book black 'metal' that's mostly benign and pedestrian, but owning a dreamy, hazy character that matches the whole album's etiquette.

_No Stars, Only Full Dark_ pays its dues to the likes of Tiamat's _Wildhoney_ and even more-so to _A Deeper Kind of Slumber_, in that it uses the same formula of highly melodic, simple and linear arrangements and uninspired, steady-state, slow-to-mid-paced tempos playing over and over again the same euphonious riffs. It does not sound as organic as the aforementioned however, because of the objective limitation in manpower forcing the musician behind Windbruch to fill the gap by using synthetic sounds and instruments in addition to a warm, fuzzy and captivating guitar sound.

_No Stars, Only Full Dark_ is somewhat interesting because it is purely ear-friendly, and as such raises no obstacles or challenging factors in front of the listener, just those highly relate-able, sweet lullabies of mild melancholy, enabling an immediate assimilation and pleasure for the habitual listener. So if you're into the sole enjoyment, this album will cater just that for you, without making you break your head and without the need of multiple listening sessions in order to 'get' or 'understand' the music. On _No Stars, Only Full Dark_, what you hear is what you get.

As was the case with Windbruch's label mates Eptimia, this album is more of an excursion into the shoegaze realm and less of an all-out black metal album; some parts are totally Alcest or Klimt 1918-inspired, and even though the guitar owns a metallic edge, in the end what qualifies the album as being associated mildly with the black metal aesthetics are the vocals, which are, in essence, kept to a necessary minimum; and even those are more of a hybrid belonging to the dark metal school rather than to the pure, distinctive black metal screeches.

The alleged cold atmosphere described by the label (or the album's title, for that matter) can be misleading; to these very ears, the music on the disc sounds for the most part quite the opposite: sun-baked and life-affirming, and the rather jolly keyboard-generated tunes don't help either. It's all very basic and formulaic, yet a formula that works every time, because it establishes a dialogue with the most basic, common human needs and desires -- and in the end it all boils down to the pursuit of happiness and nirvana. Those aspirations are sonically overflowing from the album's parameters and keep on flowing copiously until the end. Colder and bleaker albums have been recorded, and you can take that to the bank.

The best moments on the album are the ones that flirt with funeral doom and death metal, and even though those are few and far between, they create a massive, dark atmosphere for a short while, reminiscent of Raventale's best slow moments. Not only that, but the mellower parts, where a complete tranquil sonic dusk descends upon the listener, are also not bad at all.

Distortion-free, darkwave / synthpop compositions adorn the better part of the recording, creating a highly contemplative experience and sublime bliss. When those are followed by long Russian spoken verses and explode into a bright and polychromatic emotional barrage of keyboards, guitars and a basic rock rhythm, the band is at its peak, showcasing the true art of emotion-inducing, emotion-generating and emotion-crushing music; a heightened sense of melody that has been fused with apt songwriting that is simple yet effective.

You wouldn't believe how efficient and potent the simplicity displayed on _No Stars, Only Full Dark_ is. It's not the most original album out there, nor the darkest or the most complex, to say the very least. However, Windbruch does own what it takes in order to tickle any music lover's fancy, creating a personal, intimate, gentle and thoughtful album (but never bombastic, despite the potential, nor sentimentally saccharine-sweet) with the potential of making every single human being out there tick with religious appreciation. 

Rating: 6.5/10
Reviewed by: Chaim Drishner 

Review from Lords of Metal Webzine

May 11, 2014
From: Lords of Metal Webzine
Published: May 1, 2014

No Stars, Only Full Dark is Windbruchs second full-length album and the follow-up to Collision Of The Worlds, which was an interesting album full of astral atmospheric black metal. The album was seriously hampered by its vocals, which were poorly done and distracting from the atmosphere. On No Stars, Only Full Dark the vocals are sparsely used and vastly improved, no longer a distracting factor. Windbruch now opts for a more strai...

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Review from Rock Metal Essence Webzine

May 6, 2014
From: Rock Metal Essence Webzine
Published: May 6, 2014
*Google translation of Italian review

It 'was released in February 2014 No Stars, Only Full Dark , the second album in the study of the formation of the Siberian atmospheric black metal Windbruch

A disk of cold atmospheric black metal, often delicate and emotional melodies in its most refined, but also capable of showcasing a good masculinity and aggression where the pace becomes more urgent or more doom, or at times when it can...

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Review from Aristocrazia Webzine

May 6, 2014
From: Aristocrazia Webzine
Published: May 5, 2014
*Google translation of Italian review

It's been over three years since I made ​​the acquaintance of Rodion Mikhailov (then known as IO) and its solitary project Windbruch thanks to "Collision Of The Worlds" , a considerable amount of time that had led me to forget the existence of this Russian group. Yet it took only a couple of tracks from the new album "No Stars, Only Full Dark" to bring back vivid memories and positive sign th...

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Review from Pest Webzine

April 24, 2014
From: Pest Webzine
Published: April 23, 2014

It seems Hypnotic Dirge starts fishing in East European waters, I guess the collaboration with Solitude Productions had its share of influence on this matter, especially since Ukraine and Russia are so rich in doomy, depressive bands. Windbruch already released a split on Hypnotic Dirge and they extended their contract with this second full-length, the first being released by Romanian Sun & Moon Records in 2009. Windbruch seems to borrow...

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Review from Sic Maggot Webzine

April 9, 2014
From: Sic Maggot Webzine
Published: March 29, 2014
*Google translation of Czech review

When I was in May last year wrote a review on the split "Silentium" on which participated in the formation of three Russian Depicting you , Windbruch and Gmork , I did not expect that it will pass about ten months and our menu will review two of these three groups and top one mate. Talking about the albums you Depicting a epitimy (main band members Depicting you ) still awaits us in the near futur...

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Review from Headbang Webzine

April 2, 2014
From: Headbang Webzine
Published: April 2, 2014
*Google translation of Italian review

The art of discovering never fail, never stop repeating it against the Hypnotic Dirge Records , releases always high quality and often-as in this case-"valuations" came from an earlier self. Oh yes because this No Stars, Only Full Dark was there ready to go indifferent to many, if not all, more and more difficult to move and to disentangle the various outputs, then the time is always less, seems to...

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Review from Alternativ Musik Webzine

April 1, 2014
From: Alternativ Musik Webzine
Published: April 1, 2014
*Google translation of German review

As the album begins to use sounds that sound as if the CD jumping and one wonders if the CD is not broken. But no, right after the album of the one-man project from Siberia, the atmospheric Black Metal makes and so the album ends with the same noise begins. Right in the middle will transport you to the Siberian cold, which acts as bleak as it suggests the album, produced by discreet eigesetz...

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Review from Post-Christ Webzine

March 25, 2014
From: Post-Christ Webzine
Published: March 24 2014
*Google translation of French review

Born in 2009 with a debut album Collision of the Worlds , the one-man-band Russian WINDBRUCH offers us in this year 2014 its second opus lasting almost 50 minutes. Little precedent for the progenitor of this group, but the level is nonetheless there in a very conventional style altogether.

The style is rather atmospheric, without bidding keyboards yet, and control of the whole is quite interesting...

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Review from Dead Rhetoric Webzine

March 18, 2014
From: Dead Rhetoric Webzine
Published: March 16, 2014

Bordering on the “is it metal or not” fence is Russia’s Windbruch, a one-man musical project.  Combining atmospheric black metal, shoegaze, and a sense for the cinematic, No Stars, Only Full Dark is described as a “soundtrack for the heart of winter.”  The follow-up to 2009’s Collision of the Worlds, No Stars, Only Full Dark was originally issued independently in 2013 but pressed to CD for the first time early this y...

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 Released: February 1, 2014
500 Copies
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal/Soundtrack