TRNA want to take you on a journey. Not to their Russian homeland, but beyond that, to a place not on any map where the trio’s dreamy “celestial blackgaze” can properly get beneath your skin and into your mind. With their fourth album, Istok, their first for Candlelight Records, they’re pushing even further into the unknown.
The band formed in 2013 in Saint Petersburg, following the breakup of similarly blissful-minded outfit, Princ Persii. Though not wanting to limit themselves to a genre, the “celestial blackgaze” fit so well that it stuck – descriptive enough to catch their vibe, loose enough to have no walls. TRNA exist very much in their own celestial space, but the band were still quite happy to talk to Echoes and Dust about some of the band’s influences…
Slowdive – Slowdive (Andrey – guitar)
After the release of Earthcult in 2018 strange times began in regards to my musical taste. In fact I stopped being interested in music for some time. At that time we used to hang out with Tim – our drummer – a lot and he played a lot of shoegaze records I had never heard of. Slowdive’s self-titled album is perfect for getting into the genre – it’s got everything the band is known and loved for and a great modern sound on top of it.
All in all when I listened to it few times I felt hungry for new music and discovered a bunch of new bands. I think this album definitely had an influence on me and the way we wrote Istok. The first track we wrote was ‘Shining’ – the most “shoegazy” on the record.
Woods of Desolation – As the Stars (Anton – bass)
For me it is the album where the best elements of atmospheric black metal and post-rock got magically intertwined. Breathtaking riffs, melodic tremolos and arpeggios along with aggressive vocals and raw sound take you on a powerful emotional journey.
Immense sound and emotion palette ranging from deep sorrow to light and hope. Definitely a cornerstone of the whole genre.
Holy Fawn – Death Spells (Tim – drums)
For me this is an album which turned things upside down. It is so unique and refreshing that it really inspired me and showed an alternative way of making heavy atmospheric music. First, they don’t use blastbeats. For me as a drummer playing a lot of this stuff it was so unusual and cool to hear being in the new age of blastbeats. Guys also use electronic beats and samples and clean vocals! This is so unusual for such a heavy band but all these elements play together so incredibly well that it’s really eye-opening.
The timing, the inclusion of really quiet parts to contrast loud sections, the songwriting overall is just brilliant. I think you can hear the influence right from the start of Istok – the title track starts with a slow heavy part just to be contrasted by a quiet one. Speaks for itself.