It’s alright if you haven’t gotten to know the metal and rock scene in Ukraine. If you’ve ever wanted to familiarise yourself with the diversity and intensity of the country’s heavy side, treat this as an introduction to the world of Ukrainian metal. All the way from the city known as the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’; Odessa, comes Septa, who have been one of many bands responsible for the current wave of Ukrainian rock music.
Formed in 2006 by vocalist Eugene Tymchyk and guitarist Alexander Kostuchenko as high schoolers and performed together for three months. The two would reunite in 2010 and agree to start the band up again, recruiting Dmitriy Ulyanov and Petr Bystrov, and spent two years writing music. Since then, Septa have taken on some big and bright opportunities that have helped shape their name and identity to not just Ukraine, but all of the world.
Their music has been described as a blend of alternative rock, with progressive metal, post-hardcore, mathcore and electronic by critics and fans alike. Septa’s influences have ranged from not only the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Coheed & Cambria, Thrice, Deftones, Tool and Finch, but also a number of electronic and post-rock music from Massive Attack to Sigur Ros. The results of these artists that have influenced Septa have helped them incarnate three full-length records, and a number of EPs and singles.
One of the key components of Septa’s work is their conceptual storytelling, which has focused on the grim side of love, as well as death. These abstractions would become present in their 2013 debut – “The Lover”, as well as 2014’s “Destroyer”, and their latest offering “Sounds Like Murder”. Eugene Tymchyk notes that writing stories are a much easier process for him, lyrically and that it opens a more imaginative side to not just Septa, but their very audience that have helped them land in the position that they’re currently standing on at this point.
“The Lover” would be produced by Matt Bayles, who is known for his work with Isis, Mastodon and Norma Jean. This would be Septa’s introduction to the world, featuring segments of alternative, progressive rock and post-hardcore music, while maintaining a heavier notion to their sound. Their sophomore “Destroyer” became the band’s most drastically-changed record, executing aggressive elements of mathcore and experimental music. Then in 2016, came “Sounds Like Murder”, which became an emulsion of “The Lover” and “Destroyer”. That record would help the band earn the “Metal Album of the Year” award and land in second place for the “Metal Band of the Year” for the BUMA Awards (Best Ukranian Metal Awards). Their latest release came in the form of a single this year, under the title Redrum, which became the last chapter of the story in “Sounds Like Murder”.
Their live shows date back to 2010, and have since performed in a number of locations across Odessa, Kiev, Illichivs’k, Mykolayiv and Vinnytsya, including festivals such as Big Love Fest, InshaMuzyka Fest and the well-known Zaxidfest, which featured bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Enter Shikari, Dark Tranquility, Chelsea Grin, Being As An Ocean and more. Septa have been associated with both maniacal and tamed onstage performances, with Eugene Tymchyk throwing himself into the audience and energising the crowd along with the rest of his bandmates. At the same time, they have also been inclusive about performing acoustic shows, with their own material and a few covers to throw into their sets.
No matter if it’s the live performances or the recorded material you choose to witness, Septa don’t hold back in putting every inch of power into both formats that represent their name and presence. To allow every little thing that influences them in some way, shape or form proves that Septa have put in more than just the blood, sweat and tears to keep that flame lit. While many other bands are making a name for themselves, Septa are going around to solidify their place. If one Ukrainian band was to lead their hometown’s scene and represent their country internationally, Septa are arguably, the best choice to make that mark.
For fans of: Norma Jean, Thrice, Dillinger Escape Plan, Coheed & Cambria and Enter Shikari.