• Eastern Bloc Obscurities Series No. 7
  • First press of 250 copies
  • 3mm jacket printed on thick cardstock
  • 12"x12" double sided insert
  • 24"x24" poster of the cover
  • First 100 orders will receive the limited red/silver marble vinyl variant. 

(Description by J. Campbell)

Though active for just a few years, from 1985 to 1989, Магнит’s only full-length vinyl release, День Гнева, has since achieved cult status among fans of Soviet-era metal, bringing the band international recognition. As with most obscure rock and metal bands from the former Soviet Union, the details surrounding Магнит’s history are murky. Formed by keyboardist Alexander Bobrov, who primarily acted as the band’s art director and only occasionally performed on the recordings, Магнит evolved out of the Фантазия ensemble, which was associated with the Moscow Philharmonic and, since the mid-1970s, played traditional folk music before gravitating toward more popular sounds. Магнит emerged in 1985 as a symphonic rock band, performing renditions of classical pieces by composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Bartok, Prokofiev and Frescobaldi. The earliest incarnation of the band featured three keyboard players, accompanied by a guitarist, bassist, and drummer, all of whom were classically trained. Through the patronage of the Belgorod Philharmonic Society in St. Petersburg, Магнит recorded their first self-titled recording, consisting entirely of classical music played in something of a prog-rock style, which they self-released on reel-to-reel tape—then a common format in the Soviet Union. By that time, however, classical music’s popularity was on the decline as contemporary styles were gaining cultural momentum, causing Магнит to pivot toward a heavier rock sound, shedding and replacing some former members in the process. (All told, more than a dozen musicians contributed to the band during its brief existence.) In 1987, Магнит released Детектив (“Detective”), a four-song EP showcasing their new heavy rock-oriented sound. Later that same year, Магнит released another EP entitled Слушай рок (“Listen to Rock”), further defining the band’s new, heavier direction. Like the self-titled recording, both Детектив and Слушай рок were only available on reel-to-reel tape, featured no cover artwork, and remained virtually unknown until 2023, when they were first reissued on CD. But the band’s sound did not come to fruition until the release of День Гнева (“Dies Irae”) in 1988 by the state-owned record label Melodiya. Founded in 1964, Melodiya was the only label in the country until the collapse of the Soviet Union. In terms of sound, imagery, and lyrical content, День Гнева reflected new era of glasnost and perestroika advanced by Mikhail Gorbachev as he instituted a series of reforms aimed at opening Soviet society. The severe cover art mostly consisted of sharp, stylized text set against a black background with an inset image taken from a painting entitled “Hourglass” depicting Stalin peering into the lower bulb of an hourglass, watching skulls pass through the neck and accumulate at its base. The artist, Pyotr Alekseyevich Belov, who died the same year День Гнева was released, was known for his work as the head artist of the Theater of NV Gogol, and, later, the Central Theater of the Soviet Army. He produced a series of anti-Stalinist paintings between 1985 and 1988, during the twilight of the Soviet state. Political themes appear in the lyrics as well. Most notable, perhaps, was the inclusion of passages by the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam whose criticism of Stalin—whom he referred to as a “peasant slayer”—led to his temporary exile from Moscow in 1933, and, just five years later, to his imprisonment in a Gulag where he died of typhoid. By the time День Гнева was released, Магнит’s sound had undergone a complete metamorphosis. The band’s classical tendencies are still apparent on the album but channeled into aggressive power metal, their virtuosic and hyper-technical performances tempered by the raw production and unique, unpredictable composition making День Гнева one of the most successful examples of a band synthesizing classical and contemporary sounds.

Magnit (Магнит) “Dies Iraeа (День Гнев)” LP (NWN Press)

  • Brand: NWN
  • Product Code: LP
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $25.00

Tags: 11.01.2023