IC3PEAK: prime folk horror meets stark anti-Russian protest

July 15, 2022

So this is a two part news story. On the one hand, we’re here to talk about ‘Kiss of Death’, which is the latest release from IC3PEAK. It’s arguably more poppy than their past songs but is still a bracing listen as they mix their horror pop format with classic folk horror visuals to provide an entire movie’s vibe in just two minutes and fourteen seconds.

But on the other hand, it’s so much more than that. You see, this vibe isn’t just folk horror, it’s a complete contemporary statement. The duo are Russian, and have always been opposed to Putin’s government, releasing a series of incendiary, no compromise songs and visuals. However, since the invasion of Ukraine and IC3PEAK’s campaign to raise support for Ukraine, the band have been stamped on: blacklisted by the allowed social media, arrested, banned from performing…

So they made Kiss of Death (also the name of the excellent new album that’s out) partly to reflect the folk horror vibe they express so well, but mainly to shout back at their oppressors. It’s a hard time to be a Russian band, because if you oppose the war, you get crushed. IC3PEAK are doing it anyway, which is genuinely brave. If you like the sonics of Kiss of Death, the album is worth a spin.

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