"Lead Weight" band was established in March of 1992 by schoolmates Yermola (guitar) and Blum (bass) on a “wreckage” of "Apokalypsis" and “Kolos” groups after a vocal/keyboard player and a drummer have left. Soon after that “Iron Balls” demo of 10 songs was recorded in a style of orthodox heavy metal. A period of rock-n-roll a la Young brothers has changed to Yermola’s instrumental passion.
A new "Apokalypsis" program, taken as a basis for a full format album of the same name, was ready by fall 1993. Recording took place in Alma-Ata “Tau” studio with assistance of sound producers Alexander Kostromykin and Vladimir Shmatko. Sound tracks varied from neo-classic things to a style like Gary Moore and Steve Ray Vaughan. At the same time (April 1994) the group (after the audition) was accepted to Alma-Ata “Baspager” Rock Club and the first live concerts (excluding the action in “Officers’ House”) were held on this stage together with “Accent” and “Vist”. The first video materials had been made during these sessions.
An older brother of Blum, Igor, who worked in an advertising business in Moscow, is in charge of production and promotion of the group. He is involved in metal radio program “Radio of Vazastan”, where Yermola and Blum broadcast music of “L.W.”, “Kreator”, “Slayer” and “Pantera”. After negotiations with a local “Z-Records” studio “Apokalypsis” would have been issued on tapes. The project failed because of inappropriate use of funds allocated for printed material. A new equipment is bought shortly after with a help of a sponsor.
In the spring of 1995 a new work named “OMEN” with instrumental stuff and traditional remix of I.S. Bach is recorded with help of Shmatko and Kostromykin in the same “Tau” studio. The music is played on local radio stations and gets awarded (the 3-d place in a top 10 on “Totem” radio and a “Group of the Year” title voted on “M” radio). By the end of 1997 Vasily Mikhailin (“Black Widow” project guitarist) finalizes remixing and re-mastering of “OMEN” and "Apokalypsis", which brings out a new “ANTHOLOGY” collection. Vasily also did a cover design.
After “historical” meeting of Yermola with “Black Widow” formation and several rehearsals with: HellPash (Pavel Archakov) - drums; Grom (Roman Barelko) - guitar, vocal; Vasca (V. Mikhailin) - guitar; Blum - base and Yermola – guitar, new participants come to play in “L.W.”. Some time later Vasca gets into his own folk-project and leaves, the group in its “classic” structure goes to a kinder garden “Almaty International School” to study a material for its next Death opus named "For Thine Is The Kingdom... ...". The album was recorded in a private studio “Grom Sound Base” and issued on a master disc in December of 1999. The songs’ authors were Yermola and Grom. Grom did a cover design as well as a new logo. The general sound becomes considerably heavier. It has pure Death-type tunes, which are naturally blended with Thrash and Progressive Metal. By the way, composition of I. Stravinsky has been used as an introduction organically flowing into "Miserere". All vocal parts are by Grom (in “Enemy” composition HellPash screams), although in the first variant of a title song of "For Thine Is The Kingdom... ..." Yermola’s vocal was recorded. Live club performances shows that the group was greatly accepted by public (despite some “over-complication”) and also that “L.W.” has a professional live sound and a great team-work. During 2000 the group did lots of concerts, festivals, parties. There was made a TV show “City-Jazz, City-Blues” (broadcasted on “TAN” channel), live broadcast on “Auto Radio” with Sergey Altantsev and Julia Borovinskaya. It’s enough to say that "LEAD WEIGHT" performed in such clubs as “Matrix” (Rock-n-Roller), “Pana” (DK “Stroitel”), “Universe”, “My Town”, and “Sport Cafe”.
"For Thine Is The Kingdom... ..." gets a great appreciation in local and foreign press. The biggest Russian metal web-zine “MUSICA MUST DIE” gave 8.5 out 10 to the album! (“…I never expected to hear this kind of thing from these guys from Kazakhstan. It seems that they managed to create something new in a heavy metal world. Although something similar was tried before by musicians of End Zone, but then they gave up experimenting. But Lead Weight got the right blend of melody and aggressiveness of death-metal with complicated structures, twisted moments, and rhythm spikes of progressive-metal. Sometimes it feels like musicians of Dream Theater play…”). “Legion” magazine (CIS) indicated a great appreciation of instrumental technique: “…Guys just enjoy the WAY they can play – and, believe me, they know the WAY. Some people already put a tag of a death-metal on this work, but I wouldn’t do it – for death-metal in its pure form - is a style quite limited for creation of something new…” American “666 Metal” gave the highest appreciation:
“…Comprised mostly of instrumentals, "For Thine is the Kingdom" is probably one of the more original sounding albums I've heard recently. The sound is more of a cross between a traditional metal sound and progressive death metal (mostly due to the vocals). Its really pretty catchy but has some moments of intensity from time to time. …” There are also detailed interviews with the group in “Metal Observer” magazine (Germany) and “Legion” magazine (Belorussia).
The biggest success of 2001 was a project “MUSICA MUST DIE” – CD issue with participation of Lead Weight and other interesting groups of CIS. Starting summer 2001 the album is available on famous “Gorbushka” market (“Rubin”) and in other selling points of Moscow, and from October it’s available in Almaty (“Accord” shop, 2-nd floor, Furmanova/Bogenbai Batyr Streets).
On 14 of February, 2002 after two years of intense work a new album “PENETRATOR” comes into the world. 10 songs are made in a heap up techno-death style. One week later the first reviews come… Observer “EXPRESS-K” – Regent Kicks – gives 4/5: “This work is obviously intended for ardent fans of the heavy genre. I’m not in this list, however its dense guitar duet and clear written parts made me listen: I haven’t heard this kind of quality in Almaty for a long time…” “Papa Razzi” goes further: “”PENETRATOR” can be included into the list of the most interesting products of Kazakhstan’s underground…” But, perhaps, the most interesting impressions the disc made on journalists of “MISICA MUST DIE” resource – Tornado and DIMAS. Accordingly they gave 8/10 and 8.5/10. “Great technique of death-doom metal with progressive influences. Excellent melodic and rich guitar duet, stunning melodic edging with complicated nicely made rhymes, interesting long and intricate solos often coming opposite the whole song structure, but not breaking it, only live drums, well done extreme vocal. The music is in general very diverse, but in several fragments can seem a little bit monotonous. Many Russian (and not only Russian) groups would envy the quality of recording. The music is saturated with serious philosophical moods, which do not let relax and create some tension while listening the album for the first time. Next times it’s easier and more comfortable. The only track in the album where you can relax is an “Elegy” instrumental track full of amazing beauty that created an illusion of easiness and freedom. High appreciation was also got from “In Rock” Russian magazine and “Metal Library” resource (7/10 and 9/10).
In June the band records a cover "DEATH" - "LOW LIFE" for an album "Tribute to Chuck Schuldiner" label, Hangar 18 Productions (http://tribute.by.ru/). Popular Belorussian Massa Brutto Radio broadcasts songs from “Penetrator”. Later on that summer the permanent bass player Blum leaves the group for personal reasons. On 13-th of August “L.W.” announces a replacement – it’s an ex-player of famous black-death group “REQUIEM” – Denis Ivanchenko aka “Pansa”.
On 12-th of November of 2002 the group signs with the leading Russian label "CD-Maximum" and already on 28-th of November the “Penetrator” album is out in retail in Russia and CIS.
Disc gets quite interesting evaluation in a variety of world magazines. Besides Russian and Kazakhstan publications, it’s in the press of Germany, Italy, USA, Argentina and Greece.
Group changes again. Unfortunately, a bass player couldn’t participate in the project further and L.W. is again a team of three.
At present the group is working on recording of a new program called “Ally”. The concept is ready as well as some songs. The album will reflect personal impressions and meditation on life under the influence of early works of Carlos Castaneda, which is obvious, even from the name of the album –“Ally”. Each person has its own ally. Some try to communicate with personal ally by using peyote and mushrooms, LW will try to do it with the help of music. In interludes and some parts of the album there will be ancient ethnic instruments used, including wind and stringed instruments, which really suit for communication of psychedelics and meditation.
Yermola - solo/rhythm guitar, composition, arrangement, producing, texts
Grom - vocal, guitar, composition, arrangement, recording, mixing, mastering
HellPash - percussion, arrangement
Jesus Cr. - bass, vocal
Death, Pestilence, Cynic, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rhapsody, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Deep Purple,
Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, Sepultura, Kreator, Pantera, Metallica, Napalm Death, Van Halen
Death, Pestilence, Cynic, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rhapsody, Dream Theater, Megadeth