You’d have to be living under a rock not to have at some point Ukraine on your mind in 2022. Well, war and politics aside, for the Ukrainian people as well, life has had to go on, no matter what struggles and horrors they’ve been subjected to.

Ukrainian metalcore band Space of Variations is an excellent example of a group of young men who have been powering through, aiming high, and trying to reach the goals they have set for themselves. The quartet released their latest full-length IMAGO this past March. Their sophomore release and the follow-up to 2019’s Napalm Records debut, the XXXX EP, the album sees the group sound fresh and exciting, with a multi-faceted approach, complete with punishing hardcore riffs and cataclysmic breakdowns. There is an erratic, emotive atmosphere about IMAGO that mimics the band’s crushing live performances. They really began to gain mass exposure when they previously opened for modern metal standouts Jinjer.

With new music always on our minds, we recently connected with the members of Space of Variations to offer a little bit of acknowledgement to some exceptional Ukrainian bands that you may not yet have heard of.

1. Tol (ТОЛ)

“Cult-follower band of the Ukrainian underground heavy scene. They are one of those bands who hit you with their pure hate and anger. Not easy music to listen to. So heavy and depressive. By the way, Vasya (the band’s vocalist) played one role in our ‘Razorblade’ video. Check out the video; in it, he plays a man with a machete who looks very dangerous. Very cool!”

Moon Records: https://moon.ua/en/artisti/?id=415
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/artist/2266279-%D0%A2%D0%9E%D0%9B
Info: https://vk.com/tolmusic

2. The Unsleeping

“Young and talented musicians. They play a mix of indie, alternative, and grunge music. The vocalist has a good timbre and an eccentric way of singing, and these guys can perform both pop music and heavy alternative well. They’ve also got very cool and creative videos, so definitely check them out.”

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theunsleeping/
Info: https://linkpeak.io/l/theunsleeping

3. Vivienne Mort

“High-quality indie music with Ukrainian flavour. Very deep and sensual, and interesting in a musical way. They are especially good live; if you see only even one of their shows at once you will love them. Great musicians with serious musical educations and backgrounds.”

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/viviennemort/
Info: https://viviennemort.com.ua/support/

4. Alyona Alyona

“One of the coolest Ukrainian hip-hop artists and such a nice person! Actually, she was the first artist with whom we recorded a feature spot as a band. Our song featuring Alyona Alyona is called ‘Ultrabeat,’ which we also did a very cool video for with her. Check it out! It was fun to blend metal vs hip-hop stuff.”

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alyona.alyona.official/
Info: https://song.link/vykynu2

5. Kurban & Agregat (Курган & Agregat)

“These guys make strange music blended with cool beats, humour, and philosophy, and I don’t even know if foreign audiences will understand them. But in Ukraine, they are popular, and they feel the nerve of our society.”

Info: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCGkaB7cP41WfA1x227t92Gg

Tour Dates (supporting Jinger, P.O.D.):

11/10 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
11/11 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
11/13 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
11/14 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
11/15 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
11/17 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
11/19 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Roxian
11/20 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
11/21 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
11/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
12/10 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
12/13 – Tampa, FL @ Jannus Live
12/14 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
12/16 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater
12/17 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
12/18 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
12/20 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
12/21 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
12/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
12/23 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

Artwork for the album ‘IMAGO’ by Space of Variations
Author

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.