The music of Russia's Theodor Bastard has gradually morphed from harsh and mechanical noise to a mesmerizing sound that is part world music, part gothic metal, part trip-hop. Dense, ambient soundscapes provide the backdrop for Russian lyrics and dual male/female vocals on the outfit's sixth album, Pustota (also known as Nyctota). The record quickly emerges as a cold-as-steel affair with occasional nods toward warmer and melodic Asian arrangements. Think of Theodor Bastard (maybe the name means something really cool in Russian) as a poor man's – and woman's – version of The Gathering circa today, only a little more worldly and world-weary. And not nearly as interesting.
6) Satori Aisha
10) Pustota (version 2.0)