Black Countess - Biography

This band's profile is 'invisible', meaning that it's much less prominent on the site - either because it's incomplete, or maybe doesn't entirely fit MS format.




Part I - Prologue: Pre-Dark Erotica...

The band formed in Ulyanovsk, Russia in 1992 with lineup: Ilya Polagushin performing vocal & guitars duties, Mikhail Antonov on bass, and Sergey Schepochkin on drums; INTERMENT was born... From the early days, the band's music was a slow but extremely brutal style with stories about our rotting reality and world stuck in irresponsible sin. This straightforward brutal death metal approach the band have created, soon caught the attention of local record label Detrod Records and almost immediately INTERMENT entered Pathogenous Studio to begin recording of their first release. Entitled "Mutilated Reality", this first demo release of INTERMENT first saw the light of day in April 1995. This demo done in the best traditions of brutal death metal, lead to the band receiving a positive response from the local metal scene and soon reviews from underground media set in stone this positive response that was spreading where ever INTERMENT was heard.

Soon after the recording "Mutilated Reality", drummer Sergey Schepochkin departed the band and to this, the band began searching for a new drummer. This search for a replacement drummer ended in vein and lead to Ilya taking over the drums in addition to vocals and guitars. During this same time, a keyboardist named Marina joined the band. The band continued to rehearse and write new material and soon the music became softer, more melodic, and along with stories about phantasmagorical visions of the after-life, travels in parallel worlds, and the supernatural, the band changed their name to THE MISERY. Months later in 1996, the band reentered the studio and soon released their second demo entitled "Her Forgotten Face"; however, by this moment, the band was in the state of collapse caused by the incomplete lineup and lack of gigs. Due to this, the members grew apart and disappeared for almost three years.

Part II - The Beginning: Making The Child...

As the saying goes: good things come to those who wait. Therefore, in 1998, the band reformed with fresh ideas, a new lineup, and a new name...


Joined by full time guitarist Dmitry Martyanov, session keyboardists Ilya Vakulenko & Catherine Krivova, and back-up female vocalist Catherine Golovskaya (Kate Black) and with a new musical and songwriting influence, the band painted a atmosphere of gothic influence with vampyric undertones, and a canvas of keyboard background created ever so splendidly. With this new direction the band was soon back in the studio in no time at all and recorded their self-released first EP "Child Of The Demonic Moon". The music was much faster than that of THE MISERY, however was accompanied with melodic gothic tones and finished off with erotic samples provided courtesy of Natalia Polagushina (Album Cover Model & Wife of Ilya). The quality of the recording was excellent and a well-programmed drum-machine with quite real sound filled the empty drum position and filled this position in the studio for every black countess album here after.

After having released "Child of The Demonic Moon", the band played a couple of gigs in Ulyanovsk with other Russian acts such as MORBIT, ALKONOST, and FLAME EXERGON. The album received excellent and well-deserved response from the press and the fans. Soon, reviews and interviews started to appear in various local metal magazines and websites, various regional distributors began to show interest and in addition, songs from "Child of The Demonic Moon" were included in music compilations Unholy Dark Castle Vol. 4 "Nothing Sacred Is Anymore" and Idillia Vol. 2.

Part III - The Sequel: More Blood, More Desire...

At the same time "Child of The Demonic Moon" was generating interest from various zines and distributors, along new fans, in February to March of 2000, the band entered Morbit studios and began work on a full featured-length album entitled "Blood, Desire And Dead Nenuphars". The music was faster than previous with a variety of melodies and symphonic sound and lyrics concentrating more on the dark and magnetic world of erotica and vampirism. The recording process lasted no more than two months and soon announcements of the completed album were made to the fans.

By the end of summer, drummer and second guitarist Alexander Somov joined the band, which now provided Ilya the opportunity to perform on stage as a free vocalist. In addition, Eugenia Khazina replaced Session keyboardist Ilya Vakulenko and together with Catherine Krivova, the two engaged in various band activities.

By the end of 2000, BLACK COUNTESS reached an agreement with Latvian label Beverina Productions to release "Blood, Desire and Dead Nenuphars" officially. Thanks to label's active work, this release saw the light of the day in January 2001 and almost immediately, various European music labels distributed it.

Getting on with promotions, BLACK COUNTESS took part in some radio-shows, such as Charon's Chronicles (Russia), Metal On Wave (Italy), and Beverina (Latvia) and in addition, the attention and number of publications in the press grew.

In 2002, the band began to face some roadblocks through their journey in the music scene. Although new material for the new album was prepared, various problems regarding studio and rehearsal room complications formed and this did not allow starting of the record process for a long time. Moreover, the band soon had to part with the drummer due to their irresponsible attitude heavily influenced by a drugs and alcohol problem. On top of all these complications, bassist Mikhail severely fractured his right hand and required a cast for almost nine months. In an attempt to get over these hardships, the band kept participation in gigs and helped with distribution of their releases to new regions of Asia and Europe. As a result, new reviews appeared in press and songs from "Blood, Desire and Dead Nenuphars" were included on different compilations.

Part IV - Double Strike: A Melody of Progress...

Finally, by the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003, Mikhail's injury healed and the band and record label corrected the studio and rehearsal related problems; BLACK COUNTESS began recording. By the time BLACK COUNTESS re-entered the studio, a significant amount of new material was readily available to record; so much that the band decided to split the recordings into a Full-Length Album and an EP. The album was entitled "Carnivorous Romance" and in comparison with its predecessor "Blood, Desire and Dead Nenuphars", having combined striking melodic lines, complex polyphonic structures, a high skill of execution, and lyrics telling the conceptual story of nympho-vampirism, licking lesbian lust, a castle lost in the forest and its carnivorous dwellers... BLACK COUNTESS undoubtedly created an excellent album; the background for this dark act is a symphonic sound canvas woven of splendid melodies!

The second release spawned from this recording session was entitled "Êîðîëåâà Çèìû (Queen of The Winter)". Unlike Carnivorous Romance, the music on this release was a bit more melodic and the main difference of this release compared to any other BLACK COUNTESS release prior and after was that its lyrical content was written about "pagan" subjects such as Landscapes and strayed away from the typical erotic and vampyric subjects that Ilya's known best for. In addition, every song on this release is sung completely in Ilya's native Russian language. The EP contained four new songs along with an instrumental version of the song 'Vampyric Nymphomania' from it's full-length sibling, "Carnivorous Romance", including a splendid song cover of the legendary Russian Metal Band "ÀÐÈß (ARIA)", their song: 'Íà Ñëóæáå Ñèëû Çëà (Serving Evil Force)'.

By the end of July, the recording was completed, and with new recordings in hand, the band started the search for a new label. In October, BLACK COUNTESS received a proposal from the oldest Russian metal-label, MetalAgen Records. By November, A contract was signed which included a six album deal which called for the two previously released albums and the two recently recorded albums to be officially released through MetalAgen with two completely new albums to be recorded and released. A few months were taken to resolve issues with the previous recordings and finalize cover art, and Eventually "Carnivorous Romance" finally saw the light of day by the end of April 2004. The release was a joint release by MetalAgen Records and young Russian metal label Metalism Records.

Part V - Epilogue: Enter The Death Valley...

Regardless of the new found success and accomplishments the band have been provided through MetalAgen Records; once again the core of BLACK COUNTESS was facing difficulties with members and the ability to write new material... eventually this led to a dramatic line-up change where Mikhail and session members departed. Soon Ilya was once again had to assume extra band duties in addition to vocal. Ilya assumed the second guitarist, bassist, & drum duties, while Dmitry took on the keyboards duties in addition to lead guitars. Regardless of the line-up change, and the inability to find session members, the two persevered began to prepare new material for the next album. In August 2005, the two entered Shining Palace Studio and by October, the next album was complete. Officially Released in early 2006, the new album, entitled "The Language of The Flesh" was unleashed upon the masses. The album's content stayed within the lines of that of the previous albums; however with elements and a more mature sound which set it apart from its predecessors. During it's recording, the band made it clear that they were seeking to give the music more of a "personal touch" and in addition with their great orchestration and with complete control over the production, instruments, and songwriting; Ilya and Dmitry easily accomplished the sound they were seeking.

After "The Language of Flesh", Dmitry also departed B LACK COUNTESS and in spite of this, Ilya continued work on material for his next album. Soon Ilya re-entered Shining Palace Studio between February and April of 2007. This time Ilya was recording a Solo Album; Ilya had complete control over the songwriting and recording process and Ilya in turn wrote and performed all instruments and vocals. Once the recording was completed, the next BLACK COUNTESS album entitled "Feetish" was ready. The general sound of "Feetish" is the most mature, most orchestrated, and grandest atmosphere of any BLACK COUNTESS album; In addition Ilya's vocal execution is vastly unique than of his previous work. "Feetish" was perhaps BLACK COUNTESS' most famous production to date and apparently, MetalAgen agreed... Soon the stunning and sumptuous actress & famous erotic model, Aria Giovanni, adorned the cover and photography of the album, which one may say, the song 'Brunette In Black Stockings' is dedicated. In addition to this, promotion of the album reached father and wider than any Black Countess album prior.

With the contract to MetalAgen fulfilled and the success of "Feetish", Black Countess had gone in hiatus. This has caused alarm with fans that "Feetish" was the final masterpiece of the great Ilya and BLACK COUNTESS. In addition, with the expired Official Black Countess Website and a lack of any news or updates to the Official Myspace Profile in over 2 years, many fans feel that this is indeed the end of BLACK COUNTESS...